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Senior Moment
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5,472 Posts
I am not, but then I haven't fished steelhead in a few years now. Three or four years ago I got enamored with some though, and ordered about 10. But, I haven't fished them because here in Washington we don't have abundant carnivorous two foot Browns. I know some guys will disagree, maybe using them on Bull Trout, or a pocket of big fish, but I think some of the large streamers would scare the average Yakima Rainbow. Just my opinion.
 

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Joe Streamer
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4,156 Posts
David is right about most WA waters. I tend to downsize here, and my streamers get smaller the farther west in WA I am fishing. Just a general trend, with exceptions.
 

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Anywhere ~ Anytime
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1,613 Posts
I don't know about Steelhead but Steelbows will take them. Kind of a high time / cost fly to choose. Personally I feel there are better Muddler variants to utilize on Steel. Kelly's signature is largish spun and clipped deer hair heads.. not the best for sinking a fly to be swam quite slow in COLD water. With warmer water temps and some soft even strips thrown in the mix they could be a viable choice. That large head and Mallard flank flat-wing give them unique action on the strip, but also inhibit sinking.

A lot of us here in Northern Michigan fish Sculpin ties.. mostly Woolhead or Aussie Possum. This material soaks up water and becomes neutral rather than buoyant like hair.. yet still has the bulk required to move water, tickle that lateral line, and create the correct profile.

Look into Kevin Feenstra's ties. One of the pioneers of success on swung fly presentations in my local.

Tube variant of Kevin's "Aquatic Nuisance" tie.. spun by my long time friend Forrest.. owner of Heritage Angling Products (HAP) Kevin's original is subtly different with rabbit zonker wing.

 

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4,850 Posts
While not Galloup's streamers I have fished 3 to 4 inch streamers (as well as a variety of smaller streamers) on west side rivers for more than 25 years. The flies are unweighted and typically with spun deer hair heads. I fish them with active strips on full sinking or sink tip lines.

Over the years those streamers have account for a wide range of salmonids. The list includes a number of Chinook, coho, chum, pinks, steelhead (including most of my largest fly caught fish), sea-run cutthroat, bull trout and more than a few large resident trout (cutthroat and rainbows). Just because our rivers don't have browns doesn't mean the streamer game isn't possible; in fact give it a try - you may be surprised.

BTW the browns (and other large trout) in some of our lakes take those streamers readily.

Curt
 

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Anywhere ~ Anytime
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1,613 Posts
Cold; I was stumped as well when I first saw this head in 2002 on Kevin's "Emulator" (a variant of this is personal staple I call Emulation) It's really so simple it eludes the brain. After working with wool so long I was all caught up in how to achieve such a perfect integrated collar. This is the Aussie Possum. You pinch and shape desired size bunch then clip tight to the pelt skin. Shove it over the hook eye, shank or tube and lash down tight. The forward head is actually clipped into shape, much like deer hair, collar is the un-clipped guard hairs. It's a great material.. popularized by Kevin.

Another guide on same river (the Muskeegon) coined the acronym "MWM" ..motion without movement. Quite often we are fishing waters less than 40* F - You need to capitalize on flowing sparse materials that provide a full profile illusion of life all on their own. Need to achieve that deep sunk slow / even swing that's majic.. like a gold watch pendulum before their eyes. Stripping, as a rule, is harmful until warmer water is the norm.
 

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518 Posts
So that's essentially spun & clipped Aussie possum? I'd have sworn it was tied in Thunder Creek style, but with some sort of underbody support inside...

Welp...looks like I need to go find the remains of yet another hapless creature to add to my hoard.
 
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