Dry Fly fishing for summer steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula

A dry fly steelhead post, and the fishing is good, but salmon fishing has started.  Most days now we are getting a few steelhead, a few salmon, soon it will be salmon season in full swing.

Dry fly steelhead. Bit of a long arm there, sorry

Dry fly steelhead.
Bit of a long arm there, sorry

The horrible truth about spey fishing for steelhead is that dozens of fish come to your fly, chase it, nip it, suck it in and spit it out for every one that you actually feel.

The beauty of the dry fly is that even if they don’t eat it, you get to see the rise, so it often feels like a ton of action even if you only hook a fish or two.

Three well chewed skater style dries.

Three well chewed skater style dries.

Foam skaters with a little twitch,twitch,twitch.  About a 2 inch pull, not enough to make them pop and bubble, just enough to make the wake a little erratic.

I used to only fish hair wing drys, swinging, without any twitches.  The strikes are more savage, but there are a lot more clean misses.  The foam back skater fished with a twitch gets a lot more real eats.  I often miss the big slashing splashes that the hair wing would bring but I do like how many hook ups you get with the foam.

Color and size ABSOLUTELY make a big difference.  Carry many and try them all.

The warm water seemed to put a bad hurting on the caddis this summer, but there are still enough left for a decent hatch

The warm water seemed to put a bad hurting on the caddis this summer, but there are still enough left for a decent hatch

Steelhead, sea run cutthroat, and summer coho salmon love caddis.

The pupa will always catch them, but the dry fly fishing in the fall is really where its at.

For steelhead, under most conditions the fly needs to be swung, but occasionally we can get good fishing on the dead drift.

The trout are on the stripped dry one day, and insist on it dead drifted another, and can be supper picky about the pattern.  Carry lots of differnt  patterns to keep the bite going.

see all these steelhead? I caught them all.

see all these steelhead?
I caught them all.

Some days they all bite, other days they are tricky as hell.  Long light leaders are a must, recently I have become a fan of clear floating lines.

Changes in fly and presentation often need to happen a half dozen times before summer steelhead begin to get into eating.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Salmon Fishing, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged | 4 Comments

4 Responses to Dry Fly fishing for summer steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula

  1. Lee says:

    Front runner for post of the year

  2. Jeff says:

    Jim,
    Who makes a clear floating line? I have not found one….
    Jeff

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