Open dates this weekend!!!

Yep, waters great come on in!  Rooster has the week end open, you will have a ton of fun.

I received some awesome comments on improving the content of the blog, thank you very much.  I need all the help I can get.  As you have come to expect I will respond in no particular order.

Fly Selection for Winter Run Steelhead.  Or, as we in the industry say,FSFWRS.

So, what fly should I use for winter runs? A great and common question, answer, try an egg sucking leach.

Terry wrestled up this old buck yesterday morning

Terry wrestled up this old buck yesterday morning

I have no over riding fly selection theory in the winter time, I wing it, almost.  I guess I have two criteria, no, make that three…four basic criteria.

First, how fast does it sink?  I want my fly/sink tip combo heavy enough so that if I cast a little bit down stream of straight across and put one decent mend in the fly will have sunk about 2/3rds of the way to the bottom by the time it begins to swing. (note: This will require you to have some idea how deep the water you are fishing in is.)

Lets back up a little.  Do you really know how deep the run you are fishing is?  I mean really? For real?  That’s about the most crucial piece of information you can possibly have.  Maybe borrow some flys from your buddy and keep adding split shot or worm weights until you can snag anywhere in the run, then take that crap off and think about what you learned.So, 2/3 of the way to the bottom, very general rule.  The sink rate will be determined by the overall weight of the fly, the size/ weight ratio, and the dressing.

Most flys you buy are so heavily dressed that no matter how big the lead eyes you wont get much sink out of them.

My next question is about the fish.  How heavily fished over are they?  If they are brand new lower river fish they are likely to bite anything within reason.  I f they are all ready a bit up river, in a heavily fished area, they will get more and more wary and tend to prefer smaller and smaller flies.  This trend will continue until the bucks begin to get spawney (yep, that’s a word) and territorial, at that point they are attacking out of aggression, so bigger might be better.  I prefer not to fish over fish at this point, so I spend very little time spey fishing up river after the middle of February.

How small is small?  I commonly will fish down to a very sparse size 6.  An allie shrimp in a six is one of my favorite flies.

sorry, no rhyme or reason

sorry, no rhyme or reason

What color? Well, some contrast is nice, so red and orange, black and blue, purple and orange.  I fish straight purple a great deal also.  I want to have  flies in my box that cover every spectrum.  That is I want to have bright flies ranging from large to small, heavy to light, and the same with some dark, and contrasty flies.

In the end, if you find a good fish, and you slow it down near him he should bite, if you are really not sure, tie on an egg sucking leach, sooner or later they all eat one of those.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides


Posted in Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Open dates this weekend!!!

  1. Rod Wittner says:

    Hey Buddy-
    Nice article, thanks. I am hoping to be able to hook up with you again soon. I am getting 5 weeks off courtesy of the US Gov’t. Yes, 5 weeks of unpaid furlough thanks to sequestration budget cuts. That’s just great, time off and no dough to go fishing. But, I may be able to work something out. If and when you have an open seat, let me know. I would like to be able to take advantage of a day or two of your fish along dates coming up.


    • raincoastguides says:

      Thanks Rod,
      Sorry about the work thing. Those guys in congress, lets just say they really get my goat, or, alternately, they are a bunch of fucking assholes.
      Anyway, yes, lets find a way to work something out, I think I all ready owe you $100.00

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