Steelhead flies simplified

The following is for the two guys who asked about salmon tactics.  The rest of you just skip down to the steelhead report below the fist picture.

This year, with the low clear water, and the fish a bit spread out I went back to stripping with clear lines.  A clear intermediate line with as short a head as you can find, and a little bit of t 14 on the end, maybe 5 ft.

One cool thing about this rig is that if you 1/4 down hard and then feed in some slack the fly will hold at whatever level you want throughout the retrieve.

I mostly fished size 4 or 6 Clouser style flies tied extremely sparsely in a variety of colors.

Interestingly it had to be a clear line.  We were sight fishing a lot and the “camo” lines moved the fish right off.  When the water got super low the clear line spooked them too so we went to dry lines and very long leaders.

Streamer fishing is hard work, but the bite is great and it is a refreshing change from the swinging or nymphing game.

Dangerous freaky river mist.

Dangerous freaky river mist.

Sometimes this time of year we get a big slug of early hatchery steelhead and the fishing is epic and the traffic is light.

Not this time.  Fish numbers have been low.  We are finding some fish every day, but things are unusually quiet.  That said it is still very early, preseason if you will.

John, and hatchery steelhead.  (John is the one in the hat)

John, and hatchery steelhead. (John is the one in the hat)

Hatchery season is for many a harvest season, it doesn’t take too many chrome beauties like this to make a good day.

Steelhead stomach contents.  Just match the hatch

Steelhead stomach contents. Just match the hatch

What is the impulse that makes salmon and steelhead feed in the river?  Some fish have it, other fish not so much.  A hatchery fish full of chunks of pvc pipe and beaver chips?  That’s a biter.  More like that please.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides


Posted in Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , | 2 Comments

2 Responses to Steelhead flies simplified

  1. Jeff says:

    I am hoping for loads of those ‘biters’ to be in the river in a couple of weeks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *