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Ok, so I hit a nice doe on the head yesterday with a nymph pattern, it moved aside quickly in irritation. I had passed a number of different flies over its head earlier on. Waked a dry fly, caddis, above it...no response. Swung a bunny leech in front of it, twitched and dead drifted a few maribou type patterns in front of it also...at one point it took a classic steelhead double egg pattern into it's mouth, the line tightened, and it spat it out before I could connect...

My question regards Steelhead fly fishing theory...

Can anyone provide some insight into the types of drifts I need to achieve, mends etc...I have a few ideas of my own, but I would like to hear some input if anyone who has caught steelhead on the fly would be willing to provide it...I know steelhead, that's not the question, it's the fly fishing angle I want to explore...ie: when do you fly guys mend upstream, downstream, not at all...etc...what flies do you like to use, etc...

Ps: Despite "playing" with this fish for over an hour without hooking up, I was still left invigorated and fascinated by the whole experience. I was able to watch how a fish responded to my presentations, it was awesome, except for the no hook up part...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...I might not ever take the pin out again now that I have been stung by this flyfishing bug once again...

Thanks,

rib
 

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where in the world were you fishing that a steelie let you stand there toying with him like that :eek: :eek: I have been on the Allouette in the summer tubing down the river watching the summers playing around swimming and fighting and they dont seem to care im there until i actually lean over to look at them, then POOF gone

sure would have been one hell of an experience to watch it take your fly. I was fishing a couple years back for steelies in the canal and got to watch half of the fish take my wool presentation it was awesome and SO HARD to not pre-set the hook before the take.

i know when im fly fishing i usually mend upstream just before it reaches straight out from me, unless im in a little slower water and am casting downstream anyways then there is no need to mend unless there is a strange current break.

hope that a touch of help Rib

HOOK
 

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ribwart said:
Ok, so I hit a nice doe on the head yesterday with a nymph pattern, it moved aside quickly in irritation. I had passed a number of different flies over its head earlier on. Waked a dry fly, caddis, above it...no response. Swung a bunny leech in front of it, twitched and dead drifted a few maribou type patterns in front of it also...at one point it took a classic steelhead double egg pattern into it's mouth, the line tightened, and it spat it out before I could connect...

My question regards Steelhead fly fishing theory...

Can anyone provide some insight into the types of drifts I need to achieve, mends etc...I have a few ideas of my own, but I would like to hear some input if anyone who has caught steelhead on the fly would be willing to provide it...I know steelhead, that's not the question, it's the fly fishing angle I want to explore...ie: when do you fly guys mend upstream, downstream, not at all...etc...what flies do you like to use, etc...

Ps: Despite "playing" with this fish for over an hour without hooking up, I was still left invigorated and fascinated by the whole experience. I was able to watch how a fish responded to my presentations, it was awesome, except for the no hook up part...

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...I might not ever take the pin out again now that I have been stung by this flyfishing bug once again...

Thanks,

rib
Very tough question Ribwart, what kinds of flys you throwin'. Each pattern has its own "swim". One of my favorite things in FFing is learning how to swim a new pattern ( I like swinging big wets). Whether you lead your fly or follow it thru the run most of my success comes when the fly is looking upstream & backing down to the lie. I believe the rearview of your fly is VERY important, its what the fish sees. A fly racing cross-current or headfirst downstream is a poor candidate for an ambush. Walking speed is fine & have some line in reserve for dumping into the drift.
 

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A simple dead drift works best for me. One mend some times two at the most in tricky currents. The key with a good dead drift is to present the fly as natural as possible. Over mending has the tendancy to kill a natural drift. The less resistance on the fly using this method, the more the fibers will breath in the water giving the fly a more natural look. Marabu, Ostridge, Rea (spelling ::) )ect. One mend mid drift in most cases is enough. I like to pull out an extra few feet of fly line. Not to cast, but to release on the "swing down at the end of the drift". On the swing down is when the fly line is most straight and has the most resistance from the rod tip. Near the end of a drift, the fly ( especially an un weighted one) under some resistance can have a tendency to rise out of the strike zone you're trying to keep it in. By simply releasing the last few feet (4-6) of line, the fly will drop back down into the zone for a little longer. Sometimes when your chasing steel with a fly rod, that's all it takes. Especially unspooked summers who are well known to follow a fly right in to shore before nailing it. :thumbup:

Sometimes I'll use the "High Stick" method when I'm fishing ripples or where there is breaks, or seams in the current that can either force the belly of the line down stream past the presentation or manipulate the line in any way. This can be compared to drift fishing with a fly rod, just without a float, as the floating portion of the fly line acts as the float. This is works best off a short leader, fished in skinny water. Simply cast, then drift through with the rod tip held high until the swing down. This method in most cases should not require any mending. Most of the belly should be out of the water, only leaving the leader and fly submerged. Also at the end of this drift I'll drop the rod tip and release the saved line, to drop the fly back into the zone for that much longer.

Remember no matter what drift technique is used, the rod tip much like conventional fishing should be over the line. In my opinion, the biggest key is to keep the fly in what ever zone you need it to be in for as long as possible. Unlike drift fishing where you can keep it down in that zone for as long as you need to, or until the drift is done. A fly in walking speed or slightly faster water only has so long in the zone until the current picks it up and out. This even more crucial when chasing winter runs. A thousand casts seems that much longer in the winter. However when you do get one it makes it that much sweeter. :thumbup:

Hunting summers sometimes requires going into stealth mode. Sometimes roll casting on your knees back from the shore line. Especially if you've spotted fish. Much of the time on small water you only have a cast or two to get it right other wise it's too late, and you've been spotted. :wallbash: :D There's also the old school Grease Line method, and Escape the Prey type of presentations for spring time. Hope this is a little food for thought. Might not ever take the pin out again? Wow! I won't say welcome to the dark side just yet.... :cheers:

Finder :)
 

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a slow side veiw of the fly is always a good presentation and dead drift always is a good way to get skitish fish to bite. straight forward is a good way to present big marabou flies, popsicle etc... All info posted previous to mine is very informative. great job guys.
 

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#1- you dont want to fish to stale fish.if you see them the seen you long before.

#2-a moving fly will attract fish(you know that thing just might get away) thats why a mend isnt always needed.

#3- summer fish are easier to catch than winter fish, no brainer.

#4-stay with natural flys (rember these steelhead are big trout).

#5-I find that even though you fished the best assortment of flies steelhead will come to the surface to waked flies(wake them and keep waking them) and dont forget to let them sit or hang down(usually while I'm lighting a cigar)
 

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i think dry flies are more so a searching or locating pattern rather than a fly used to effectivly to catch steelhead. I my self would rather locate a fish and swing a shallow wet fly rather than go over that fish 8-10 times with the dry fly and eventually put him down.
 

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YG

you should see on soem flows how effective and the fish just go insane for them and not just steelhead persay but all species :eek:

they dont seem to be as effective on alot of our local waters though

HOOK
 

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well i bet there are some local (smaller) flows that have their days of great dry flies like maybe the Allouette and im not even going to mention the couple others i can think of ;D


HOOK

anyone know when and if the Coquihalla even opens for C&R as the guys and Michael&Young have told me about it before but it harldy opens they said and when it does only for like a couple weeks

I would love to get my way to the Kispiox as they have the world record steelhead there!!! have been caught up to 50lbs in there!!!
 

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ya i know a couple un mentionable creeks. But ya i wanna go and fish the skeena watershed too. Bulkley, Nass, Babine, Skeena and 2 more i cant remember. 50lb steely on a dry fly, just thinking about it. :happy: But i'm alright with the local rivers if they're clear, then u can see the fish hit the wet fly or the nymph.
 

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Jack Straw said:
Very tough question Ribwart, what kinds of flys you throwin'. Each pattern has its own "swim". One of my favorite things in FFing is learning how to swim a new pattern ( I like swinging big wets). Whether you lead your fly or follow it thru the run most of my success comes when the fly is looking upstream & backing down to the lie. I believe the rearview of your fly is VERY important, its what the fish sees. A fly racing cross-current or headfirst downstream is a poor candidate for an ambush. Walking speed is fine & have some line in reserve for dumping into the drift.
Well said Jack! These are very good points to add and are some of the most important keys to fly fishing steelhead. Slowing down you your bug, so the fish can see it!! :cheers: There is a very good book that explains it all in full detail with illustrations, "A passion for Steelhead' by Dec Hogan. I would suggest anyone who is interested in fly fishing steelhead to get this book, even those that have been doing it for years will learn something from it. :peace:
 

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I purchased when i started "Steelhead Fly fishing" by Trey Combs. It was extremely informative and has alot more to offer than just fishing techniques, talks about the great fly fishers, what patterns work when/where, how patterns ride in the water, materials, representations. Its also got a good description of some of the famous steelhead rivers in oregon, washington & BC. It sure helped me get on my feet, also watching the fly fishers on the lower vedder while i was supposed to be watching my float. Missed a couple fish for sure. ;D
 

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YG that is one great read, 15yrs old text or not, it still speaks great volumes. The chapters about the rivers & their fish, life histories etc....fascinating. A MUST for any true steelheader. Any favorite quotes YG. The pages on mine are all stuck together now ;D Trey commenting on the many different methods of fly & gear & why they're not so different, and I quote "I do not argue with the opinions and methods of these fly fishers, because they do not represent something better so much as something different. When they make a rule for themselves and raise a steelhead because of it or in spite of it, I want them to settle in with the pleasure. I like to hear about the joy of their fishing life, not about the rightness of their discoveries." A mantra I live by....if your smilin' when your fishin, you're doing it right. :beerchug:
 

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Rumaging through the fishing books/magazines trying to find it. Dads collections from the 80's BC outdoors and west coast salmon/steelheader, and a bunch of others.

there are so many nice patterns, crazy good info, awsome spots are described. I'm finding a good quote from the Thompson Chapter

I also have John Fennelleys Steelhead Paradise. Crazy dry fly fishing in the skeena water shed, awsome book aswell.
 
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