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Discussion Starter #1
The title says it all.Im just wondering what type of location,type of flies and techniques that will help me.I will probably have a 2 day trip to the vedder next tuesday or someday next week.Im a complete noob to steelhead fly fishing.


cheers trout:cheers:
 

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hey trout, why don't you start by telling us what set up you have, rod wt and line type etc...then we'll know what you have to work with. I'm sure by that point many of the members will start to chime in and help you out.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok.I have dragonfly 8 weight with a sink tip,and 10 lb leader.I have a couple clouser minnows in pink and a couple others mostly chum and pink flys.


hope that helps.:D
 

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Ok...one thing you will notice about tips and their sink rate is they typically get thinner in diameter as their sink rate increases...a type 4-6 will do fine and isn't too much of a compromise. A lot of guys will insist you need a heavier sink tip, but that's not necessarily true. A couple more questions that will help the members in lending you a hand here, how long is that sink tip...? not interchangeable is it?
 

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well...nobody's stepped up to help out yet eh...

First off, i think you were fishing pinks a lot this season right? that'll spoil ya...trout, this early season fishery on the vedder can be tough. there won;t be a lot of fish around and you will work all day and be lucky to get a steelie, but it is beautiful out there, there will be some bulls around too and when is it ever a bad day to go fishing right? having said that we have caught winter runs in the vedder this time of year so you never know...just don;t want to get your hopes up too much, but there are guaranteed definitely steel around right now in a number of systems including the vedder, so stay positive and focus on your fishing.

second, you won;t be casting and retrieving per se, you'll be casting, making an upstream mend and then following your fly downstream on the swing as it swims through the pool. you really want to feel the fly on the end of your line, and stay in contact with it all the way through the swing, but don't put too much pressure on it because it will lift up in the water column too much and you'll get out of the zone...

That should be a start for you...take a look around the fly fishing discussion section for some fly ideas. I would choose smaller patterns as they will be easier for you to get good casts with on that single hander...(ie: maybe don't start w/ the giant 2-3 inch intruders).

Nice black and blue patterns with some good flowing materials for movement, and little bit of flash are always good, but just about anything will work as well most of the time, it is a matter of preference really. what you want to do is choose something your confident with and then cover the water thoroughly. start at the to of a run and work your way down to the tailout. Fish it all...and don't retrieve too early, let that fly swing all the way down towards shore as often fish take on the hang down too...

There are a lot of members here that regularly fly fish for steel as much or more than I do so hopefully some of them will chime in as you ask questions.

Now the fun begins! :thumbup:

:cheers:
 

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I wish I could contribute, but I'm in the same boat with Trout.

One little question. In the UK fishing for Atlantic it was all about swing, the mend to let the fly get down to the right depth and no strip, unless the water was super slow. Is it the same here for steels?

Oh and another (sorry), unlike smaller trout, do you have to train yourself not to stike too quickly otherwise you pull the fly out of the salmon's mouth or in this case the steelhead's mouth? I was taught to count to 2 (which seams an eternity) and then lift the rod firmly rather than to strike, to try and set the hook in the corner of the mouth. Is this the right approach for Steel?
 

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Rib covered it, I would stay below the crossing more easy to find and fish fly water. Have a look on youtube and watch a few videos that you find on swinging flies for steelhead.
 

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I suggest you do not get hung up on the swing. Winter steelhead are not easy to move for a fly. Dead drifting a nymph,egg pattern etc. will produce fish. It is your choice as to how you fish.
 

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It is no secret on this board that I am a "gear pig" but I have been slowly converting by the very challenge that presents itself when fly fishing for steelhead. I have hooked six steelhead to date on the fly and have yet to land one. (several were hooked in difficult water) I have learned plenty from the excellent resources on this board as well as from the members directly on the flow....This is not an easy task, my friend. It becomes a little easier later in the season when the water begins to warm, however to put things into perspective, I have 112 hrs. of actual fishing time with the flyrod and 6 hookups to date...The hunt continues for me, and I am hoping this winter will be the year, but I will likely not get the 8 wt. out until late February or March.........'Ortho
 

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I suggest you do not get hung up on the swing. Winter steelhead are not easy to move for a fly. Dead drifting a nymph,egg pattern etc. will produce fish. It is your choice as to how you fish.
This is absolutely true Trout, these are viable techniques that will get steel on the fly also. Winter fish will follow a fly, but it is definitely not easy to catch them this way. Dead drifting nymphs or egg patterns is not an easy way to get them either, but they do catch fish. You can high sticking through pocket water and/or non traditional fly water can work also. Some people use indicators, others special nymphing leaders...well worth exploring all of these options as you go along.

Your current set up is less conducive to nymphing given the non removeable 15 ft sink tip, but in time you can easily acquire some alternative lines/additional tools to give you some more versatility. you will find many anglers use interchangeable multi tip type lines so that they can adapt to different conditions and employ a variety of techniques.

Wayvik makes another good point regarding it being your choice how to fish too...don't let anyone tell you one way is better than another or that you arent being given any choices. Typically the methods anglers employ are governed by conditions, location, and preference, so it pays to explore as many techniques as are available for sure.

Excellent points here, I hope you will all continue to help trout out.

:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thx for all the information guys:D.Just one more question what part of the vedder should i start fishing at and what type of water?


thx in advaance
 

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From what I have seen most fly guys tend to stick to the lower or mid rivers... Then again last March the Slab was packed and my brother decided to have some fun and try open up some space so he broke out his new spey rod that he could barely cast and started whipping it around. He didn't get anything and almost lost his skagit head on a rock but it was pretty funny to see.
 

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As mentioned earlier by Pat AV, the bulk of the better flywater in in the area from below Lickman Rd./trainbridge area. This is not to say you cannot fish above this area, but there seems to be much more competition for space once the fish arrive....There are several good spots to swing a fly in the mid/upper river, but they really vary with the amount of water that is flowing.....Tight lines out there.......'Ortho
 

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Some really good points here. The two things I will add, is to stay versatile and on the move. The more water you cover the greater chances of a winter time encounter. Secondly fish with confidence. Know that plainly starts with your fly in the water. ;) For an 8 weight, have a good selection of weighted and unweighted Marabu/Bunny Strip type patterns. These typically are easier to cast than larger intruder type patterns, and will give your arm a bit of a break. Distance isn't always key, as most Steelehad you'll encounter or no farther than 40 feet from your rod tip. This is especially more true in colored and higher water conditions.

OK that's more than two...lol::)

Finder:cheers:
 

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Trout, I wish you luck. I've done well fly fishing for winter steelhead with a similar set-up to yours, but as fishortho says, they don't come easy. I like to keep it simple, which works for me. Most important is to get that fly as deep as possible and with enough control to know when you hook up. Improve your chances by keeping your percentages high: keep your fly scraping the bottom of the river in water that will allow the fish to rest, and you will hook up eventually. And has already been said, cover the water and move on. Steelies, if they are there and you get your fly in their face, will bite. If not, don't waste your time - move on.

Let us know how it goes.
 

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I ask my dad for tips and stuff, (he was good) but before there was the versi-tip system: they used to make there own sink tips, weight flies differently (and add a wrap or two of a different color thread on the head to discern how weighted it was) This is the pre dumbbell era, and to get their line down quicker (when needed) because it was a one piece sink tip for example: Pull the line through a V in a bar of soap (those hotel size ones) The soap helps break the surface tension of the water and sinks quicker.:2cents:
 
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