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going to be my first time fishing for these fish and wouldn't mind some tips. When you hunting for them do you look for the same thing you would for a chinook salmon or another type of fish, ie. trenches, oxygenated water ect.? I have many questions so any answers what so ever would be awesome.
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-fishey
 

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Fish where you normally wouldn't. Shallow tail outs, sometimes a foot deep or so will hold fish in a pool thats over 10 feet deep. They hold in the obvious spots as well, but never neglect the over looked spots. :) Roe is my bait of choice, but rubber worms seem to work well fished below a float with a few split shot. I like the smaller pink ones, but bigger ones will probably work better in murkier water. Lots of patience is the most important thing, don't go out with high expectations, and be ready to put in lots of hours. 8)
 

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Damn those are some beautiful roe bags wouldn't you say!!!!? :lol: :lol: :lol: I almost forgot I had those...

Lot's of good advice here already fishey...Definitely do some reading too, online, at your library, there are lots of good books that tackle some of the finer aspects of steelhead fishing...

What sanderson said dead on, fish everything...You will find from one season to the next you will remember where you have hooked into steelies, and will go back to those spots, but you will also notice new spots that are similar to spots that have already been successful, and you will start trying those areas, and finding success...

I have never hooked a steelhead in a back eddy...that's not to say they might not hold in there, although I personally don't think they do, it might just be the presentation aspect is difficult, I don't know, but I tend to stay away from back eddies...

As for what I use, I try to stick to a select few items...colorado blades, roe bags and wool for pocket water...I will use other things like jigs, spoons, corkies, etc...but I tend to fish the first three more than anything else. Keep moving, camping in a spot will limit your success considerably...

Hope that helps,
Rib
 

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The topic of presentation comes up a lot on this site. Is there any fishermen here who would care to share some pointers on presentation. I have had luck in the past on pink worms, was I presenting it right? I have no idea. I have never tried to use blades before, but want to try it this winter. Does any blade work? .. and I love those little roe sacks, is it the Spider Line you have used to tie those? Is bigger better than smaller ? Do i put any split-shot on the lines?



I caught a Steelhead my first time ever tried for them. It was three winters ago now. I think is like a type of sickness it gives you. Its a bad addiction. I hope this to be the best year yet. The River will be so fun relearn....

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buzzcatcher said:
I have never tried to use blades before, but want to try it this winter. Does any blade work?
I tend to use Colorado blades, size 3 usually, but other types will work also...french blades, brass, other commercial spinners, etc...You fish a lot shallower with a blade on the end...Ie: Less distance from float to weight, as the blade is heavy and will sink below the depth your weight is at, and you don't want the blade in the rocks on the bottom. The dead drift works well with blades, and I find faster moving water allows the blade to flash more on the dead drift. You want the spinner flashing, but I find it doesn't have to be spinning like mad. just "tumbling" through the water

... and I love those little roe sacks, is it the Spider Line you have used to tie those? Is bigger better than smaller?
I used some "magic thread" so that I didn't have to tie knots, that can get tiresome...it "sticks' together somehow, and holds the sack together well with several good wraps...I vary the sizes of the roe sacs a bit, but anywhere from 3-8 eggs is about what I usually put together, it really depends on the eggs I guess, I like roe sacs about the size of anywhere between a dime and a nickle...

Do i put any split-shot on the lines?
Split shot works well, so does pencil lead...I use both often, I find I use split shot more in clearer water conditions, and with bait, while I tend to use pencil lead with spinners, single egg presentations, etc...but it's interchangeable really...

I caught a Steelhead my first time ever tried for them. It was three winters ago now. I think is like a type of sickness it gives you. Its a bad addiction. I hope this to be the best year yet. The River will be so fun relearn....
First time you ever tried for them eh? Nice! That's not all that common. I certainly know what you mean about the addiction...tis' the season... :wink:

Here are a couple of examples of productive steelhead water....but you'll find them in many different places. Current seams are always a good bet...



Hope that helps,
Rib
 

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Also, start keeping a list of "fishy" looking water and build a circuit where you start at one and work your way through each one sequentially. After you're done, go explore some new water and then later in the day hit your circuit again as fish might have moved in since you've been gone. And, always cover each run thoroughly. Also, as water temp gets colder the fish get more sluggish so are less inclined to spend energy to chase down your presentation so you really want to make sure you cover the entire area thoroughly on real cold days. I like to start in close on my drifts and work my way outwards. It's a gun and run style of fishery where you don't sprout roots and stay in one spot for long periods of time. You will always get more fish if you keep hunting for them and keep moving after covering a run. Most of the other info posted here is excellent stuff. Also, fish with what gives you confidence. If you're a bait fishermen, use bait. Or if you're a gear, use gear, etc. Steelhead are agressive fish and not particularly bright. They will strike at most anything but you have to find them.
 

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Good description...I wrote this at almost the same time...didn't want to toss it out, so hopefully it adds to what sanderson wrote, not just repeats it...

I find each situation has its own set of conditions, and they vary quite a bit more than you might expect, from one "haystack" to the next, even when the water looks the same or similar. It's all about what's under the surface and what it takes to get there effectively.

Sometimes the fast surface layer of water is "thin", and the water beneath it quite slow in comparison, in these cases I find it is actually better to have a more streamlined, narrow float and only a small amount of weight...I find this allows you to keep your gear in the zone even though there's very little weight, mostly because the drag of the fast water on the float is reduced.

In some cases the faster top layer is "thicker", and the holding water below has a higher average speed. In these instances it pays to have a little more weight, but you still have to watch your float selection...

The amount of water that falls into this category of "haystack" on any river is infinite, but those are just two examples...and how I deal with them. Sometimes you have to muscle it with more weight and a bigger float, but that's not always the case.

You'd be surprised at how often I find myself fishing really fast choppy water with a tiny float and weight, and it seems the only way to fish that water effectively...
Rib

sanderson said:
Sometimes up to a dozen casts are needed before one good drift goes through one line on one section of the holding water.
...ain't that the truth.
 

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What do ya know Sanderson actully taught me something! Thanx man!
That kind of water as you described it sounds a little difficult to fish! Lots of practice i guess?
C.K.
 
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