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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past year I have learned a lot from guys on this board as well as much needed experience on the rivers. With only 3 steelies ever hooked and none landed I can always use some tips.

The steelhead season is well underway and guys are starting to pluck them out on a consistent basis, while I am standing there wondering why? Why did he hook one right where I was just fishing and using pretty much the same as myself. What is it that you people have (you know who you are :wink: ) that lets you walk into a pool or run and in a couple of casts all of the sudden there's a beauty steelie on the end of your line. I've spent 6 full days on the rivers since New Years with only ONE bite. What could I be doing wrong?

I guess it breaks down to a couple questions:

1. How long should you cover water before hitting a new spot?

2. When covering a run or pool, how extensive should you be in covering it?

Feel free to leave any tips.

Cheers
 

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how much reading have you done? there are a lot of good reads out there on steelheading. i like the ole alec merriman. get what you can from stuff like that, get what you can from the rivers and put it all together youll never know it all but the more you know will always help. as for how long you should pound a spot, it depends, some spots are worth sitting at all day where the are others that i would do 10 casts and move, it depeneds on the system.
i also think a great way to go is to really fish one river hard till you become one of "those guys" (probably a couple solid years) then start trying other rivers but youll notice a lot of different rivers have very different fish with thier habits
good luck, keep pounding
btw, it took my old man 3 years to land his first steel (unfortunatly for him he watched me get one on my first cast :lol: )
 

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The best thing that worked for me was to do alot of research into how to catch steelhead and understand where they tend to hold in the river.When I first started I fished for them like I was fishing for salmon which is a mistake.They hold in differant areass of the river than salmon.Chances are that the fish you are after were right at your feet, literally.I would suggest taking a steelhead course as well.I did and it did wonders for the understanding of where they can be found on the river.I also got alot of help from this website.The guys on here are very helpful.Bump up your research...............Oh yeah,I have found the Vedder the most challenging river to find steelhead in.


Hotrod
 

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Well steelie trav, I'm no expert, I 've been steelheading now for some years, and some were better than others, I didn't get my first till my second year), The two most critical things to focus on is how you present your offering to them (ie: speed (it varies), depth (it also varies)) and how you read the water, understanding the many different types of holding water and lanes that steelies love... really I've found that my answers to your questions are as follows:

1- You should cover a paice of water untill you feel you've EFFICIENTLY presented your hook near the bottom up to about three feet up, ( if I recall correctly steelhead's eyes are oriented upwards so they are almost always looking up...can anyone confirm this for me?) if you know there's a fish holding there and it won't take, fish on for a while downstream and then come back to that spot later in the day....I guess what's critical is everyone misses fish, fails to entice them, or even walks right by good holding water, it's only a matter of how efficiently you read the water and present to the fish that maximizes your success.
2- In covering a pool, or riffle, etc., try to visualize what's going on beneath the surface, ie: how deep is it?, how long should my drift be, how fast can I get my presentation down to the fish? The primary goal is to get that hook in front of and as close to the steelies nose as possible , so remember it's not where your float is, it's what the hook underneath is doing that matters most....some fish sit tight to the bottom some rest suspended a few feet up or more... If you know there's a fish sitting in a run and he doesn't seem to want to take, you can "rest the fish" as I stated above, or you can try varying your depth, size of presentation and/or type of presentation....
About half the steelies I've ever caught have been on the vedder,and since my first cast for one, up till now the single most critical peice of info has been knowing how to find them. If you've caught a fish in a spot, likely next year other fish will also hold there, if you see a guy fishing a spot and then he hooks up, take note of the type of water he was fishing, odds are similar water throughout the river will also hold fish, and lastly with regards to reading water, look for "flat spots" in the river bottom, steelies don't like swimming uphill and will rest in these spots, before they continue upstream...the duration of their rest can vary considerably....looking at the shoreline for level flat stretches sometimes helps in finding flat spots but mostly watching the flow is best, faster than slow current over a flat spot is a great place to start...
This is just the tip of the iceberg there are a lot of other things that you learn through experience and, like the guys said, reading up on steelheading....I read alec merriman's book too!!!
Anyway I hope this helps you some, catch lots o fish, but release em more often than you keep em K?
good luck ST,
rib
 

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Hotrod. You mention a steelhead course where did you take this course? Is therea web site for it???
 

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They run a steelhead course out at anglers west on broadway & cambie in Van, but most decent shops have various courses, ie: fred's and berry's probably do too.....
 

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There are some great books you can buy at most shops. Example: West Coast Steelheader.

They have clear explanations that make it easy to plan your approach and ways to make sure you are drifting through the proper zone for the water conditions (height and clarity).

They have great visual representations of artificial baits as well as natural baits so that you can match your own as closely as possible.

Check it out, it defintely can't hurt your chances.

Good luck

Hallsy
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks guys.

I have thought that I was being thorough while fishing the areas that I have. I'll probably go out and buy that west coast steelheader book and check it out. I guess one of the best methods is to go with someone who knows the river and has had a lot of luck out there in the past. Learning by watching is much more effective for me. The problem is I do not have any friends who are into fishing as I am so I am usually the more "experienced" out there. Which doesn't say much, blind leading the blind :lol: .

I'll just have to try my luck again and again untill I am satisfied. Who would have thought that losing your steelhead virginity would be harder than losing your actual virginity to a girl :wink:

Cheers
 

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Hey Steelie'..........new handle, same cooke?..............The info posted above and other info I have sent you over the past few months would never cover all the info you require....patience is also a big part of the game. If you look VERY carerfully you may see successful fishers all using the same colour on any given day (maybe something light pink or peach for eg.) If you can look very closely, as to the SIZE of the presentation. I'm not sure if steelies can see "up" or not, but they will come up off the bottom a bit to take an offering that looks tasty to them.

More often than not, many presentations to steelhead are too much of a good thing...(too big)....When the water has 3-4 ft. of vis. you just have to KNOW where the "river roads" are for the fish and where they will rest, then change your set up frequently.....If you have a spot to yourself no matter how small, run a Jensen egg and white wool thru, then roe, then small roe bag, then a #3 or 4 colorado, then move on........

.If you are in the right drift and resting spot, almost all your fish to come will be caught within the first 5 min. of fishing......AND......I sure agree with Hotrod on the "fish at your feet first theory".....Often a fast water run with some big rocks will have some fish right at your feet while you are casting to the middle or to the other side. And patience, lots of patience!!

Tight Lines.....Ortho
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey ortho, glad to see you on the new board! Yeah I'm one and the same tcooke.

I usually start the drift near the middle and work closer to me. I also do change it up often as per your previous advice, d*mn hackers, lost it all on the old board, but I do remeber most of it. I guess it's just the frustration of being sooo close but not close enough :( .

I'm sure my time will come, but until then I'm stuck just enjoying the view :D

Cheers
 

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One tip i picked up
aproach the water from a distance keep low if needed start by fishing the edge first then father out so you don't spook the fish

I like to fish alone when steelie fishing as most of the runs are small or busy and i dont want anyone else spooking the fish
and i can move arround when i want
only problem with that is no one to take my pics if i get lucky

But if someone came up to me and wanted some help with tips, gear set up, etc i would be willing to take some time out to help
I am no expert but always willing to pass on what i have learned
So if you see me out there and need some help just ask
I usually where green p.f.d,with decal on left pocket, green bare neoprines and a smile
 

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I took my steelhead course out of Fred's Tackle in the wack.It's a one day course 3hrs in class and 3-4 on the river applying what you learned.I know the guys at anglers west are good quality steelheaders too and they can put you into some good steelhead habits. Check it out man, it's a good foudation to start with. Once you understand how steelies live in rivers you can pretty much get them in any river.when you get the first one out of the way it'll open the flood gates to steelhead heaven............walk into the light! all welcome! all wlcome!
:lol:


Hotrod
 

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Get your presentation on the bottom. If you're not feeling the "tick tick tick" from your pencil lead or bottom split shot, you might not be down close enough to bottom. Winter runs are not like summer runs, the expend the least amount of energy possible, so they won't dart 10 feet to grab your presentation (most of the time). Another helpful hint is fish each stretch of water in a grid pattern. Start right at your feet, you'd be amazed at the fish right under your feet, work your way out with each cast, let it swing close, then far. At the end if you felt your presentation wasn't right on bottom, move your float up 6" and do it all over again. Adjust your float often, most guys are too lazy but it really pays off. Nothing better than a solid hookup after one or two other guys have fished the pool ahead of you, especially on a fly rod. If you are fishing a fly, always stand in knee deep water and let your fly hang and give it a few strips upriver before giving up on that cast. They hold right on that seam between the riffle of the current and the slow stuff and if they weren't, I've watched them follow that fly and hang below it before striking it.
If you are fishing with drift gear, try something different than what seems popular, if the fish are seeing 100 roe bags a day, drift ghost shrimp, or offer something sparse like a single jensen egg and wool (always very reliable.)
Hope this all helps.
 

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Steelie Trav, no matter how crappy your luck may be, just remember there's worse fisherman out there (me). I haven't even had a fish on in two steelhead seasons and have only caught 2 total in years of trying.
 

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Birdman check out the web i posted a good article on the last site we had before the sw$^%# hacked in and we lost it
It was under Float fishing for steelhead
here is one
http://www.rodworks.on.ca/float.html
 
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