Seeking the best type of bait to use for Steelies. Heard Salmon eggs were great to use...which flies should i get?...Going in November to the Salmon River in NY....some advice please. AND THANK YOU TO PEREGRINES FOR THE MUCH HELPFUL AND SATISFACTORY ADVICE.
There are such a vast variety of flies to use for Steelhead that
narrowing it down to a few maybe difficult, unless your one that
uses the same ones all the time. I am not one of those. I have
used caddis larvae, egg flies, streamers, egg sucking leeches,
sparrow, sculpin & various tube flies.
There are lots of magazine articles, books & items on the internet
that can be a help for choosing a fly for what we call the Michigan
Best of luck. One of the best pieces of advice is to use a fly that
no one else is throwing. Show them something different & big.
If you see salmon nesting, than usually behind the nesting is where steelheads and brown trout will be. Best thing I have used in a situation like this is a tandem rig main fly being an egg sucking leech than a couple feet behind than using a caddis larvae. Works well.
I've Designed some new Metallic Egg patterns but won't be available untill spring of 2009, Premium Discount Fishing Flies, Trout Flies, Fly Fishing Shop will be producing them for the Steelhead fisherman. Again thanks for the Outfitters in the states for testing these new products. Produced by GeorgiaFlyGuide. Steelhead are alot of fun to catch! Tight lines!
Thanks for the shout out. Glad to help. There's another recent thread on just this, take a look at Top 10 Flies thread on stuff for steelhead, so take a look at that too.
On the Salmon River in NY, expect to lose a lot of flies. You want to be on or very close to the bottom, and between rocks and fish you'll lose quite a few. If you're not losing flies, you're not deep enough.
A lot of folks will be using egg flies there, and you might want to stock up on a bunch. Mostly orange (apricot or cheese colored, not blaze orange), chartreuse and a few pinks. Mix it up a bit with some yarn, estaz etc versions in size 8 and 10. They're inexpensive compared to other flies (and easy to whip up if you tie) so get/tie a bunch.
But like tie1on, I like to throw a bunch of different things, depending on water depth, clarity and flow rate.
some other good stuff to have:
hair wing salmon flies- most of them should be dark. Exact pattern probably doesn't matter so much, but something that looks like a Green Butt Skunk, Black Bear Green Butt, Undertaker etc and a few bright ones (Comet, Polar Shrimp, Thor etc) in 6 and 4 would be good to have for very fast heavy flow conditions to swing in current.
nymphs tied on heavy hooks like a hares ear or stonefly nymph on anything from a 10, 8 or 6 hook. These often work very well in clear low water conditions if fish aren't responding to eggs.
Big stuff that breathes in slower currents and good for swinging through deeper pools. Some examples might be flies tied with rabbit strips or marabou like a white zonker, spey flies, woolly buggers, egg sucking leeches. Again exact pattern probably not as important, but most should be dark: black, black/purple, blue/purple and a few bright: white, hot pink/hot orange, etc. in size 4-6
Don't feel you have to go crazy, just plan on plenty of eggs and a couple of from each of the other categories and add from there based on what's working. There's plenty of places to buy stuff up there.
egg patterns and streamer patterns work great on great lakes steelhead. my favorite fly to use is the clouser minnow in both olive/white and red/white. also hear blue/white is great in low light as the last color a steelie can see before it gets dark is blue. I read that is a john nagy book.
Ask a steelheader what fly to use and you will get many answers. The answer in my opinion is use what you feel the most confidence in; that being said, my choice will always involve an egg pattern of some sort as one of my flies when fishing a tandem rig. But if you are fishing NY as I believe you said you were, you may only use one fly; unless the law has been changed. Check with the local fly shops on what their recommendations would be for that time of year.
I will assume you are going to be targeting steelies and browns; and if there are salmon on the redds I would fish egg patterns. When filling your fly box make sure you have a variety of colors, it is amazing how picky the fish can be. I will tell you, for stained water use brighter and larger egg patterns; as the water clears go to more muted colors and smaller flies. When I'm talking brighter, think the flourescents oranges, pinks, and chartreuses. For the clear water situations think oregon cheese, apricot and peach. I have two color picks that I never leave home without, baby blue, and white; there are times when either of those seem to be the only color the fish want.
egg patterns work but when you are there try some clousers or buggers too. they are great on the swing. i fish great lakes steel and I catch um on clousers. red/white olive/white and just white! try any color! match the bait fish. i never been to ny tho. only ohio
I was up fishing for steel this weekend and came back with some interesting knowledge. I fished a one fly event. My partner used a brown and gold bugger. He got 3, which earned him second place. The first place team was a streamer base as well. Don't be afraid to go big. I tend to use sucker spawn since they are quick and easy. Pinks, reds, creams, and occasionally orange do well. Like previously stated, a baby blue works often. Just make sure you have a lot of flies made up or you will find yourself reaching into an empty vest. Eggs, buggers, minnow patterns, and hairs ears are my typical go tos.