Alrighty then, i have a little problem. I need a list of good flies for steelhead for this time of year. I saw a guy using spey flies and was wondering if they were good. If so, what are good patterns for low water steelhead and high water steelhead. Any type would be great.
Here are mine......... Mr. Copper, Stephanie fly, ICE MAN, de Fools Gold, De Silver, Blue Metal Seducer, Copper Metallic BH Egg,Silver Perl BH, Blue Perl BH Egg patterns, these are bright patterns and attract Steelies.
oh thats right, I dont have 9 patterns that I use. I got just a few patterns that I actually do use. One is though the Clouser minnow, I use that for anything from panfish to pike. After that I use a fiber minnow like the EP fiber minnow. Then I got 2 hybrid patterns that I've come up with. They are a mix of zonker strips and maraboo. then after that I got a few other flies I've come up with. That is the amount of flies that actually get to see the water. I make a lot of flies but dont use them. I've reacently done a few shrimp, muddler minnows, sneaky pete, poppers, scuds, maggets and so forth, but again these dont get used or get used one time. Out of all the flies I got, I always reach for the same one. I've made several color variations of that one fly but even these get passed up at times. Its more of a I know fish have hit that fly so I'm going to use it till there isnt much left. I epoxy a lot of my flies so their going to be around for a long time.
Presentation is king, so make sure whatever you use, it's drifting along at the right depth. Much better to get the "wrong" fly in the right place than the other way around IMHO.
Depending where you'll be fishing, GL or PNW, you might go heavier on some things and lighter on others, but you might want to plan on covering different bases with some from each group adding more as you go and dial in on them as you start to catch. This will give you some options to fish at different water levels, and water clarity. The exact pattern probably is less important than the "category". I've included some examples, but go with what catches your eye. I'd think about having a few from each group:
Eggs- mostly a Great Lakes thing, but assorted colors in yarn eggs, and/or a few crystal meth, estaz eggs, sucker spawn, sperm fly (a pink double egg pattern with white marabou tied on a salmon hook) for a bit of a different look. These would be good fall patterns in low clear water, especially if you have salmon around that are dropping eggs.
Hair wings are mostly a Pacific Northwest thing, but some dark patterns for fast discolored water (Green Butt Skunk, Freight Train, Undertaker) and some bright ones for fast clear water (Comet, Thor etc). The hairwings tend to hold their shape in fast water, while marabou, spey type stuff tends to flatten out.
Big and flowey stuff for both GL and PNW for discolored slower moving water like marabou, rabbit strips, egg sucking leeches, buggers and speys in purple/black and/or blue/purple. This stuff really pulses in slower water, and can provoke savage strikes even if the presentation is a little off, they'll often move to it. Really good for deeper holes and pools too.
Nymphs, mostly a spring GL thing, but good to have some for now thru winter too. Examples would be small black stonefly nymphs and caddis larva tied on strong #12 hooks, especially if you're fishing to GL fish that get a lot of pressure and fish see a lot of eggs. Bigger ones like spring wigglers or hex nymphs would be good to add for spring.
Dry Flies- mostly a summer thing, but some kind of steelhead/salmon dry should end up in your box at some point. By all means add the other stuff first though. It's a low percentage option to be sure, but something like a Steelhead Skater or Bomber might work if you get a really warm day and see some fresh fish holding. You might be able to tease one up if you swing it by him/her enough times.
Just some thoughts on putting together a box of assorted stuff... hope it helps you. Good luck.
all you need are a few basic flies. no need to get crazy!
1. clouser minnows in red/white olive/white or plain white. or whatever matches you bait fish.
2. wooley buggers in olive, black, and brown
3. egg sucking leeches
4.sucker spawns in pink,chartruese, orange or cheese, also try white
5 glo eggs in the same colors never tried white tho.
6. krystal meth spawn pattern in white, orange, pink or chartruse
7.stoneflies black and brown
8. gold ribbed hares ear natural, olive
I am more of a streamer guy myself so I use clousers and buggers in the fall and spring mostly but in the winter fish get more lethargic and you will have to use smaller flies and drift nymphs and eggs to the steelies.