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Old 11-28-2012, 02:28 PM
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Default Winter Steelhead fishing

As a follow up to my post yesterday....

This will be my first time steelhead fishing when I go in December. I'm looking for some knowledge and tips from everyone. My most important question is this.... Is late December going to be too late to get on some steelhead? Otherwise...I am looking for strategies and techniques.

Thanks in advance!

Ian
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

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Originally Posted by lthrnk03 View Post
As a follow up to my post yesterday....

This will be my first time steelhead fishing when I go in December. I'm looking for some knowledge and tips from everyone. My most important question is this.... Is late December going to be too late to get on some steelhead? Otherwise...I am looking for strategies and techniques.

Thanks in advance!

Ian
Ian - There are a lot of different areas to fish for Steelhead. Narrowing down where you'll be, which state, which Great Lake, Pacific Northwest, or River would be very helpful. The answers will vary dependent on the aformentioned.

Cheers,
Mike
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:48 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

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Originally Posted by chi flyfisher View Post
Ian - There are a lot of different areas to fish for Steelhead. Narrowing down where you'll be, which state, which Great Lake, Pacific Northwest, or River would be very helpful. The answers will vary dependent on the aformentioned.

Cheers,
Mike
I'm going to be fishing the Great Lakes Tribs in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls area/Lake Erie.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:00 PM
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Gatortransplant (AJ) lives up in that area...you should track him down on the forum.
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Old 11-28-2012, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

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Gatortransplant (AJ) lives up in that area...you should track him down on the forum.
Unfortunately we are going to miss each other this time around.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

There are plenty of Steelies in the Erie tribs all through December. I fished last year right through December 28 and hooked up with good numbers of fish. Water levels are the key. As it gets later in the year, my goto is Elk Creek. There are no secrets there as it is very well known to multitudes of anglers, luckily the crowds thin a bit as the frigid factor increases. I especially like a tandem rig with a weighted chartruese egg pattern at the top (I add a small black tungsten cone head when I tie them), and a weighted small nymph pattern about a foot under the egg. My favorite nymph patterns are a #16 BH Copper John wrapped red, and a #16 BH Prince. December water can be Gin-clear, so prefer fluorocarbon leaders, and I rarely go lighter than a 3X.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:37 PM
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Theres def good steelhead fishin to be had throughout the winter in wny. Like its been said small nymphs n eggs on light leaders for the often clear water works best. I mostly fish the lake Ontario tribs and bw my flyrod and drift rod i do pretty well when most are stayin indoors. Goodluck!

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Old 11-29-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

Fish for them just like you would for trout at home. Thats what they are just a bit bigger and can get lockjaw quicker than my dog getting his meds. I use floro leaders an tippets it lets you upline to reduce brakoffs. These fish see alot of fisherman and flys so any atvantage you can gain is good. Wade in the water slowly and be still and quiet, their latteral line is responsive to these things and if you spook a pod,school,flock, herd or whatever the all get lock jaw.Make sure you hooks are sharp!!! Make sure your hooks are sharp!!!Steelhead love to hang in the slots, the spots where two fast runs are caused by the slate like bedrock or obstruction. Soak your egg patterns in fresh eggs you can by in the bait shops there, dont use the ones down here they sell in the little glass jars.They came in two sizes, buy the small container its the juice you want not the eggs. When your tying on another pattern stick the egg fly back in the bottle and re-scent it. If you throwing minnow patterns in the slots dont over weight them you want them to react as a small bait fish would fighting the current .Fish hard and good luck.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: Winter Steelhead fishing

Kind of obvious, but depending on which streams you intend on hitting, ice on the river can be a factor. If you get a deep freeze with low water, you might not get the chance to fish unless you're willing to break through some ice to get them--which I have done. They are there though. One of my more memorable days in fact was late in December. Fished all day without a hookup and during the last 2 hours of daylight it was all I could do to keep the fish from taking my fly.
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