02-04-2010, 03:44 PM
Re: steelheading advice needed
Here is something I wrote for another post.
There is another post about Steelhead on the New Post list right now. It may be helpful. Here is a post that I made.
Here are some tips that work for me with Salmon and Steelhead. Steelhead are a little different than Salmon but close enough.
1. The fish tend to rest in deeper water so pools are very good spots to fish.
2. Remember that fish have to swim the whole length of the river to reach spawning grounds. So look for pinch points in the river. If you can find a narrow section that cuts down the area you have to fish. Some where in that narrow section all of the fish have to pass. In wide sections there may be several paths that the fish use but you have to figure out where they are. So if you have a river that is a hundred feet wide and it narrows to 40 feet that is the place I would be fishing first. The narrower the spot the better your chances. You do have to remember that in narrow spots the fish may be more on guard. So a little stealth may be needed.
3. The fish tend to migrate a certain distance and then rest. The resting sports will be used by other fish. If you find a spot with several fish resting today but they are gone tomorrow, more fish will be coming to that spot, remember it.
4. If the river has low water the fish will mass at the mouth of the river waiting for a good rain. So right after a good rain the fish will be moving into the river and advancing up river. That hot spot you had last week will be hot again.
5. You must be fishing with weighted flies and you must be getting hung up once in a while. When fish are resting in a pool they probably won't expend a lot of energy to rise to the surface to take a fly. They are there to rest. Finding the right depth with your fly may be the single most important thing in catching Steelhead. This is not to say that Steelhead can't be caught with dry flies. I think as a beginner you should use the style of fishing that produces the most results, that is sub-surface.
6. Steelhead like flies with some flash and red color.
7. A guide or friend who is already successful will make the journey a lot shorter to your first Steelhead.
8. If you hook a good Steelhead play the fish from the reel. Clear the line and get on the reel as fast as you can. Make sure the drag is set before you make your first cast. You just need some resistance to apply pressure to the fish. not near lock down.
9. Remember where and how you caught every fish. Those spots will repeatedly hold fish. With your first Steelhead there is a high chance that you will break off. If so sit down right then and go over it in your head. See if you did something wrong or stupid. Unfortunately stupid rears its head for all of us from time to time.
10. When you approach a pool with fish you need to plan how you are going to make your first cast. You may want to leave the river shore and come back at a different spot so you have a better angle. A little planning will go a long way.