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Thread: North Shore Steelhead

  1. Default North Shore Steelhead

    I picked up fly fishing last year after finding an old rod (#7/8 fiberglass) of my dad's - mostly for panfish and small trout streams southwest MN. I'm planning to go steelhead fishing on the north shore of superior next month and not sure what to expect - wondering if a #7 rod&line is too wimpy for steelhead? Any advice on rigging... I've heard some people using hand tied spawn sacks but they were using casting reels... is that reasonable to cast with a fly rod? Is 3x tippet sufficient for steelies? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    Quote Originally Posted by robiwankenobe View Post
    I picked up fly fishing last year after finding an old rod (#7/8 fiberglass) of my dad's - mostly for panfish and small trout streams southwest MN. I'm planning to go steelhead fishing on the north shore of superior next month and not sure what to expect - wondering if a #7 rod&line is too wimpy for steelhead?
    You may enjoy fishing all day with a modern graphite rod, but that would be rewarding to catch a Steelhead on an old school fiberglass rod. A 7 weight should be fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by robiwankenobe View Post
    Any advice on rigging... I've heard some people using hand tied spawn sacks but they were using casting reels... is that reasonable to cast with a fly rod? Is 3x tippet sufficient for steelies? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Throwing bait is considered a no-no in the fly fishing circles, but I am sure some of us are guilty of it. As alternative, you can drift a glo bug pattern with 3x tippet.

    There are many ways to rig up. Others may chime in. Here is how I rig up my drift rig. Connected to the fly line is a 2 foot long butt section (around 30 pound test). On the end of the butt section is a perfection loop. From there, I like to tie about 6 feet of 2x tippet. I will tie on a #6 to 10 heavy nymph. I will tie on 1 1/2 feet of 3x tippet to the bend of the nymph hook. Tied to the tippet is the glo bug.

    Other things to note. If you want to use an indicator, attach it to the butt section. It is plenty thick enough hold an indicator in place. If you need addictional weight, you can attach putty or split shot about 6 inches to a foot above the first fly (the nymph).

    MP

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    Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    Welcome to the forum robiwankenobe...MP gave you some great advice...I'll add my $0.02 worth... That 7 wt will work fine for you, it would be cool to get a steelie on your Dad's old rod...

    I like the leader MP described, it will work very well for you. I would suggest using egg patterns in various colors and types; glo-bugs, sucker spawn, Estaz eggs, etc... Do a google search to see what they look like. If you tye flies you shouldn't have any problem tying them, if you don't they're fairly cheap.
    If you are going to fish two flies, follow his directions and use an egg pattern and a small dark colored nymph.

    Good luck and have fun....

    Dan

  4. Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    MP - thanks for the tips. I guess I hadn't thought through the concept of "throwing bait" and fly fishing. I'd overheard an employee at Gander Mountain explaining to a customer how to use a fly rod (more as a cane pole) to drift spawn sacks into pools. I guess the idea stuck.

    JR

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    Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    I was giving it a thought about spawn sacks. The Cluster Fly is also refered as the spawn sack fly. Here it is.



    There are different variations of it.

    MP

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    Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    Welcome to the forum. There is no advice better than the local fly shop, and in the case of the North Shore of Lake Superior, that would be John Fehnel at the Great Lakes Fly Company. He has the only real fly shop I have found there. There used to be a pretty good fly shop portion of the Fishermans Corner up on the top of the hill on hwy. 53, but I think their flyfishing employees have all moved on. The tying materials are still somewhat there but you would get better advice from John. His shop is at 4431 E. Superior St. in Duluth. I live up at Lake of the Woods, but make it down there fairly often, especially lately, to fish for Loopers and Steelhead. The Knife is probably the best river of the ones on the North Shore, but the Sucker is pretty good. I fish the Lester and mouth of the French when I go to Duluth mainly because they are close to where I have to go. The French used to be really good for Loopers, but the last few years they have tapered off somewhat. I think the cold springs we have had has made the timing of the stocking of Loopers coincide with the Lakers still being shallow. They are feeding the lakers with Loopers. I hate to say it but it sounds like future plans are going to make that situation even worse. The Steelhead fishing is getting better though. There are several species of Salmon in Lake Superior too.

  7. Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    MP - nice pic. Looks like the real thing. Are those beads glued to the shank? I did a search for "Cluster Fly" and "Spawn Sack" fly on Orvis - the glo bug was the only thing that came up. I saw a fly pattern similar to the pic you provided (cluster of eggs) but it was made with yarn - called a pom-pom fly. Did you make those yourself?

    ---------- Post added at 11:54 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:48 AM ----------

    Hey Dan - thanks for the tip on John Fehnel at the Great Lakes Fly Company. I'm going to make a day trip to Duluth for vacation this week - I'll likely stop by the shop and hopefully check out a few streams. I typically make a few trips up each year w/the family to go camping - I'll be looking at the streams a little differently this year. Thanks again.
    Last edited by robiwankenobe; 03-22-2010 at 04:49 PM.

  8. Default Re: North Shore Steelhead

    robiwan-
    Did you make it up to duluth? I made it there on friday the 26th and monday the 29th, fished split rock, and pretty much everything south with no action. Saw a few fish caught. Sounds like there is better water flow further north. Water temps are still pretty cold, like the waterfowl migration some are saying the rivers are done, some say it hasnt happened yet.
    I made my first stop to the fly shop in Duluth, great guy, very knowledgeable. Set me up with x-ups and egg patterns.

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