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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 02-24-2016, 01:37 AM
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Default A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

With the start of the early season weeks or days away, depending on the weather, what are your most effective patterns for the early season? I tend to use black leech or stonefly patterns tandem with a glowbug or bead (sacrilegious). I'm just curious to try something different this season without wasting my time on the water.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

If you'd like to try something wild and crazy, Kevin has a number of unique patterns -

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Old 02-24-2016, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Days or weeks away? I went out yesterday, didn't have any luck myself but saw plenty of fish and got invited to fish in the same hole with another fly guy who had already landed and lost several. He was using tandem egg patterns. I think I switched over too late. Water was very dirty so I was using black leaches and buggers. I wish I'd gotten his name, really nice guy, I was pretty far down stream from him when I noticed him waving at me to come up.

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Old 02-24-2016, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Most of our tribs here are still locked up. Any open areas are either crowded or too fast to hold fish. I have a few spots to check out this wknd so we'll see.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:16 PM
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A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders
 
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Quote:
Originally Posted by pszy22 View Post
If you'd like to try something wild and crazy, Kevin has a number of unique patterns -

FAVORITES | FEENSTRA GUIDE SERVICE

Click the image to open in full size.

Couldn't help myself and went to their web site .... most unusual steelhead flies I think I've ever seen. Something really 'new under the sun.' Wonder how they'd work here in PNW rivers?
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Hey banjo, it is hard to recommend something that will be more effective than what you are using, especially if you are already good at it. Now if you want to try something different, swing the leech under tension (you don't have to bottom bounce either) and see if you can get the hard tug from a steelhead. That is something you may never have felt while nymphing. Oh, and unlike nymphing, when you feel that tug, don't immediately tug back, just let the fish come tight. You might never go back to nymphing again even though your catch rate may go down.
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Old 02-24-2016, 05:59 PM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Yes, that crunching tug is probably one of the best feelings. I do swing occasionally when I'm in the right spot. Unfortunately, my home river is in a metro area so swinging is not always feasible. Not to mention the spey and switch wannabes are always hogging up the pool!
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

I'd suggest to try a couple of these for GR8 Lake Steelhead:
[*]Beaded Rubberleg Kauffman Stone[*]Egg Sucking Leach[*]Psycho Prince[*]Beaded Black Hares Ear Nymph[*]Pink Worm[*]Peeking Caddis Larva[*]Sculpin[*]Cone Head Muddler[*]Alevin fly pattern[*]Hexagenia Nymph

The sky is the limit. The beauty of steelhead fishing, is you can cycle through an entire fly box and still not sniff a bite.

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Old 02-25-2016, 06:47 AM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Our last time up it was mostly bunny leeches and buggers.
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Old 02-25-2016, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: A question for Great Lakes Tribs Steelheaders

Our streams are wide open here in western NY, just high and muddy now. When they come down the fishing should be decent. We had a couple thaws this winter and when the streams came down the fishing was excellent. Some bright fresh fish entered, and we even saw spawning fish in February.

White crystal buggers, while not fancy or elegant, get the job done. You can dead drift them with great results, or swing them, which is very fun. As they say, "the tug is the drug."

Really any streamer pattern can work well, as well as egg patterns and nymphs.
Finding the fish and proper presentation are the keys.
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