The North American Fly Fishing Forum

The North American Fly Fishing Forum (
-   Coldwater Fly Fishing (
-   -   Thin Water Steelhead (

morphius 04-19-2009 05:52 PM

Thin Water Steelhead
I have a conundrum. There are close to 50 fish in a pool that is very shallow and you cannot cast into them because they are so spooky. The water is in the mid 40's and do not know what to do with them. Any tips would be great.

jdorsey61 04-19-2009 06:50 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
I would try to get in position upstream of the pool, drop my fly at my feet, and drift it (unweighted with a floating line) to them.

Ard 04-20-2009 01:28 AM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead

Originally Posted by morphius (Post 57179)
I have a conundrum. There are close to 50 fish in a pool that is very shallow and you cannot cast into them because they are so spooky. The water is in the mid 40's and do not know what to do with them. Any tips would be great.

Be there tomorrow before daylight. Wade in slowly and quietly as soon as you can see at all, than as it becomes light enough to begin to see fish put the fly on the perimeter of the group of fish near you. Do not swing a fly through the entire group, work the edge and one will take it for you.

How do I know? As they say, been there, done it. Some times I will be on my favorite water before light and have stood for hours in driving wind and rain waiting for a run of fish. Other times as it gets light I find them already there.

HuronRiverDan 04-20-2009 09:54 AM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
What Hardy said and...Go small natural color flies. I would fish my standard two fly presentation, small egg fly with a small stone or caddis as the point fly. Start with 4x flouro and if you use an indicator, set it so the flies are just above the bottom; you want the flies riding at eye level on the steelies...


burk48237 04-20-2009 05:02 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
All the advice that has been given here is excellent. I would add one other piece of advice if possible. Ignore them, most of those fish milling around in that pool are not feeders. Your chances of getting good hook ups go up considerably if you find fish in moving water. And it is amazing how many Lake Erie fish will sit in "nothing" water, little pockets of fast water where a boulder or log or dark water provides them with cover. These fish are not only far more aggressive and more likely to strike, they are far less picky because they have less time to examine a fly then a fish sitting in a slow current pool.

Ard 04-20-2009 07:07 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
That's a good point burk, if they have been around for a few weeks they've had enough by now. Finding some fresh fish may be the answer.

dryflywaters 04-20-2009 09:11 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
I agree - I have found that steelhead and salmon that are pooled together in slower water won't take a fly. It is better to find a good feeding position and go at thise fish.

However - it is damn dificult to pass by a pool holding tons of fish. Almost impossible!

Ard 04-20-2009 09:38 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
Regarding pooled fish,

What you are saying is generally true, although, my original answer was based on an experience with silver salmon here at home. The fish were holding in an eddy and about thirty or so strong. I could see that there were some bright fish amongst the pack but the older ones were too spooky to deal with. Therefore I showed up the next morning before light and as it became light enough to see I was able to pick two of them off in short order with a Black & Red.

I went back every morning for a week and took two fresh fish out of that eddy (two silvers is the daily limit here) and after that most of the fish were turned too much to keep.

GeorgeMcFly 04-20-2009 11:21 PM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
never seen spooky steel in my town. you can almost step on the ones around here. I wear camo tho. try wearing camo and walking very slowly and stay low if possible. get up stream of them and try swings some clouser minnows into um so the clouser swings about 6 inches in front of there face.. if they are anything like the steelies around my town they will chase it down out of aggression. try red/white to trigger agression. if very spooky grey/white. if that don't work they want small stuff. so don't be afraid to use a single glo egg. if its really shallow just try a single glo egg in a natural color like oregon cheese or egg or peach or something and drift it through there pod without any indicator or weight whatsoever. if ya need some weight to get down add a small shot on it. somedays the fish will crush single eggs. every few casts can lead to a fish. but if drifted right in a fishes path instead a a few inches away from its face can lead to a couple foul hookings tho so be careful with it. it does work tho! small nymphs work too!

HuronRiverDan 04-21-2009 08:10 AM

Re: Thin Water Steelhead
Burke, I agree with you to a point, Steelies do love those little pockets that a lot of people walk by, but if I have fish in a pool I will fish them. If they are new fish, they will take the fly, and yes in that slow water they will give it the eyeball, a very critical eye. When I fish those conditions I mentioned, I believe starting with 4x, I may go to 5x or lengthen my tippet and go a size smaller on my fly choices. Just my $0.02 worth.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO v2.0.40 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
2005-2017 The North American Fly Fishing Forum. All rights reserved.