Yeah I fish them. The last Steelhead I caught on the SR in NY....was on a Lady Caroline I tied. They all will work given the right conditions....i can't say I've caught a fish on every single fly..... that would be a heck of alot of fish. I'm at over 500+ different Salmon/Steelhead patterns that I've posted on here now over the past 3+ years. Thousands when you throw in the various color combinations that are possible. I've sold a few....given a bunch away....the rest wait for the next trip. Hopefully mid-November. Maybe a suicide run on a long weekend for Kings and Cohos in the next couple weeks. We'll see.
I fished Egg Sucking Leeches and Black Kauffman Stoneflies for decades. If I had only two flies to fish.....those would be it. But I got bored. I wanted to expand my tying and go down a rabbit hole of fancier flies on a two handed rod. They're not easy....but you've seen my progression in this process. Will I get bored and fizzle out? Perhaps. I haven't yet.....I post now more than I ever have and they're some of the best yet quality wise. I don't do presentation quality stuff. These flies aren't meant for a shadow box or museum. Honestly......I don't consider myself at mastery level. But they're fun to tie, look cool in my box and I can be confident they're going to swim right and get eaten.
The crummy thing about all of this is.......these flies are designed to catch a fish that is soon to be on the endangered species list. I'm 20 years too late to see the hey day on the West Coast for Steelhead. Very sad that we are witnessing the loving of an animal to death right before our eyes. Noone is willing to take action as to not cause waves, lose jobs, how important are they really, it's a fish, there are starving kids in our cities and you want to worry about a fish? Yeah I do.
The good thing for all of us as Steelheaders......is at least we still have the Great Lakes. It may very well be what saves the fish on the West coast one day.
Thanks. I'm next to NJ in central (north/south) part of the state in what is called the ABE area. Originally from Bradford County just south of the NY/PA line south od Elmira, NY. Much better fishing up there. So bad here that I quit fishing for 23 years after moving to this area. Hoping fly fishing will get me out more.