How often do you gill hook steelhead? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: How often do you gill hook steelhead?

03-14-2006, 12:24 PM
I was talking to Kerry about this last weekend. Today I hit the river and landed a steelhead who just swallowed my egg pattern before I had a chance to feel it grab. It wasn't swallowed, just on the side of the back of the tounge and there was some blood leaking from the gills. I cut the fly off and left it there. I know with stab-wounds you are supposed to leave the object in you to prevent bleeding, so I figure the hook may stop the bleeding for a while before it clots, then would fall out later (barbless #4 hook). The fish swam away fine but I hate the feeling that the fish may possible be floating downstream :( . I was wondering how often this happens to you guys and if there are ways to prevent it. I have had this happen fly fishing trout and fishing bait for steelhead, but never fly fishing steelhead.

03-14-2006, 12:29 PM
I never fish egg patterns, that never seems to happen to me. Maybe theres a connection...

03-14-2006, 02:22 PM
I have used egg patterns, as well as other flies cast upstream and fished slack on the drift, but I haven't had a fish swallow the fly to this extent. When I used to fish corkies and yarn, I never had a fish swallow one of those rigs either.

I suspect this may have been a fluke. Sometimes a flish will swallow something inedible, and, instead of expelling the foreign object out of its mouth, it will pump it out through its gill openings. Maybe this happened in your case.



03-16-2006, 01:09 PM
I've only had it happen a couple of times over many years. The common 'thread' was the fly (trailer) was a size 12 or 14 'bug pattern.' Suspect the fish just thought it was food and 'self hooked' itself.