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Old 09-29-2003, 08:40 PM
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Question winter steelhead flies?

i am still learning new steelhead flies and want to try to fish for steelies this winter but i have a very small selection of flies mostly eggs any help will be appreciated
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Old 09-30-2003, 12:07 AM
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Sean

There are some excellent books out now on steelhead flytying. You could start with the bible " steelhead flyfishing" by Trey Combs which has quite a few patterns to choose from. or you could go to Kent Helvies book which I cant remember the name of but is excellent, and features some of the best in the world. Or you could take a look at my personal favorite "spey flies & Dee flies" for salmon and steelhead by John Shewey, which gives some history to some of the old patterns that are still very effective today. If you do a little research I think you will find a huge resource to work from.


Brian
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Old 09-30-2003, 07:15 PM
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thanks i'll see if i can pick one of those books up at the nearest flyshop
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Old 09-30-2003, 09:08 PM
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Sean,

I recommend you get either Helvie's book "Steelhead Fly Tying Guide" or Combs book "Steelhead Fly Fishing" before you get a style specific book like Shewey's "Spey Flies and Dee Flies". Both Helvie and Combs provide pattern recipes for all types of steelhead flies, which makes them a better choice for someone new to steelhead flies. Also, the Helvie book provides tying sequence photos and directions for the major types of steelhead fly styles, which would be of value to anyone knew to steelhead flies.

Another possibility is "Flies for Steelhead" by Allen.
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Old 10-28-2003, 08:01 AM
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My Two Cents

Hey Sean,

While it's out-of-print, yet still inexpensive, a great book for learning the fundamentals of dressing Steelhead patterns is the "Steelhead Fly Tying Manual" by Tom Light & Neal Humphrey. It contains a great assortment of easy to understand step-by-step (B/W Photo) tying sequences of most of the NW 'classics' and a great Rx appendix.

While the tying in the book is somewhat 'dated' it still serves as a pretty good primer - especially if your goal is to tie 'fishing' (not presentation quality) flies for Steelhead.

Igor
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Old 10-29-2003, 02:27 PM
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GL Steelhead Patterns

Best advice I can give is to get a copy of "Steelhead Dreams" by Matt Supinski. It is writen about the Great Lakes fishery. Color plates and recipes are shown. The other books are too traditional - trib fish like different - and smaller - flies.

BobK
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Old 10-29-2003, 05:32 PM
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thanks for your input
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Old 10-30-2003, 08:34 AM
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Igor-

Is that book more regionally oriented - PNW ?
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Old 10-30-2003, 09:07 AM
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Re: GL Steelhead Patterns

I'd argue that it's not the fish's preference but the conditions under which the GL fish are sought, cold hard midwest winter verses springtime in the cascades and olympics. That and the fact that trib fishermen like different and smaller flies, which is often of equal influence in popularization of flies.

Your thoughts on that philosophy?

Quote:
Originally posted by BobK
Best advice I can give is to get a copy of "Steelhead Dreams" by Matt Supinski. It is writen about the Great Lakes fishery. Color plates and recipes are shown. The other books are too traditional - trib fish like different - and smaller - flies.

BobK
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Old 10-30-2003, 02:29 PM
t_richerzhagen t_richerzhagen is offline
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Clear PNW rivers

There are times that the NW rivers need small flies too. The Snake and Clearwater have a number of fishermen that use quite small flies. We don't all use "shock and awe" of the Intruder.
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Old 10-30-2003, 06:55 PM
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Re: Re: GL Steelhead Patterns

Quote:
Originally posted by juro
I'd argue that it's not the fish's preference but the conditions under which the GL fish are sought, cold hard midwest winter verses springtime in the cascades and olympics. That and the fact that trib fishermen like different and smaller flies, which is often of equal influence in popularization of flies.

Your thoughts on that philosophy?
i grew up fishing for bass then went to fly fishing. i have come to belive that bass at least have become familiarized with many of the lures and techniques that are most populars. That is why i beive smaller is better. EXCEPT fo lines i use the biggest i can get away with
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Old 10-31-2003, 12:32 AM
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Juro

I did alot of GL fishing when I was married. My ex worked for NW airlines, so flew back to see friends in Michigan and Ohio alot. So did some fishing. Will say this.

I used to bring my flyboxes for steelhead here. Mind you, this was pre internet. I was told by phone to bring my steelhead gear and flies to use when I showed up since fish were running. I had a virtually skunked trip using my NW gear. But, did some borrowing of local flies and started catching immediately. I had my OlyPen flies. Lots tied up on 1/0's and the likes. Some smaller, but no smaller then a size 2 with me (since it was winter time). I thoroughly worked my flies. So wasn't holding back and was fishing with confidence. But, no luck at all until I switched to smaller flies. BUT, the rivers were nearly at our summer conditions when I fished there.
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Old 10-31-2003, 07:40 AM
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Steelheader hit the nail on the head...

The food sources in the Great Lakes and tribs are different than the PNW. Yes, we can learn a lot from our PNW brethern, but for a learning procedure, if you are a GL fisherman, do as the successful fishermen do in the specific area...... it works. That's the BEST advice I can give.

Also, stream conditions are smaller, shallower streams.

Don't fight it, guys - do what catches fish.

BobK
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Old 11-05-2003, 08:42 AM
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Hey DFix,

Yeah, the Light & Humphey book does have a PNW 'slant', though several of the featured patterns have some Atlantic roots - such as the Blue Charm, Jock Scott, et al.

As a beginning tyer, the appeal of the book for me was it's detailed step-by-step tying instructions - many of which 'cross-over' to other patterns you'll eventually tie.

Like I said, it's a bit dated...but old is sometimes good! (grin)

Igor
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Old 11-05-2003, 07:25 PM
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The great lakes offer many oppourtunities to succesfully take steelhead, with traditional west coast steelheading flies and techniques and there are more guys than you think out there doing just that. Sure if you want to get after these fish under the crowded conditions in skinny water you are likely going to have to go to the light tippet small nymph/egg route to maximize sucess, but I would argue that this is no different than anywhere else that you will find steelhead. I have personally landed Great Lakes steelhead on skated dry flies and routinely take fish on 4 inch leech tube patterns. To sterotype a region the size of the great lakes by saying that small flies are the best option for every situtation is silly. Steelhead are steelhead and the west coast fish on some rivers see as many (if not more) real salmon eggs and aquatic insects floating by them as anyGreat lakes fish does. It's not like a 15lb fish leaves the big water and it's abundant baitfish to feed on salmon eggs and scuds anyway. They are in the rivers because they are programmed to be there. The absolute key to getting these fish with traditional flies is to fish the right conditions...and they exist. Heck we have had steel in many of our rivers for weeks and the water temps in most streams haven't even approached the 40's yet. Mid Feb with air temps in the teens and anchor ice in the river...yeah leave the two hander home but this time of year there is no need to chuck and duck unless you choose to. You may not get your double digit days but we have a big problem with inflated expectations out here anyway. But thats another story.

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