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Steelhead flies

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6528
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The time is coming up sooner than we all expected. I think we're all in a daze from this cooler weather, not expecting fall and the steelhead run to be just around the corner. I started tying up some egg patterns yesterday to get ready for the season. I have fished for steelhead for 2 years now and will probably go up more this year than last. I go through flies a bit quicker up there so want to be prepared this year by probably having atleast 100 flies just for steelhead. Just wanted to start a thread of favorite steelhead flies so that the boardmembers who are interested in going for chrome this year know what to use.


My favorites-

Single egg yarn flies in sizes 18, 14 and 10... 10 being my most productive.
Colors - Yellow with salmon dot, blue with pink dot (call it my cotton candy fly), all salmon, blood red with salmon dot.... all in order of production.

Sucker spawn
Chrystal meth in white pink and blue
Yarn in cream with some yarn I stole from my wife.

Nymphs
lots of fish on weighted bead head prince nymphs
occasionally a black stone fly


Streamers and buggers
White marabou streamer, and black or brown bugger.



I usually use a tandem egg and egg or egg and prince. When I figure out what they're keying on I'll just use 1 fly just to reduce the loss of flies when I tear one off. Especially when the streams are low you get too many foul hooks with a tandem. It's a blast and can't wait for the season to come in!



Ryan

Posted on: 2009/7/28 11:13
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Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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Black stoneflies with blue, orange, red, yellow, or chartreuse ice dub for a thorax work well too.

Posted on: 2009/7/28 11:21


Re: Steelhead flies
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Joined:
2006/9/9 9:29
From Monessen, PA
Posts: 22587
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I am planning on tying clousers in sizes 6-10 to look like emerald shiners. Other than that, I will use a lot of eggs, sucker spawn and singles. I also like to take some white maribou and partially envelope my single eggs with a sparse trailing tail to look like a milt-covered egg.

Kind of like this:

Resized Image

I tie the maribou in the front of the finished egg with the ends out over the eye, then pull it back and around the egg, tying it down again on the back side, then leaving a small trailer of maribou. Sometimes a pink egg won't get a strike, but a pink one with milt will. Go figure.

Posted on: 2009/7/28 11:43
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Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2007/7/26 7:29
From Westmoreland Co
Posts: 432
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I always catch a bunch on humpback stonefly's with some egg pattern dropper. Last few years fish have just been loving a peach colored sucker spawn. And one of my favorite things to do is to swing streamers for early season fresh run steel. When they hit they'll nearly rip the rod from your hands.

I can't wait. But the precursor of "Kings" is on my mind first.

Posted on: 2009/7/28 12:14
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Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 880
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In high dirty water, don't discount the value of a very large eyed egg fly. I'm talking something you might tie on a size 6 wet fly hook.

Actually, a better name for these is probably mushroom flies as that is what they look like once tied. You just lash in thick sections of glow bug yarn (for example, chart/red/chart or orange/red/orange) perpendicular to the hook shank, then pull them all up above the shank and cut it off at about 5/8 to 3/4 of an inch in length.

When properly tied, the top of the shroom is about 1.5 to 2 inches in diameter.

Put 4 BB shot in front of them ( or however many you need to get them down) and dump them in the pockets and slower sections along the banks and off the main current tongues.

They work pretty well and extent your fishing time in water conditions where most everybody else has gone to the Girard Diner to wait for the mud to run out of the creek..

Posted on: 2009/7/28 15:55


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2009/7/25 22:17
Posts: 54
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STREAMERS!

You can't go wrong with a Woolly Bugger, or a emerald shiner imitation.. Then maybe a tandem, with a bugger chasing an egg.

Posted on: 2009/7/29 18:50


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2008/5/8 23:15
From Stevens
Posts: 73
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Black Stone flies, BHPT's, Olive/Black Beaded Woolly Buggers and Crayfish are my go to patterns.
Weight plays a big role, always keep adding or subtracting and adjust the weight up and down till you find the sweet spot!

Posted on: 2009/7/29 20:43


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2009/6/21 20:48
From West Chester, PA
Posts: 111
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Big gawdy marabou's. I don't have any experience steelheading in the East, but back West they slay. Get your Gamakatsu hook, wrap with weight wire, tie in a nice steelhead marabou plume in a combo of pink/orange (my most productive color), yellow/red, pink/red, cartreuse/green (you get the idea, bright and big); hackle that sucker up to the front and tie off. In Idaho and Washington that has been my best fly, and usually on the swing.

A couple of years ago I met this homeless looking man on the Salmon in Idaho, and he had a walmart princess special baitchucker, and on the end he had a big ball of regular sewing yarn in a myriad of colors, with a single hook in the middle. This guy was catching more fish than anybody on the river. I struck up a chat with him, and he gave me the key to why he catches so much fish.

"You don't want to trick them or feed them, you want to piss them off."

For classic flies I really like the Trey Combs winter orange pattern. It's solid!

I don't know much about egg patterns. Like I said, I've only fished steelhead out West, and I never needed to use them.

This orange mess has done pretty well for me too!

Attach file:



jpg  Orange_Thing1.jpg (323.19 KB)
2648_4a71978d589fa.jpg 1600X1200 px

Posted on: 2009/7/30 8:48


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 877
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woah,i like that fly.i'm thinking really big colorful classic wets and big soft hackles.carrie specials and doc spratlelies,stuff like that.

i tye a winged wet similar to the orange one above,but with a quill wing instead of a hackle wing.maybe i'll try that in different colors.

Posted on: 2009/8/3 11:33


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1695
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When I first started fishing for Erie steel I bought the John Nagy book and fell for that crap about needing a bunch of different sizes and colors of everthing. The truth is, regardless of conditions I always get fish with the following:

Salmon, blue, orange and green scrambled egg style suckerspawn, #14

GRHE Nymph (with and without beads) #14

Black GRHE Nymphs (with and without beads) #14

Black or White Wooley Buggers #8 (Optional, could do without them)


By far the biggest component in catching steel in the Erie tribs is fishing over willing fish. That means fishing the faster water, smaller pockets and runs, AND STAYING THE HELL AWAY FROM ALL THE IDIOTS IN THE FROG WATER!!!!!!!! Fishing over a bunch of spooked fish in a shallow pond like pool is a waste of time. Yet the majority of the "anglers" on the ribs do just that for the entire day. I would rather fish over 10 fish in a small fast pocket than 50 fish in a slow pool.

Find fish in water that has current and depth, and you will hook fish as long as you get good drifts. Pattern is unimportant in comparison.

Kev

Posted on: 2009/8/3 17:53


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6528
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Quote:

PennKev wrote:
When I first started fishing for Erie steel I bought the John Nagy book and fell for that crap about needing a bunch of different sizes and colors of everthing. The truth is, regardless of conditions I always get fish with the following:

Salmon, blue, orange and green scrambled egg style suckerspawn, #14

GRHE Nymph (with and without beads) #14

Black GRHE Nymphs (with and without beads) #14

Black or White Wooley Buggers #8 (Optional, could do without them)


By far the biggest component in catching steel in the Erie tribs is fishing over willing fish. That means fishing the faster water, smaller pockets and runs, AND STAYING THE HELL AWAY FROM ALL THE IDIOTS IN THE FROG WATER!!!!!!!! Fishing over a bunch of spooked fish in a shallow pond like pool is a waste of time. Yet the majority of the "anglers" on the ribs do just that for the entire day. I would rather fish over 10 fish in a small fast pocket than 50 fish in a slow pool.

Find fish in water that has current and depth, and you will hook fish as long as you get good drifts. Pattern is unimportant in comparison.

Kev



Very good points Kev. I found that out half way through the season last year. My 2nd season catching steel and had a ball. Outfished everyone in my groups I went with every time. Sz 14 bead head princes and sz 10 or 14 single egg patterns were the key for me. Like you said, most important is getting willing fish. They mostly feed in the fast water, so that's where you need to presesnt it to them. As I said in another post, if you need to push the fish into the fast water to get them to feed, do it. They're used to moving and having people over top of them, might as well put them in a place where they're used to feeding. Sometimes they key on a specific color or pattern, but most often just keep it simple and present a good fly.

Tied up over 30 eggs over the weekend... that's a start.

Posted on: 2009/8/3 19:43
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Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2009/7/25 22:17
Posts: 54
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Really.. A Erie steelhead will eat anything with the correct presentation.

Minimize drag, and find out where the fish are in the water column, and you shouldn't have a good time hooking any..

With that being said.. I'm starting to love the soft hackles for steelhead. Don't have a favorite pattern, but am surprised at what some people have said about them.

Posted on: 2009/8/3 23:51


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2007/7/26 7:29
From Westmoreland Co
Posts: 432
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Penn Kev and Ry I agree that a good presentation is key but I've also fished Erie many times where the fish took one particular fly much more willingly than others. John Nagy I think is just helping with preparedness for whatever conditions you might encounter.

On an early season trip last October a friend and I had a tough time finding decent water because the streams were so low. We walked miles and miles and threw everything we had. It wasn't until we started fishing small (18's & 20's to be exact) that we were able to start hooking fish. In that whole day of fishing I saw one fair caught fish aside from the fish we had caught.

Conversely if you're there in high stained water big stuff is going to work much more effectively than standard size flies.

I, much like you, fish the same type and size flies and try to go when I know the conditions are favorable. But for the times I'm already there with adverse conditions, I like to be prepared.

Posted on: 2009/8/4 8:46
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Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2009/7/25 22:17
Posts: 54
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Fair enough SOTS.

Also.. I think it's always nice to remember to be creative with flies..

Think about what these fish see.. Eggs, SS, Woolly Buggers, etc.

Much of the same thing over.. and over..

Be creative, sometimes these fish strike aggressively to things they haven't seen before!

Posted on: 2009/8/4 18:07


Re: Steelhead flies

Joined:
2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
Posts: 531
Offline
Small, big, nymphs, streamers, even a dry.
Colors do make a difference as do shades and sparkle.
All will fool a Lake Runner as well a fisherman in a fly shop. Best advise: find the willing fish.
But, Hay I live up here and I fish way too much for them.
Tight lines for the 2009-10 run.
CRB


Posted on: 2009/8/4 18:53



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