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Steelheading

Joined:
2007/7/26 7:57
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 60
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I began fly fishing about a couple months ago. I go to college in Erie, PA and plan to do a lot of steelheading this year in the Lake Erie Tribs. Being new, I've spent a lot of time learning how to catch fish on dry flies, and have come quite comfortable with it. However, I'm not very sure what to do with anything sub-surface. From what I've gathered, most people use sucker spawn, glo-bugs, and egg patterns. Is a dead drift the best way to fish these?

I'm also not sure how to set up for sub-surface fishing. I'm used to noodle rodding with a float setting my fluro "leader" at a depth of 4-10 feet (depending on depth of water) and 3-4 BB's equally spaced down the length of my "leader" (depending on current). With this I would just dead drift and jig occasionally. I'm guessing whatever I use on a fly rod will have to get to the same depth. Any suggestions on line and leader setups for steelhead?

Also equipment... I just bought a #7 weight rod that is tip stiff. I was told the heavier weight would be needed to land these large fish.

Just want to see what some of you experienced anglers are doing for steelhead. Any advice at all is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


JB

Posted on: 2007/8/23 18:44


Re: Steelheading
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Quote:

jpb5002 wrote:
I began fly fishing about a couple months ago. I go to college in Erie, PA and plan to do a lot of steelheading this year in the Lake Erie Tribs. Being new, I've spent a lot of time learning how to catch fish on dry flies, and have come quite comfortable with it. However, I'm not very sure what to do with anything sub-surface. From what I've gathered, most people use sucker spawn, glo-bugs, and egg patterns. Is a dead drift the best way to fish these?


Yes, Also wolly buggers in colors and standard black, brown, white, green, olive, etc work well on the drift and twitched during clear conditions. Standard nymphs work well too try including some flash in the wing case or beads.

Quote:
I'm also not sure how to set up for sub-surface fishing. I'm used to noodle rodding with a float setting my fluro "leader" at a depth of 4-10 feet (depending on depth of water) and 3-4 BB's equally spaced down the length of my "leader" (depending on current). With this I would just dead drift and jig occasionally. I'm guessing whatever I use on a fly rod will have to get to the same depth.


Keep doing what yer doing except with the flyrod

Quote:

Any suggestions on line and leader setups for steelhead?


I use a stiff bass leader butt or rather old trout leaders (first four feet) then taper down with a 3 ft piece of 6-8# mono and then your fluoro. Except if the water has any coolor, I judt tie directly onto the mono. Break offs happen often and tippet is expensive especially the fluoro.

Quote:

Also equipment... I just bought a #7 weight rod that is tip stiff. I was told the heavier weight would be needed to land these large fish.


I use a 10' 6wt with a med-soft tip. With a stiff tip you will break off more fish on strong runs. especially fresh run fish. It is important to have a stiff butt section near the handle to turn the fish or move them when they hunker down. But when they move, the soft tip cushions the rapid runs.

If you find yourself breaking off more than half the fish you hook you may want to look at a softer tipped rod. I tend to horse them a little which is why I didn't like my stiff tip rod for the job.

Good luck on the tribs this year.

PS, bobbers are optional...but I prefer them.

Posted on: 2007/8/23 19:03
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Re: Steelheading
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I'm a poor steelhead angler even with several lessons from Maurice, but I use fast action rods on the Yough and there are some large, strong fish you hook now and then. If you don't want to invest in a new rod, I would recommend coaching yourself into immediately dropping the tip when the trout run-- and they will run unexpectedly, be prepared. Holding the rod tip high on a tip-flex is a recipe for disaster with those fish. They really seem to resent it that you have stung them with a hook.

Posted on: 2007/8/23 19:24
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Peace, Tony


Re: Steelheading

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2006/10/2 10:08
From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
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Start with 3X Fluoro leader or heavier mono as Maurice suggested if there is some color to the water. You can go down to 4X when the water gets clearer. Most folks tend to concentrate their efforts on the fish stacked up in the pools where they can see them lie. These fish will hold in faster water, and the ones that do are easier to catch. In faster water there are less problems with the fish getting leader shy.

Here's my son with a nice fish from last September.

Attach file:



jpg  MitchSteelhead2006-Reduced.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2007/8/23 22:17
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Re: Steelheading
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This topic is also being discussed over on the "General Forum" pages, as well! Some great advice, on both threads!

Posted on: 2007/8/23 22:59


Re: Steelheading

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i know i dont do it the way most do but i use 8 pd fluorocarbon about 8ft long then tie a egg pattern or sucker spawn then tie a 12in piece off the hook to a wooley bugger. i smoke them this way. never have a problem i go to 12 mile mostly and don't need to cast so i can just swing it and let it drift

Posted on: 2007/9/6 8:24


Re: Steelheading

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Ended up steelheading close to a dozen time from the beginning of October to the very end of December. Caught quite a few steelhead, mostly fresh. I had the most luck with small nymphs using very little weight (#6 split shot was probably the most weight I used all season). I also did well on wooley buggers. After I got used to fighting the fish, I didn't break many off at all. Now that I have some experience I know that I wouldn't want to fish for steelhead with a rod that wasn't tip flex. It felt good to have that backbone in the rod to slow the fresh fish down.
Jack and Maurice, I suggest you try the tip flex rod. It's not bad, like you made it out to be.

Posted on: 2008/1/26 10:34


Re: Steelheading
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I have a tip fles Trident 9' 7 wt. I use it for my back up rod to a home made 10' 6 wt. The tip has nothing to do with back bone. You don't trun fish with the tip. you do it with the butt.

Posted on: 2008/1/26 19:50
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Don't hit me with them negative waves so early in the morning. Think the bridge will be there and it will be there. It's a mother, beautiful bridge, and it's gonna be there. Ok?


Re: Steelheading
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I've caught (landed) over 100 steelhead with a Sage RPL 9' 8wt on the Salmon River near Pulaski. I used it because it was the only heavy fly rod I had. My hookup / landing ratio was usually better than than noodlers. Don't let the type of rod you have stop you from fishing. Yes, a tip action rod works just fine if you learn to handle it properly.

Posted on: 2008/1/27 9:01


Re: Steelheading

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2007/7/26 7:57
From Pittsburgh, PA
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It only seems logical to me that the faster your rod delivers resistance to the fish, the faster you will be able to slow him down. Maybe "backbone" is not the correct technical term. You can tell me I'm wrong about fishing terminology all day, but my point is simply this; I think you were wrong. It is not bad to fish with a tip flex rod for hard fighting/running fish. In my opinion, I think the opposite is true.

Posted on: 2008/1/28 12:20


Re: Steelheading

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http://www.orvis.com/intro.asp?subject=100

I guess I'm basically saying that for Orvis rods (which mine is), the tip flex models will result in a stronger butt section. I would assume the same for most rods, because it makes sense to me.

Posted on: 2008/1/28 12:30


Re: Steelheading
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I would like to note that neither Maurice nor myself stated that a tip-flex rod could not be used for steelheading. What I noted, and he did as well, is that softer action rods are better at protecting tippet, and for that matter rod tips. If you ask anyone who has extensive fly fishing experience with steelhead, they will tell you the same thing. It will surprise many experienced fly fishing steelhead anglers to learn that this time-tested precept has been debunked by a dozen trips you have taken with a tip-flex rod. Both rods I have used for steelheading are fast action, but if I purchased one specific for that purpose, I plan to make the mistake of buying a medium or soft action rod.

Posted on: 2008/1/28 12:40
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Peace, Tony


Re: Steelheading

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2007/7/26 7:57
From Pittsburgh, PA
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I would like to note that I said nothing about a tip flex rod protecting tippet better than a softer action rod.
All I was saying is that the tip flex rod is not as hard to use as you made it seem. I have used tippet as small as 5x with this rod and have not had a problem. You may prefer the softer action rod if you use a smaller tippet, or have weak knots.
I have talked to several experienced fly fishing steelhead anglers, and they have all said that the tip flex rod is a better tool for the job.

Posted on: 2008/1/28 15:39


Re: Steelheading

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I wonder what all those noodle rod guys would think of that suggestion?

Posted on: 2008/1/28 15:56


Re: Steelheading

Joined:
2007/7/26 7:57
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 60
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From what I've heard noodle rods work very well. But, I highly doubt fishing with one would be as enjoyable. I guess it's all a matter of opinion though.

Posted on: 2008/1/30 11:36






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