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Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

Joined:
2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 1228
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Quote:

StarvinMarvin wrote:
1/2" thingamabobbers in white are all I will ever use steelhead fishing unless I am fishing turbulent water such as waterfalls. Furled leaders also won't kink with a thingamabobber and moving them is so easy. They are my favorite for steelhead fishing.


Good point about the furled leaders!

I tie all of my own fluorocarbon leaders and have not had a problem with getting kinks in them from Thingamabobbers. That being said, I'm using them in the heavy upper sections when dead-drifting deep moving water. I tend to high-stick nymph or swing shallower runs. So, if you are placing them on the lower diameter part of the leader, that indeed would kink them up.

I would like to say I only use 1/2" Thingamabobbers, but, as stated early, sometimes in heavy flow or right at sunrise....Mr McGoo here needs a 3/4" just to see the thing Nonetheless, it would be fair to say fish have to be able to see those things coming in gin clear water.

Posted on: 2013/10/30 14:30
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Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2012/2/15 16:35
From Butler, Pa
Posts: 552
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Even on the small taper of furled leaders (blue sky) I haven't gotten a kink but in small runs, I will just remove the thingamabobber and just high stick em. I cant wait for this weeks rain though, blow em all out.

Posted on: 2013/10/30 15:13


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
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Quote:

StarvinMarvin wrote:
I cant wait for this weeks rain though, blow em all out.


AMEN!

Posted on: 2013/10/30 15:36
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"You don't need 7x. All right, 7x...now you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
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a small clear bubble float with the top painted orange, would be a good compromise between stealth and my fading vision imho.

carp anglers use them in the UK for 'hair rigs' in clear water.

Posted on: 2013/10/30 16:22
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Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Fished today on Walnut. Definitely low and clear but weather was beautiful. I broke most low and clear rules: I arrived late (9am), I fished big flies, I fished a short leader (because I hooked many trees and ripped off a number of fish, and I discovered that my extra leader packs were empty!), and I fished 3X. The parking lot was not full; I always hope that somehow on a given day that maybe everyone has to work and I'll luck out and tie into a mess of fish. But no crowds usually means the stream is unfishable or the fish quantities aren't super high and the latter was today. I took my fly rod for a walk upstream and saw a total of six fish from the Manchester falls to the train track tubes. I ended up landing three, losing an equal or slightly higher number and losing an abnormally high number of flies. I caught them on a size 8 weighted stonefly and lost three of these flies to fish, on a Crazy Charlie, which also drew some interest, and...on a mouse! I've always wanted to catch a steelhead on a dry - maybe that counts? This particular fish showed interest on my first three casts and on the fourth, I watched the inside of his big white mouth open as he lunged and took the mouse. Ranks up there with my most memorable steelhead moments. Fish also showed some interest in a black leech fly. Saw one brown creeled and a handful more in the stream. Was glad for glasses as the same guy got me three times with his back cast..and he was ten yards downstream. Still, it was not the circus that Manchester usually is, and the steelhead on the mouse makes the trip worthwhile. Leaves did not hatch as much as expected, although a few did come off later in the day. Not sure how tomorrow will work out; might try Elk.

Posted on: 2013/10/30 20:03


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2011/5/9 15:37
From Ohio
Posts: 1041
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A steelhead on a mouse....that's awesome!!

Hmm....starting to think more about that swimming chipmunk I witnessed a couple weeks ago.. All of the fish I've heard of caught on top this year(various dries) have been more reaction strikes than the fish actually feeding. Next time I'm up I'm definitely going to bring a few surface flies to experiment with!

Posted on: 2013/10/30 22:13


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 17595
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Quote:

streamerguy wrote:
A steelhead on a mouse....that's awesome!!

Hmm....starting to think more about that swimming chipmunk I witnessed a couple weeks ago.. All of the fish I've heard of caught on top this year(various dries) have been more reaction strikes than the fish actually feeding. Next time I'm up I'm definitely going to bring a few surface flies to experiment with!


I'd venture to guess that the majority of steelhead hooked are either reaction strikes or lined (or flossed) inadvertently or otherwise.

Post spawn fish excluded.

I could be wrong, but I am entitled to that opinion, especially when it comes to the larger ones that are on a spawning run. They are not in there to feed I don't have time to explain my reasoning any further than that, but it could be an interesting discussion. Sorry.

Posted on: 2013/10/31 6:34
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Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
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That's why there are waking flies tied and fished. steelhead are trout and will rise just not that often in cold water. riffling hitch and swinging the fly across stream brings savage strikes at times.

Posted on: 2013/10/31 6:36
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Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 1228
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Quote:

FarmerDave wrote:


I'd venture to guess that the majority of steelhead hooked are either reaction strikes or lined (or flossed) inadvertently or otherwise.

Post spawn fish excluded.

I could be wrong, but I am entitled to that opinion, especially when it comes to the larger ones that are on a spawning run. They are not in there to feed I don't have time to explain my reasoning any further than that, but it could be an interesting discussion. Sorry.


You are wrong, but yes, entitled to your opinion. These fish are on a spawning run and position themselves in the creek accordingly, but they also stay in that creek for up to 6 months at a time and return to the ocean/lake at some point. A long time to go without a meal. While it would be a fair argument to say they are likely reaction strikes when you are fishing in front or redds and super easy to line them fishing through redds. But if you ever watch a steelhead hit a streamer on the swing, you'll have a different opinion. He will follow that streamer across the stream before he hammers it. Reaction? A lot of effort for a reaction.

And, as for nymphing...why would a huge steelhead care to react to a #14 nymph. It's not like they are small biting flies annoying the crap out of him. Steelhead munch on eggs and nymphs in the flows all of the time.

I'll have to dig it up, but last year a study came out that showed even migrating salmon eat throughout the run and essentially concluded that the salmon that ate more during the run were fit to pass on more genetics longer than the salmon that were not eating consuming as much.

Now, do folks line steelhead and salmon? Heck yes! But that is a terrible reason to conclude that they don't eat and that everyone that fishes for steelhead and salmon line them. Old data may have suggested that to be true, but the new data says otherwise.

So, as I always say, if you can't catch steelhead...that does not mean everyone else that can is doing it wrong. That means you need to take your game to the next level and learn more about the fish. If you just don't want to take the time to do that, well , that's cool. But again, it doesn't make the guys whom have taken the time to sort it out a bunch of flossers. It's really hard to floss anything on the swing....I catch a bunch of them that way. Conditions dictated we fish the way we did the other day. I hate fishing that way. If you'll recall I suggested we fish one of the Ohio tribs with flow and color. That's exactly why. I want to fish for active moving fish, not stand and stare at steelhead swimming in circles. Yet, even in that situation, active fish can be found in fast deep runs. The key is always knowing where to find the feeding fish for the conditions of the day. And there are feeding fish, but not all of them are feeding all of the time.

Posted on: 2013/10/31 8:05
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"You don't need 7x. All right, 7x...now you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 12923
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I gotta think they feed.

As was said, they'll chase streamers, even occasionally take a dry. These fish down here won't hit, but these ones up here are nailing it every dang cast. Oh, and they ignored this fly, but when I switched to this one, I can't keep em off the hook. I've had them take hooks deep before as well.

I mean, that COULD all be reaction. But if it is, then an awful lot of regular trout are eating my flies out of reaction too, cause there ain't that much of a difference in how they act. You could argue that all trout typically feed based on reaction, which I may agree with somewhat. I mean, they have a brain the size of a pea. I'd call it conditioned reaction. "There's a bit, taste it, blah, spit it out, spit it out! There's another bit, grab it, mmmm, that one was good. Hey, another bit....."

Posted on: 2013/10/31 9:07


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
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Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
You could argue that all trout typically feed based on reaction, which I may agree with somewhat. I mean, they have a brain the size of a pea. I'd call it conditioned reaction. "There's a bit, taste it, blah, spit it out, spit it out! There's another bit, grab it, mmmm, that one was good. Hey, another bit....."


Agree...we all feed on a reaction basis. Some of those reactions are more complex than others. But, even with my pea-brain....if an orange Reece's Pieces comes floating by....I'm hitting it

Posted on: 2013/10/31 9:13
_________________
"You don't need 7x. All right, 7x...now you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

Joined:
2012/9/4 10:44
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 42
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I got out on Elk yesterday and it was as expected low and clear. I had to walk a long ways but I found a really sweet little streamside run that held a large pod of some of the biggest fish I have seen.

The fish yesterday were spooky but the slot into the run gave just enough of a riffle that I could fish it effectively and not spook the fish by casting. I did have to get rid of my strike indicator and like some of the posters above switch to trout nymphs.

Once I did that I cleaned my box out catching fish and losing the flys with break offs on the fish and in the bushes. Bringing a steelie to hand with on a number 14 pheasant tail is a new challenge. I hooked a dozen (complete transparancy: two were foul hooked) and landed three. A number were clean spits of the hook and I broke a couple off. The positive side is the first fish I caught had to be close to 15 lbs and was the first fish in 20 years of fly fishing (although only 2 steelheading) that ran me well into my backing. By far the largest fresh water fish I have ever caught.

In the spirit of our recent grip and grin debate it took a long time to bring this fish to net so I elected to get the healthy and clean release versus the posterity shot.

I also saw a monster lake run brown exit the water chasing an emerger and a few risers. I took a stab on the dry flies but didnt get any takers.

The best part is I found this area arounda bend about 200 yards from one of the typical Elk Creek huddle holes and I couldnt see another soul in either direction.

Fun day....


Posted on: 2013/10/31 10:22


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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From NE OH
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^^^AWESOME POST!!!

Posted on: 2013/10/31 10:27
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"You don't need 7x. All right, 7x...now you're just being stupid. That's ridiculous. You know what else...throw away the 6x, because that's garbage too." -Hank Patterson


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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Pat, of course I have experienced (and seen) steelhead strike hit a streamer on the swing. I can even do one better than that. I once caught a fresh steelhead above Vrooman Rd on the Grand on a large jointed rebel minnow. It's a floating plug with small lib, so it was just under the surface. I saw the wake coming from the other side of the pool like a torpedo.

Verdict is still out whether that was a feeding strike, or I just pissed her off, but being that fresh... I'll go with feeding.

Sure they sometimes feed. I didn't say they didn't. But if you read my earlier post as written, it is hard to deny. If only a few people fished for them, then maybe I'd feel differently, but...

And BTW, I don't normally fish for steelhead with bass equipment, but that day it was all that I had in my truck and I fond myself near a stream and ...

And Pat, I clearly did not say all, I only said majority which technically would be anything greater than half plus 1. And we both know there are a lot of fish lined both on purpose and not.

And if you don't think you are accidentally flossing fish from time to time, next time you are out, pay attention which side of the mouth the hook is in. The first one you caught on Saturday was in fact flossed. The hook was on the far side of the mouth. I watched you, unhook it but decided not to bust your balls about it. At least not then. Shame on you.

Posted on: 2013/10/31 10:34
_________________
There are certain pursuits which, if not wholly poetic and true, do at least suggest a nobler and finer relation to nature than we know. The keeping of bees, for instance." -Henry David Thoreau--


Re: Steelhead 2013-2014 Thread

Joined:
2011/4/12 20:57
From Warriors Mark, PA
Posts: 154
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I'm not an expert or science guy, but I would also think that fishing pressure, and the current habit, may have something to do with the motivation for striking a fly.

Case in point, in addition to fly fishing, I fish bass tournaments. In the spring, they spawn. If I cast a plastic lizard near a bed with a spawned female on it, she we will likely strike it out of defense, not necessarily out of hunger, in fact, sometimes they will just push it off the bed before I can even set a hook on them. Also, I've heard that sometimes fish will hit something unfamiliar just to see what it is.

Now, take Manchester hole, choked with fish, and massive amounts of anglers casting to them day in and day out, and the fish have very few places to hide. Being so skittish, the only defense they really have is to shut down and not eat anything, and avoid everything drifted in front of them like the plague. But, that of course isn't going to keep anglers from continuing throwing every fly in the box at them. However, if you cast to a fish many times, eventually you can get it to strike. I've heard the theory that this happens because the fish strikes out of frustration, and may just want the fly to leave it alone. This seems somewhat plausable to me.

However, I would not consider it to be much of a reaction strike if the fish follows the fly for a few feet before taking it, as was the case for the fish that took the mouse. To me, a reaction strike would be more of the fish whacking the fly the second it sees it, or the second it hits the water, sort of an impulse. For example, last time I was up, was fishing a pod with one other guy. Was doing pretty well, however, there was one fish I continued to observe. About every ten minutes, it would come up and gulp on the surface, as if taking an emerger. Saw some fish moving up and settling in the lower section of the pool, so decided to toss my glo bug into the pod. Sure enough, this same fly twice came up and whacked my orange indicator, almost as soon as it hit the water. I remember reading somewhere the theory that this could be an instinct reaction of the fish, installed by the pellets they are fed in the hatchery.

Again, I could be wrong, not saying I'm an expert on the philosophy of a steelhead's behavior, just some reasonable theories. Not knocking anyone's catch. In the end, if you manage to have a trophy fish take your fly, and land it, who cares why it hit.

Posted on: 2013/10/31 10:48
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