Techniques for Steelhead
-N- Duck Fly Fishing
As for Fall & Winter Steelhead fishing in November
and December, I recommend a
8wt fly rod or a 10'
8wt fly rod. These longer fly
rods help for a longer drift allowing the angler feel
the steelhead pick-up. They also keep the line off
the water and allow for better mending and better
I recommend Orvis
Big Game IV or
Everglades. These reels
have an excellent drag and very fast line pick up.
Spool them with a running line, ex, Rio slick shooter
or 25lb Suffix mono (Neon Tangerine) thinner shooting
lines cut through the water and give you a very pronounced
tick.. tick as your weight drifts along the bottom.
I use a free sliding
snap swivel clipped to pencil lead, a clear bead,
and a barrel (crane) swivel with one end to butt (12lb)
section, the other end to the tippet. For optimal
drift, I recommend a 5 foot leader (8 or 10lb) from
lead to end fly, with and egg fly in the middle and
a dark nymph on the end. Also
For guide trips, you will need waders and polarized
sunglasses. All gear, tackle, flies (nominal cost)
and a grilled, shore lunch will be provided with all
As for flies, I recommend a large selection
of small egg flies in natural colors such as golden,
steelhead orange, oregon cheese, peach, and cream.
Tie them in size #8, and 10's tied on a Tiemco 105,
Black stoneflies in 8's and 10's, small hex nymphs,
and green caddis. Glo-bug egg flies in sizes #8 and
#10's, natural colors such as Golden, steelhead orange,
peach, Oregon cheese, baby blue, soft yellow. Hex
Nymphs, nuke eggs, dark center, light halo. ......................
Stone flies, hex nymphs, soft hackles, green caddis
rock worm. I
always carry a large selection of egg flies during
fall, winter, and spring for Steelhead and resident
Patterns for Steelhead:
prefered method for Fall and Winter Steelhead is fishing
floats and spawn. Fishing floats
and spawn is a fast-paced style of steelhead fishing.
We fish quickly and cover miles of river in a day,
usually producing lots of hook-ups and many steelhead
landed. We prefer to fish specialized G. Loomis 11'
3" float rods. Loomis rods are available for
your use on guided trips. These longer rods allow
the angler a longer drift and a stronger hook set.
We also use Cabela Prodigy spinning reels or center-pins
reels spooled with 10 lb hi-vis monofilment. These
smooth reels allow for long casts and a smooth drag
system to fight big fish.. Floats for steelhead vary
greatly depending on water levels and conditions.
We generally use the orange/black Thill steelhead
floats. They seem to work best for the Muskegon and
Big Manistee Rivers. Smaller floats styles are available
for the White and Pere Marquette rivers. All gear
is provided for you. We have the spawn tied, cured,
and ready to fish!