Big fly theory

Their are so my ideas in the subject of fly selection for the pastime of chasing steelhead. And I am going to say right now that I don’t have all the answers I just go fishing a lot. So the theories I am about to present are strictly observation. I have run these ideas by other steelhead fishermen in my circle of fishing friends. The overall consensus is the same regardless of the color or make of the fly.
The idea is simple, the larger the fly you fish may not catch as many fish. The large fly is a way to filter the non aggressive fish from the equation. The addiction we all share is the grab, the take, or pull. Fishing larger flies, and I mean larger anywhere from 5 to 10 inches, is a sure fire way to provoke the most electric takes you can possibly extract from swung fly steelhead tactics.
I tested the fly size theory in depth for about 8 solid months. Now and then when I really need the rip the rod from your hands kinda take I will fish intruders in about the 8 ” range. The size of the fish did not seen to change I once caught a 22′ long Deschutes summer steelhead in late November on a 10″ long blood red tandem tube style fly.
I will leave you now with this thought, when the rivers treat you good or maybe you need something to inspire in a slow season give the large fly a try, rod lost or breakage not my fault but have some fun and fish clean with confidence.

A great phrase for the true WINTER steelheader

When I get stuck somewhere or sometimes and can’t escape. I often read something on the subject that helps my mind keep it peace. The simple mention of winter steelhead to some people make them instantly cold, to others it gives goose bumps of another kind. When in pursuit of a not only the most worthy but seemingly elusive opponent. I often think of the following passage to keep myself in check.

“When the first real rains of winter roil the streams in the coast country the steelhead, out at sea, hear their own rivers calling. And they have to come in. You may depend on it. They have to swim above the gravel again and under the cedars and firs. That is the law as it was appointed for steelheads. So we fisherman, if may style myself by a name so honorably ancient, are almost excited about a real steelhead rain as the steelhead are. And we have to go too.”

Ben Hur Lampman. A leaf from french eddy.


Even the little ones have their place

Today I was out on the river with everyone else it seemed. The rising river and hostile weather could not keep me off the river. Since all the fish I had laid hands on this year seemed on the large size. It came as a real reality check when in the same piece of water that I caught a potential 20 pounder, I caught the smallest winter steelhead I have ever landed.
I am not a size guy any way, when it comes to steelhead. So with this in mind I suggest reading and rereading the diversity blog( in the December archives).
The fish was everything anybody could ask out of a steelhead. She jumped 10 or 12 times, pulled about as much line as any 5 lb. steelhead could. All and all a wonderful day spent in the best water I could fish. Just a heads up I have landed 7 of the last 8 fish still have the same fly on…. Take it for what it is.