The Question Lingers, Loop or No Loop When a Steelhead Takes?

This angler is holding proper hooking position.

This angler is holding proper hooking position.

We are now in the heart of the summer Steelhead season and time and days are flying past and starting to run together. Sometime while I am guiding away or rowing the boat I try to think of topics to write about. Loop or No Loop seemed like a good one just based on how many times I have been asked this year.  The real question is what should I really do when a Steelhead takes my fly. That question seems easy, but there are a lot of variables to it.

Always keep you rod to the bank side of the fish.

Always keep you rod to the bank side of the fish.

The scene from the movie “Forgetting Sara Marshal” comes to mind, where the lead actor takes a surfing lesson. The instructors best advice was, do less… do nothing… after a couple failed attempt the lead just lays on the board. The instructor stares for an awkward length of time and changes tone… well you have to do something…. This seems how we guides sometimes simplify details like setting the hook and even casting at times.

Low and flat is where to fight them at!!

Low and flat is where to fight them at!!

The truth of the matter is every take is different and with these different take we require a different reaction. I can tell you the best takes require nothing, that’s true and I wish that all grabs were hard and the fish hooked themselves and ripped 50 feet of line off the reel before anybody could even twitch. But here lies the problem not all encounters are like that. I used to fish a shock loop of line and when anything happened i would let it go and the fish would either pull the line out or the wait for the line to catch up to see what may come takes place. This method can be effective and if it works for you don’t try to change.  Personally I like to fish off the reel as i have a bad run in with the loop method as it can wrap around the reel or reel handle if the angler is not watching close every cast. I have heard the same thing about the line wrapping on the cast but we almost always clear the line after the cast not always before the grab, if you catch my drift.

This rod angle is to high for hooking or fighting.

This rod angle is too high for hooking or fighting.

I find that it take a certain amount of pressure to set a hook well into these fish. Here is my theory if the fish grabs hard, then you do very little. If the fish grabs soft you have to cover the spread, but not until you feel the weight of the fish. Even soft takes the fish might pull and turn the reel and you lift to nothing…but maybe you give the fish a bit more love (to the bank your standing on) this just might help you put a few more to the bank!!

The Best end result!!

The Best end result!!

Get out there and fish the weather has been nice and some of the other Columbia river tribs are starting to get some great reports!!

Some New Summer Steelhead Patterns!!

The entire gang!! The Misdemeanor, The Felon, and the classis Outlaw.

The entire gang!! The Misdemeanor, The Felon, and the classic Outlaw.

Well we have all seen the success of the Outlaw over the past couple of Summer Steelhead seasons, but he now has accomplices. I did not name the first fly in the series but they all seem to fit together. The Criminal Series is born!!! Now stronger than ever, the gang that is!! New friends the Misdemeanor, and the Felon, the Outlaw can be even more effective and so are your choices as to what to fish on the Deschutes River and your other Favorite Summer Steelhead streams!!! All tied by the folks at Montana Fly Company. Enjoy and have fun fishing them!!!

Laid into a screamer

Laid into a screamer

 

This years crop seems to be healthy and hard fighting!!

This years crop seems to be healthy and hard fighting!!