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steel winter.

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by ryosapien, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@

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    Well i had a week off and have gone fishing 2x and gotten skunked both times. Don't see many people on the river these days and really none are toting flyrods. I am staying true to the fly but it's getting tough i had a really good early season and i guess thought it would just keep on chugging along. I think i may be focusing on the wrong areas of the river and using the wrong type of flies. I usually run a tandem of egg and caddis, stone, bugger, or clouser through walking pace chopped deep runs and throat waters. I have worked some tailouts and slower deeper pools but not as much and to no avail anyhow. Tough to get a drift in pools. Worked excellent for the fall. for this time of year i don't know. Any experienced winter fly guy got any pearls of wisdom that could help my chances.
     
  2. Fishaholic69

    Fishaholic69 Fly Fishing Addict

    I been skunked in the winter season too since I started last year but I still keep trying to learn everything I can and refuse to give up on it. so far I caught 3 this fall. a improvement over my last fall seeing as I got el skuno'd also. I heard to try single egg patterns or sucker spawns in pink or chartreuse and some small stonelfy nymphs. use some shot to get it down to the fish and drift it past there face. I found out that this is easier said than done..... lol. don't get discouraged. all the bait guys will still catch um easier cause they have scent for the fish to follow on there offerings where we have to fool the fish with a piece of yarn. thats the beauty of flyfishing. sometimes ya fool um. sometimes ya don't...
     

  3. You've been seeing such few anglers on the water lately because of the combination of it being too cold for the fair-weather fishermen and the fact that the winter months present the most challenging steelhead fishing of the season. Enjoy the seclusion now...come spring there'll suddenly be fly anglers everywhere! With the water being as cold as it is, these fish become very lethargic and will move as little as possible for their food. Precise presentations are a must for this time of year. Often times you practically have to drift your offering right into the fish's mouth to get a hook up this time of year. It is imperative that you are presenting your offering at the fish's eye level (just off the bottom), and keep making adjustments untill you are consistently drifting through the strike zone. Though I fish some flies, I have never fished a fly rod...but I have heard that swinging streamers this time of year becomes less effective and it is usually more effective to drift smaller offerings such as egg patterns and nymphs.

    John
     
  4. I fly fish all year round, even in the cold winter months. It's the best time, got the rivers almost too yourselves.

    A couple of tips. Winter fishing is challenging been concentrating my efforts out east all the way out to PA. I've only fished a couple of times on the Rocky in the winter months and came up with a couple of hook ups. I tend to fish areas that I know are holding fish, caught them earlier in the season, or if the water is clear enough spot them in the shallows or holding in a deep pool area.

    Stick with sucker spawn and buggers, bright flies clear water, dark waters dark flies.

    As the water gets colder add a few more shots to your line then normal, water gets denser the colder it gets. Look for areas where the fish can swim in and out of deep holding areas into faster water shallow areas. Keep an eye out on the temps look for breaks from cold temps, look for a couple of days in the thirties, sleep in, you don't need to be out early in the morning give the river time to burn off slush. Watch out for ice bergs. Enjoy the day of peaceful bliss you got the river to yourself.

    I'm still a rookie so these are a couple of my winter tips.
     
  5. Tall cool one

    Tall cool one strictly flyfishing

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    Small is the key in winter,and,I'll have to disagree w/ previous poster,clear water DEMANDS pale colors. Brt colors are for off color water or fresh,stupid fish. Smaller,paler flies and finer tippets,down to 4x if you go to 16-18's,which are useful when it gets cold and clear.
    Deeper holes are the target,esp if they have shelf ice;steel hang under the shelves adjacent to flows. Look for deep pockets where you can't see bottom and run your float right along the seam where slow meets fast if you are challenged drifting pools.TC1
     
  6. I'll restate Bright flies bright days, dark flies dark days. Found in an article I was reading on the internet for Winter Steelhead fishing. Which can be found at the link below. Been following the suggestion with success last winter and starting this winter, using two fly setup. When I read articles use only what applies, our Great Lakes steelhead methods are different then Western methods so I'll try it if works.

    http://www.flyfishsteelhead.com/tipwins.htm

    I have to agree that as the water becomes more clear then shoot down to a smaller fly. Most of my fishing in the winter is done in PA where the water is a little clearer most of the time. So my tactics are slightly different. I still use bright flies in stained water, but I tandem that fly with a dark bugger or egg sucking leach.
     
  7. WhoolyBugger

    WhoolyBugger grateful thread

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    In addition to typical steelhead tackle for winter, would anyone recommend using waxworms to tip a small bugger or nymph?
     
  8. .....that is a sin!! whoolybugger!:p it may helps who knows

    I'll back what tc1 said, small dull colored flies in clear what, I have rarely done well for any trout in clear water with bright flies. dull greens, browns, blacks, and..blues;) , pink eggs are still worth a try as they always work, but again stay small, #14 egg will outproduce a #10. the usual rules just get more strict, good drifts mean perfect drifts, and you must be on the bottom. fish pools with current, some are slow some retain some speed, I would try those, and bites in slow water are very subtle so pay attention. read water, any small cut or pocket (I learned this lesson in a big way for steel) should be fished well. as for swung flies, I havnt done much swing for steel, however I catch browns right through the cold water with a greased line swing wich slows the swing way down and lets they fly hang in their face, really effective.
     
  9. I've fished the Grand twice in early Nov and went 1 for 2.
    3 Times now I've gone to the Chagrin in the last 3 weeks and nada!
    haven't even seen a fish.. I love the Grand but it seems like it has much more watershed area then the Chagrin so it takes longer to clear up and slow down..

    The two fish I hooked, nailed a white streamer.
    Since then I've been using Buggers & eggs... with not even a hook up.

    Someone mentioned that the key is putting the fly in their face- hmmm, I think I've been running my eggs with the split shots too close to the fly... geez, its always something with steelies!

    Is it March yet? :) Good luck guys.
     
  10. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@

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    I don't think that the bright day bright fly thing applies to water color as much as it does amount of sunlight out that day and i have heard that before. Of course stained water requires brighter colors and clear something more natural but given stained water on a dark day black is a really good color. This is good bassing advice too. Lol i knew that was coming bugger. If you want to tip a bugger with a wax worm when your buddies aren't looking that's your perogative. I would imagine it wouldn't hurt anything but your pride. JK.. good fishing fellas thanks for the advice.
     
  11. corndawg

    corndawg Go Bulldogs!!!

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    To add what was stated above cold water makes the fish lethargic so bites will be very light. Waiting till the afternoon lets the water temp increase. That increase of 1 to 2 degree at mid day can make a difference in how the fish reacts to your offering. I’m lazier now and mostly spin fish but during winter I try slowing my presentation down by adding a few extra bb shots so that you’re offering is almost flowing a little slower than the water. You’ll get a few snags but this will put the offering right in their face and give them an extra second or two to decide.

    Whoolybugger has a point. Scent, good or bad, can make or break the day. If you smoke keep your gloves on, don't gas up your car before heading to the river. I have used (my apology to the purists) egg roe scent on egg pattern to hid any scent that may come off my hands. When using my spinning rod and before hooking on a egg sack, I’ll scrub my hands with a little mud and river water to try and hide any scent. Not an expert just giving my .02
     
  12. ryosapien

    ryosapien Bad@

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  13. WhoolyBugger

    WhoolyBugger grateful thread

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    ."....that is a sin!! whoolybugger! it may helps who knows"

    LOL!!! I should know better.. I am hanging my head in shame!!!!;) :p


    No one will know if waxworms help cause if I try it, I will never post my results;)
     
  14. Are you using an indicator?

    If not, you should be this time of year. It's really the only good way to fish the deep, slow holes they're holding in this time of year. You can swing flies, but if you're looking to hook fish you can't beat "right-angle" indicator fishing.