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Hey all, I was gifted a 9wt fly rod this spring from a close friend, and would like to target steelies with it this fall/winter. I know the flies are the common egg, bugger, and zonker patterns. But what about leader and tippet? And lastly I watched my buddy fly fish for steelies one time in which he caught quite a few, I guess my questions is how do you know how deep to set the indicator/ how do you weight down the fly? I’m a big float guy for steelies and I just couldn’t grasp what he was doing. Any info or addition thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
 

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1 fish is a he!! of alot more than none.
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You can use a sinktip line, to get it down using a 3 foot leader of 12# fluoro, or you can use smallest split shot about 12 inches above fly and adjust the number you need to get them down.
On our streams, I prefer very little weight on the fly, neutrally buoyant fly, then weight in front of fly like above. This makes the smallest currents move the fly more.

Its all about experimenting and getting comfortable with what you are throwing. Try to hit bottom once or twice on each drift. Then your weight is adjusted well. Once you learn where the snags are in a drift, use a mend to keep fly above the bottom by 6-12 inches. That is the zone to be in.

Rickerd
 

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1 fish is a he!! of alot more than none.
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FYI the drop shot works for me, but usually a 6 inch tag for one or two splitshot. Its not often needed with our slower OH currents that you need dropshot to get down to zone. Now MI waters that is a different story. Especially the PM I am familiar with, dropshot will definately get you into fish. Any more than 3 small shot and you are chucking and ducking though. Good trick to have in your bag, but those sinkers hurt up against the back of my head and probably yours too.
Rickerd
 

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Don't overthink it. These aren't hard to catch fish. I would catch fish at will using just an olive bead headed wooly bugger. It's the only fly I used. No indicator. Just let it drift through potential holding spots.
I certainly wouldn't make that broad of a statement.

If you have the benefit of being in streams or rivers with large runs of fish perhaps, but I can tell you from fishing only the Vermillion river, they are certainly not easy.

To the OP, there are many many videos on YouTube to discover a lot of great tips.
 

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I certainly wouldn't make that broad of a statement.

If you have the benefit of being in streams or rivers with large runs of fish perhaps, but I can tell you from fishing only the Vermillion river, they are certainly not easy.

To the OP, there are many many videos on YouTube to discover a lot of great tips.
You know where the fish are going to be in any given spot on stream. They make the same stop year after year, whether it's being a rock or a drop off. Just drift a headed wooly bugger though it and bam. Fish pretty much everytime.
 

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If you choose to fish with an indicator (which you should do, in any water with a significant gradient to it), my winning method is tying a triple surgeon’s knot at the end of your line, allowing you to put two nymphs/streamers on the end of your line at once. My champion combo is a white or black streamer (buggers work great) as your front fly (aka point) with an egg pattern as your back fly (aka chaser). Granted, different situations call for different flies, but i’ve found this to be my most effective “searcher” combo. If you walk onto a trib in fishable condition, I would do this exact thing. In low water, trade out the streamer for a squirmy worm. In high or dirtier water, fish a bigger or flashier streamer, and keep that egg pattern on its ass end.
 
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