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Thread: Steelhead Fly Patterns

  1. #1

    Default Steelhead Fly Patterns

    Simple question asking for a simple answer. I am going to a river this fall that has an elusive run of steelhead. I have fished very little for steelhead so I am asking for some advice. My expectations are not very high. I know I am searching for a unicorn, but if you could take only FIVE fly patterns with you to fish for steelhead, what would you bring?

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    what river? flys would depend on the river. Beads would be my go to.

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    Member icb12's Avatar
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    Do I have to choose one color only for each pattern???

    Garcia\rodman globugs
    Squidros in chartreuse/black
    Rubber legged Hot head/hot bead nymphs
    MOAls in black/white frost
    ESLs in pink/black

    That would pretty much cover the size range and color range for my personal fishing. If I get more colors, I'd tie more of the same in various other colors, including some ESLs reversed IE green butt skunk-esque.

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    If it is a smaller stream with clear water, my go to "fly" would be an 8 to 10 mm bead in a natural orange or pink color fished under a strike indicator (aka bobber) This can also be effective on larger streams, just a little harder to effectively cover all of the available holding water.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    On top of everything mentioned, I've done well with epoxy fry patterns and various flesh patterns. The old tried and true "cotton candy" has produced when nothing else will.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Member AKnook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by icb12 View Post
    Do I have to choose one color only for each pattern???

    Garcia\rodman globugs
    Squidros in chartreuse/black
    Rubber legged Hot head/hot bead nymphs
    MOAls in black/white frost
    ESLs in pink/black

    That would pretty much cover the size range and color range for my personal fishing. If I get more colors, I'd tie more of the same in various other colors, including some ESLs reversed IE green butt skunk-esque.
    X2. ESL's and large rubber legged beaded nymphs were getting smashed in Yakutat when I was there.

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    Member Sapper 27's Avatar
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    Dean river tigers, polar shrimp, 12 or 14mm beads, money bugs, straight yarn. In no particular order. All very successful for me on the Situk.

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    I can't remember what it's called, but this kind of fly slays the steel!
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  9. #9

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    Awesome. Thanks for the responses guys. And the river in question is the Gulkana. Supposedly the farthest north run of steelhead in North America. Not a big run. And I know the chances of catching one there are slim, but it's worth a shot right? The only thing I can conclusively determine in my 30+ years or so of fishing is that you can't catch one sitting on the couch.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I can't remember what it's called, but this kind of fly slays the steel!
    That's a fly??? It looks like a kwikfish or something. Nice looking steelie.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I can't remember what it's called, but this kind of fly slays the steel!
    These work extremely well

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

  12. #12
    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    Default Steelhead Fly Patterns

    Quote Originally Posted by FishGod View Post
    These work extremely well

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I like your style!
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushwhack Jack View Post
    Simple question asking for a simple answer. I am going to a river this fall that has an elusive run of steelhead. I have fished very little for steelhead so I am asking for some advice. My expectations are not very high. I know I am searching for a unicorn, but if you could take only FIVE fly patterns with you to fish for steelhead, what would you bring?
    I only have caught them on 3 patterns (all with lead eyes, all on 1/0 hooks):

    Pink bunny leech
    Black bunny leech
    White egg-sucking leech (orange head)

    Isn't the plastic lure in the photo called a "wiggle-wort"? I think they have rattles in them also.

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    Member DannerAK's Avatar
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    I guess we aren't all equipped with a sense of humor...
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    Well Danner, I was chuckling. While I love swinging flies for steelies, there's nothing better than a feisty beast smashing a plug. Good fun.
    Bushwhack, I think the flies mentioned above will serve you well, and for goodness sake get your expectations up! A confident attitude makes a huge difference in your fishing success. Can't wait for you to post a photo of your catch. Have fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I guess we aren't all equipped with a sense of humor...
    I laughed!


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    Member CTobias's Avatar
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    These flies work best.

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    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CTobias View Post
    These flies work best.
    Wow, they look so realistic
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    Member kenaibow fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannerAK View Post
    I guess we aren't all equipped with a sense of humor...
    well I guess another purist fell off the wagon!

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    I'd add to that list the Katmai Leech; white leech with shell pink egg and orange legs. Dynamite pattern. http://www.bristolbayflies.com
    Quote Originally Posted by stevesch View Post
    I only have caught them on 3 patterns (all with lead eyes, all on 1/0 hooks):

    Pink bunny leech
    Black bunny leech
    White egg-sucking leech (orange head)

    Isn't the plastic lure in the photo called a "wiggle-wort"? I think they have rattles in them also.

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