Steelhead Fly Patterns

Bushwhack Jack

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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?
 

icb12

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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.
 

bairdi

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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.
 

AKnook

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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.

X2. ESL's and large rubber legged beaded nymphs were getting smashed in Yakutat when I was there.
 

DannerAK

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I can't remember what it's called, but this kind of fly slays the steel!
17cb31fcff9272c4f4e6ccf393a3100e.jpg
 

Bushwhack Jack

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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.
 

stevesch

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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.
 

Fin Chaser

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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.
 

Alaskan Fly Tyer

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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
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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