Dead Difting QUestion - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Dead Difting QUestion

All of my steelhead fishing here in Great Lakes rivers as well as places like the Deschutes and Clearwater has been done swinging flies with a spey rod. I have a 10 single hand rod and I thought just for curiosity I would try dead drifting nymphs. I have caught rainbows and browns in my local rout streams so I assume it is pretty much the same approach. What I was wondering was besides nymphs, what other types of fly patterns are effective when dead drifting for steelhead? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-13-2019, 04:05 PM
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Dead drifting streamers such as leeches and white baitfish imitations can be very effective.

If you want to catch steelhead though, throw all the nymphs and streamers away and just drift an 8mm bead in your preferred colour. When I nymph for steelhead, I only fish beads - it’s stupidly effective.

-chris
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 07:55 PM
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Beads on a fly rod are certainly effective, where legal of course. Obviously, a good selection of egg imitations would be wise to have. I'm particularly fond of estaz eggs, but sucker spawn, nuke eggs, clown eggs, etc., will do the trick. Small, classic wets and hairwings are also fine candidates for a dead drift. A couple gentlemen I fished with last season had a knockout day dead drifting then swinging at the end of the drift with red tags and zulus.

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-14-2019, 09:18 PM
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Washington flyfishing is the preferred resource for nymphing/bobber/bead fishing "steelhead" possibly what the majority of members there specialize in.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all for suggestions...guess Iii start with small wets and move to the eggs and beads if I dont get results...although, from what I see on the river the egg and bead guys are the most consistently successful.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 08-22-2019, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by letumgo View Post
Thanks to all for suggestions...guess Iii start with small wets and move to the eggs and beads if I dont get results...although, from what I see on the river the egg and bead guys are the most consistently successful.
No one will discount that eggs and beads are more successful, BUT - once you get a fish swinging, you probably won't want to get one another way. It's kind of a quality vs quantity argument and I apologize if that rubs some wrong (me refusing to chuck bobbers anymore kinda chafes my nymphing friends somedays). After catching a bunch of fish under a bobber it gets to be tedious, and if you've done it for a while trout fishing, it's same ol' same ol'. You're fishing to more fish and offering an easy offering. Swinging for steel is a special thing - you're chasing that one aggressive fish who's looking up and ready to dance.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 10:51 AM
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Thanks to all for suggestions...guess I’ii start with small wets and move to the eggs and beads if I don’t get results...although, from what I see on the river the egg and bead guys are the most consistently successful.
No one will discount that eggs and beads are more successful, BUT - once you get a fish swinging, you probably won't want to get one another way. It's kind of a quality vs quantity argument and I apologize if that rubs some wrong (me refusing to chuck bobbers anymore kinda chafes my nymphing friends somedays). After catching a bunch of fish under a bobber it gets to be tedious, and if you've done it for a while trout fishing, it's same ol' same ol'. You're fishing to more fish and offering an easy offering. Swinging for steel is a special thing - you're chasing that one aggressive fish who's looking up and ready to dance.

Well said!
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-04-2019, 11:30 AM
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To each his own, & I know people who have been perfectly content standing in one spot all day long, hucking bobbers on a fly rod. For them, it's all about the numbers, & bragging rites. To my way of thinking, it's drift fishing with a fly rod. There is nothing more efficient for drifting beads thru a slot than a center pin rig. That being said, were we in this game simply to put meat in the freezer, we certainly wouldn't be fly fishing!

There is nothing wrong with dead drifting a fly, even a cough, cough, bead head nymph. If nothing else, it will teach you how to mend line to keep the fly in the zone.
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