Time Spent Chasing Summer Steelhead On the Surface - Spey Pages
View Poll Results: How much time do you spend fishing on top for summer runs?
Over 95% of the time 23 11.17%
75-95% of the time 27 13.11%
25 - 75% of the time 44 21.36%
0-25% of the time 112 54.37%
Voters: 206. You may not vote on this poll

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 7 votes, 2.14 average. Display Modes
post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 04:26 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
808steelheader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon Steelhead Water
Posts: 1,833
Time Spent Chasing Summer Steelhead On the Surface

Just for fun and discussion, I decided to set up a poll regarding how much time you spend fishing for summer runs on top during "ideal" conditions, ie., with water temperatures say 48 degrees and up and with the river at typical summer flows. This includes full surface fishing with wakers/skaters or dead drifted dries.

For me, when fishing for summer runs I always want the opportunity to see a steelhead grab on top, can't beat the visual excitement of the surface take. Even when surface fishing is slow, I persist with a waking fly, even in less than ideal conditions and sometimes, even during the winter season. I'll occasionally go to a small wet on a floating line, usually only when I've raised a fish on a waker and it won't comeback. I rarely fish subsurface as a primary method during the summer run season. So, my time spent fishing for summer runs on top is greater than 95% of the time.

Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with surface steelheading. I would love to hear how you all have been doing this season with bringing steelhead to the top. Despite my persistent efforts, I've had modest success with surface steelheading this season, but every steelhead raised to a surface fly stands out as a special event to me.

Tight Lines,

Todd
808steelheader is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 10:14 AM
Stuck on DT
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Great Lakes Tribs
Posts: 44
Up top

I simply love swinging my large wets near the top. It's my primary method of angling in the early and late fall on Great Lakes tributaries. My expectations for success have been modified over time by taking this approach and every fish that comes to my fly is special and quite memorable. I'm reminded of the fish I like to call "the torpedo". I'm at the top of my favorite hole on a river in Ontario. A beautiful sunny morning in November. It's cold but the sun helps to make it comfortable. I'm fishing one of my rainbow trout favorites - a Coachman with a DTF8 and 12ft knotted leader and an #6 fly. This hole has provided plenty of action in the spring and fall, so I'm always ready for excitement and I got it. My fish took the fly about 60 feet away from me by coming from the water vertically - straight up. I think he went about five feet in the air with the take. It was spectacular. The fish was huge - probably my biggest with a fly. He was only on for about 10 - 15 seconds. He headed into the rapids and was gone - tippet broken at the fly. I was not heartbroken in the least. What a performance! I might have tipped my hat to him that day, I can't remember.
Anyway the "torpedo" has become my gauge now. There haven't been any fish to compare as of yet, but I keep hoping. It keeps me going when it's miserable out and the fishing is slow.
To me, it shows that trying to bring the fish to the top is a viable way to catch 'em. Not only viable, but the most exciting as well - at least in my humble opinion.
In regard to the poll, I pretty well fish DTF8 and DTF10 excusively during the extended season here in Ontario.

Thanks, GK.
oldschoolfly is offline  
post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 11:37 AM
Jack Cook
 
speyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Everywhere these days
Posts: 1,668
Always

Water temp has little to do with it. I have taken fish in the snow with water at 33 degrees. This is my primary approach for many years now, Winter or Summer. Only if water clarity is an issue will I go another direction.

Sometimes I go greased line just because I have some flies I want to fish wet

Steelhead on the surface is not an exception. They are like a kitten chasing a string and cannot help themselves, so I believe

Jack Cook
Steelhead Anglers
Tolt River Anglers
Mackenzie DTX
Speyco Reels
McNett
http://www.steelheadanglers.com
http://www.toltriveranglers.com
http://www.speyman.com

"keep your eyes open, slow down and keep in tune with the river", Harry Lemire
speyman is offline  
 
post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 08:14 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Salmon River, NY
Posts: 213
That's what I'd like to believe too, but here in the GL (Salmon River), I've been exclusively fishing a floating line with not a whole lot of luck. Do you have experience with GL fish?



Quote:
Originally Posted by speyman View Post
Water temp has little to do with it. I have taken fish in the snow with water at 33 degrees. This is my primary approach for many years now, Winter or Summer. Only if water clarity is an issue will I go another direction.

Sometimes I go greased line just because I have some flies I want to fish wet

Steelhead on the surface is not an exception. They are like a kitten chasing a string and cannot help themselves, so I believe
SpeyNate is offline  
post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 08:31 PM
Tight line takes
 
TheWaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Down and Across
Posts: 829
Is there another way?

Mark
FRSCA-North Umpqua and Northern Norway Chapter President
TheWaker is offline  
post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-13-2011, 10:37 PM
Degenerate caster
 
speyforsteel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Crazy Land
Posts: 1,180
Not me-I like to fish by feel.
.05% of time at most.
I won't argue that they catch fish though.

I'm allways lookin at clouds,birds,rocks,girls,maintaining a cigar,lookin for fish in the water,friends making good or bad casts,how others are fishing,dogs,cats,weasles,trains,planes and many other important things.

I have a hard time just watchin my float when pinnin.

When I do skitter a Riffle Wrecker or Officer Paul's Grantham Sedge-I just flop it out there and let er go(let er go-one of the best jokes EVER)usually it's too far out for me to see anyway-you fish the inside,I'll fish the outside and the otherside



Just a dirty REDNECK caster-no sofistikashon heer.

CF Burkheimer.
FFF CI and THCI
speyforsteel is offline  
post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-15-2011, 01:45 PM
loco alto!
 
SSPey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,912
Greg, I'm sure if you frequented water where you could see your waker on the other side, you'd become an uppity dry fly fisherman like the rest of us.

CF Burkheimer fly rods advisory staff
Nextcast lines pro staff
SSPey is offline  
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Carp aficionado
 
Black Zonky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Great Lakes & Farm Ponds
Posts: 1,202
I've dreamt about it. Never have seen it done here in Ohio.

Edit: Well, we don't have summer runs of course, but haven't seen it during the other 3 seasons either.
Black Zonky is offline  
post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 04:17 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Willamette, North Umpqua
Posts: 79
I love watching the fish take, but many times I lose sight of my fly, or it may just dip down in the film. I just like knowing that I raised the fish rather than taking my fly to the fish.

Despite my preference for the dry line I will still use tips, partly because I like to hone my skills in other areas.
flyfisher231 is offline  
post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-16-2011, 04:28 PM
Jack Cook
 
speyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Everywhere these days
Posts: 1,668
Practice

With practice you will see your fly more and more, even far away
The more you see it the more you know where it is even when you do not see it and you still see the take or boil.

After that you can even tell where you sunk fly is and will be surprised at what you can see on the surface when you know where to look. A lot of commotion can happen when a sunk fly is taken

Jack Cook
Steelhead Anglers
Tolt River Anglers
Mackenzie DTX
Speyco Reels
McNett
http://www.steelheadanglers.com
http://www.toltriveranglers.com
http://www.speyman.com

"keep your eyes open, slow down and keep in tune with the river", Harry Lemire
speyman is offline  
post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-17-2011, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
808steelheader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon Steelhead Water
Posts: 1,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by speyforsteel View Post
Not me-I like to fish by feel.
.05% of time at most.
I won't argue that they catch fish though.

I'm allways lookin at clouds,birds,rocks,girls,maintaining a cigar,lookin for fish in the water,friends making good or bad casts,how others are fishing,dogs,cats,weasles,trains,planes and many other important things.

I have a hard time just watchin my float when pinnin.

When I do skitter a Riffle Wrecker or Officer Paul's Grantham Sedge-I just flop it out there and let er go(let er go-one of the best jokes EVER)usually it's too far out for me to see anyway-you fish the inside,I'll fish the outside and the otherside

Just a dirty REDNECK caster-no sofistikashon heer.
Since I fish on top almost exclusively during the summer season, I am in the minority according to the poll results so far. But, I can relate to Gregg's post. I primarily fish subsurface during the winter season and I do appreciate fishing more by feel than sight during that time of year. The seductive pull or occasional aggressive yank in winter is exciting. Once I've mentally let go of summer surface fishing,(usually by December), I'm anxiously anticipating the pull of a winter steelhead.

That said, the biggest thrill I get when steelheading is seeing that massive push of water when a steelhead comes for a surface fly. Sometimes that initial charge at the fly results in a hookup. Often times the fish will miss, and come back again on the same swing and/or on successive casts. Sometimes multiple casts with the same fly will eventally be rewarded with a solid hookup. Other times, multiple fly changes will get the fish on the hook. These player fish can be the ultimate test of one's patience and resolve as the anticipation with each swing keeps me on the edge as the fly comes across.

I experienced my most exciting player fish for the season in mid September. The fish came up for my foam waker right where I raised and hooked steelhead earlier in the season. The fish missed on the first appearance. I nervously made my next cast and the fish came up with a massive push of water and missed again. I was a bit shakey on the next cast, but managed to get the same swing and in same spot, the fish came up again, line came tight and fish on. This fish made several long runs, one which I was afraid would have gone over the falls below, but somehow I eventually managed to get this fish close to shore and thought I had a chance to land it, then the hook pulled out! This fish looked to be a mid teens steelhead which gave an epic battle on my little Fenwick 8' 7wt fiberglass rod. I can honestly say I was not terribly disappointed at losing this fish. I would have released it anyway and it gave me everything I wanted. The sight of that steelhead coming to the top to grab my waker on 3 successive casts and the battle that followed will never be forgotten. This is the stuff that keeps me fishing on top!
808steelheader is offline  
post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-20-2011, 12:57 AM
Tight line takes
 
TheWaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Down and Across
Posts: 829
It wrecks ya doesn't it Todd?

Mark
FRSCA-North Umpqua and Northern Norway Chapter President
TheWaker is offline  
post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-21-2011, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
808steelheader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon Steelhead Water
Posts: 1,833
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWaker View Post
It wrecks ya doesn't it Todd?
Surface steelhead have definitily wrecked me! The high water on my local flow seems to be killing the surface steelheading this fall, but I persist with the waking fly because, you never know when my next fix from a steelhead grabbing on the surface will come. I'm definitely an addict and I am jonesing right now! October of last year was awesome for surface fishing, but I'm now left with trying to salvage what's left of the fall season hoping for a few more surface grabs before winter steelheading starts.
808steelheader is offline  
post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-24-2011, 11:44 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Willamette, North Umpqua
Posts: 79
The water was a little lower yesterday. We didn't raise any steelhead, but conditions were a little better.
flyfisher231 is offline  
post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 10-27-2011, 02:10 PM
Jack Cook
 
speyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Everywhere these days
Posts: 1,668
Awesome

Got a brute out of some really hard surface water and a howling wind in 12' depth. Big rocks 100 feet out and fish lay stratified in the column. This fish came up 7-8 feet or so to smash the fly. First fish in a long time to roll out 150 in backing.
And it was a hatchery buck to boot!

Jack Cook
Steelhead Anglers
Tolt River Anglers
Mackenzie DTX
Speyco Reels
McNett
http://www.steelheadanglers.com
http://www.toltriveranglers.com
http://www.speyman.com

"keep your eyes open, slow down and keep in tune with the river", Harry Lemire
speyman is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Spey Pages forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Linear Mode Linear Mode
Rate This Thread:



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
time spent with floating line vs sunk/tips? SSPey General 31 02-27-2011 12:52 AM
Surface Steelhead Success?? 808steelheader Fishing with the Doublehanded Rod 15 08-26-2009 02:59 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome