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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone help with finding steelhead? I have been fishing walking paced water, and lloking for structure, yet no love from the fish. And the steelhead are supposeed to be there!
 

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Are others catching them?

If others are catching them and you are not in the same water, then you know there is something more you need to be doing. There are times when there are fish in the river and they just are not going to take anything. Dec Hogan's new book has some good material on how to read and fish different types of water. 3'-6' deep, walking speed, structure, and it helps if it is just above some difficult water.

Keep at it, the catching will come.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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check your water temps too

it's been really cold around here lately (well, cold for around here anyways) and steelhead can be tough to move to a swung fly when it gets chilly. You really need to slow the fly down and be patient. Days, weeks, maybe months will go by...
 

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Along with Dana's post, steelhead won't always be in walking-speed water when it gets cold. Many times the move into slow-moving, deep water with structure when the temps drop. I've noticed this on a number of rivers throughout the PNW. The fish will be in the walking-speed water, and some times faster water, once the hydrographs come back up and the water warms.

I think being able to read water is the single most important aspect to being successful at steelhead fishing. A guy with sub-par gear and not the greatest casting that thinks like a fish is going to catch a lot more fish that the guy with the latest, greatest gear and casting skills of the revered that doesn't understand where to fish (unlikely scenario, but I'm just using it as an example). If you don't have a lot of confidence in the water you are fishing, hire a good guide. See what kind of water they put you in, and put it in context of the conditions, i.e. they might put you in faster shaded water in the summer but slower sunnier water in the winter. It might just give your confidence a jump start and get you into more fish. Another option is to go some place that has a big run of fish. You may find that you are already fishing the right water but that nobody is home.

Good luck you'll get it figured out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks! I had an actual tug this morning! But my reel was frozen solid because I stuck it in the water to undo a big wind knot (that gradual acceleration thing). Probably the most exciting point in my life, but don't tell my girlfriend that.:chuckle: I'll keep trying and thanks for the tips!
 

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First good laugh of the day!!

Thanks! I had an actual tug this morning! But my reel was frozen solid because I stuck it in the water to undo a big wind knot (that gradual acceleration thing). Probably the most exciting point in my life, but don't tell my girlfriend that.:chuckle: I'll keep trying and thanks for the tips!
A candidate for 'post of the year.' :lildevl:
 

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Great to hear, congratulations! It's a great feeling.

The frozen reel deal is a bummer. As you probably know once it gets wet you are in for some work. I try to keep mine dry but eventually your reel is going to get wet. This is how I deal with it. At the beginning of each cast I dunk it. Then, at the start of the swing, I pull off a loop of line I hold that I let the fish take on the strike. Pulling that 2 feet off makes sure the reel is spinning freely. Usually there is enough time between casts that the reel won't re-freeze.

If it's really, really, cold, or the reel I have is prone to hydroplaning, I'll take the reel apart and dry it out in the sun with a paper towel after warming it in my jacket for 15 minutes during a break, or replace the reel entirely with a spare.

Good luck again I think you're probably fishing the right water it's just been really tough lately.
 
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