What are some of the little things you do when fishing for steelhead that seem to make a difference. i.e., I never wade water that I haven't fished. I know we all have little rituals. Time to share some fishing secrets that has helped you. Klem
Fish my way out to the line I want to carry. In other words I start with 15' or so of line out and fish the short swing and then lengthen out 3' or so a cast until I have the amount out I want to comfortably cast. Then I start casting and stepping down the run. This is the opposite of what I see some guys do which is to wade in, pull 80' of line off and start casting. I fish a lot of first light water and sometimes get that fish that is laying close in.
Use a thermoneter to get a temperature reading of the water that I am going to fish. Gives me an indiaction of what type of tactics to use to fish. Very useful for winter fishing.
and `my tactics' it's key to make sure the fly is keeled in the water properly,,,i just can't get over how when i tie a `pattern' on one type hook the fly rolls over and on another hook,it stays upright under tension,although smaller patterns are the norm here midriver and bigger stuff on the bottom upriver,but that's another thread,,and i have a regimen i go thru with the fly after i get it wet,;i then prep the hook by bending the barb(s)-most always a double hook- halfway down,then with my hemos i clamp down on the back of the shank and bend the hook it results in outward points,then use a stone to debarb the points,also checking the knot again,, then once a again holding the fly in the current to see if it rolls over or stays upright under tension,long story for sure but,`works for me' would be my best way of describing it,it's not chuck and chance,,,,shotgunningthe water for a suicidal idiot :tsk_tsk: ,,i'm with peter on having a spot that you can't move from though,couple spots i fish are that way,,,at least a couple,,,hmm `suicidal idiot',,,maybe a bass fishing deal would work,,yes! `two-handing the black bass',,,with double steelhead flies,,no!,,,,
When fishing with companions, I'm often bemused as they rig up completely at the tailgate, even to selecting and tying on a fly, even where we're not yet in sight of the stream. I wait until I'm at the water I/we will fish before I select the line's tip, the leader and the fly. It takes no longer, and I know I'm suitably rigged for the conditions at hand.
I usually start by casting a rod length of line/leader up and out, and watching the fly to see how it moves in the water, both free drifting and under tension.
Usually, knowing the date tells me what I need to know about the water temperature. I don't think it matters whether the water is 34 or 40 degrees. But checking the temp. is easy to do. I have my thermometer tethered to my vest by two feet of old fly line. I just drop it in the river and check it a minute or two later.
While peeing prior to wading is always preferable, sometimes nature calls when we're astream. I'm able to take care of business while wading and not really interupt my progress fishing through a run. Simply cast, make the big mend, then unclip my wader suspenders from my waders and clip them around my neck so they can't fall down behind my back where I can't easily retreive them, then remove my belt and clip it over my shoulder. By this time my swing has usually finished or is just about to do so I then make a second cast and mend before dropping the waders and heeding nature's call. No problemo.
Got a nice hen (no, a steelhead) three years ago while multi-tasking in this manner. Now that's satisfaction.
Fish hard cover lots of water, the key in my opinion is putting your fly over an aggressive fish. Fish that will be enticed by small changes I believe are a very small percentage of the whole population.Covering water and therefore a larger number of fish is the my approach.
I'd put covering water as priority over everything else or in fact any combinaton of two things.
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