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Author Topic: Winter steelheading 101  (Read 8702 times)

milo

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2017, 08:34:14 PM »

Funny, I laughed out loud! But hopefully a hyperbole to solidify the steelheading faux paus known as low-holing

Of course, SSack. A bit of exaggeration never hurts to send the point accross.
I only flash a handgun and make a couple warning shots these days. :P

Incidentally, the ONLY time I ever went down in a bar brawl, was courtesy of  a Bulgarian guy half my size. And he only hit me once, a well-placed uppercut to the chin. :o
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Jk47

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2017, 08:50:27 PM »

On the other hand, if you come and say hello, and ask me if you can fish below me on an empty run, there's a 95% chance I'll say go ahead, and even help you land your fish if you get lucky.
This is the etiquette part that a lot of people donít seem to get. A little friendly conversation and polite request to join goes a long way. Heck, I even ALWAYS ask if a person doesnít mind me dropping in ABOVE them, ESPECIALLY in an otherwise deserted run. No, it isnít their river- or yours or mine - but it is their space and tranquility, so respect is due.
Anyways, enough about low-dogginí letís hear more tips.
Hereís one: Iím not saying lots of people havenít, but I myself personally have never caught a steelhead before like 9 a.m. You donít have to be there at first light, relax...have your coffee, tie your leaders. I donít think steelhead turn off after first light like coho. Almost all my steelhead have been caught between 10 a.m and 1 p.m.
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obie1fish

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2017, 09:16:12 PM »

My tip: tie good knots.
Use spit to avoid burning the line. There are times when you are in a hurry, or your hands are cold, or you're lazy, and don't want to pay attention to the particulars. Take the extra few seconds to do it right. And if it's not, cut it and retie. If you aren't sure about the knot, look it up on the interweb and practice at home.

Find knots that work for you. Here are mine:

Egg loop- for the hook
Palomar- for swivels and lures. (Doubled Palomar for braid)
Trilene- for any other areas or if my fingers aren't working the Palomar correctly (e.g., cold)
Double uni- for mono to mono
FG- for braid to mono or fluorocarbon

And yes, you CAN tie these! My hands are pretty big, and all it takes me is time and good directions. If you're on the water and have a brain fart, don't be afraid to ask for help, with knots or anything else. And if you really bing it up, then have a good laugh at your expense. It's supposed to be fun, right?

Good luck, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the moments!
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Dave

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2017, 09:17:43 PM »

Incidentally, the ONLY time I ever went down in a bar brawl, was courtesy of  a Bulgarian guy half my size. And he only hit me once, a well-placed uppercut to the chin. :o

That would make the Bulgarian about 4' tall  ;)
Happy b'day bud.
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Spawn Sack

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2017, 10:04:07 PM »

Of course, SSack. A bit of exaggeration never hurts to send the point accross.
I only flash a handgun and make a couple warning shots these days. :P

Incidentally, the ONLY time I ever went down in a bar brawl, was courtesy of  a Bulgarian guy half my size. And he only hit me once, a well-placed uppercut to the chin. :o

Haha no worries and no disrespect intended. I have just met so many highly skilled and tough as nails individuals who looked like they bagged groceries for Safeway. I don't like to assume I can "take" any random stranger. You just never know who you are dealing with and what they are capable of. That being said some people do need to be put in their place, and sometimes a "friendly" (or less than) conversation is in order.

Anyway, on to a more useful topic, steelheading tips! I like the tip by Jk47. I have also heard by many better steelheaders than I not to bother with first light. Myself I just cant leave to go fishing at 9 or 10am. I feel like Ive wasted the morning that could have been spent fishing. I typically zoom to a run I like and fish it before anyone else. I feel satisfied that I was the first one to wet a line there that morning. After 9am or whatever when others show up I feel more relaxed that I had first crack at the water. I've hooked some steelies at first light but admittedly most were after 10am.

I learned a lot from this discussion years ago. All tips still valid and useful:

http://www.fishingwithrod.com/yabbse/index.php?topic=34595.0


« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 10:09:07 PM by Spawn Sack »
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milo

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2017, 10:42:26 AM »

That would make the Bulgarian about 4' tall  ;)
Happy b'day bud.

Well, he was about 5'1, but not an inch taller.  :o
Thanks for the B-day wishes...catching up with you. ;)
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psd1179

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2017, 11:29:30 AM »

Well, he was about 5'1, but not an inch taller.  :o
Thanks for the B-day wishes...catching up with you. ;)

Regarding the body size, half size means half of the body volume. So Milo height is cube root of 2 times than the Bulgarian. Milo is 6'4", am I right?
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Steelhawk

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2017, 11:57:53 AM »

Let's don't get side stepped into body shape and size contest. We have enough sites talking about the Kardashians, LOL. Back to the subject of steelhead strategies, no one is talking about ideal steelhead water and where steelhead may sit, and how to read water. Any inputs from the top rods?

One suggestion from me is that steelhead can sit in really shallow water, even 1 to 2 ft water near the edge, particularly in early morning or when the river is too high that they have to hide from strong currents. So don't rush out to the edge of the river at first. Try to stay back and cast near shore and work slowly out. Also try to use rubber tubing so you can change up the weight of pencil lead quickly. Drifting near shore slower water may need shorter lead so there is still a good drift in shallow and slow water.
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milo

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2017, 02:29:55 PM »

Regarding the body size, half size means half of the body volume. So Milo height is cube root of 2 times than the Bulgarian. Milo is 6'4", am I right?

Holy smokes! Bang on!
You are a math genius.  :o

And to avoid incurring Steelhawk's wrath, here's my piece of advice: steelhead will take ANYTHING, even a cigarette butt if presented properly. So give the roe a break (especially if everybody on that run is fishing roe), and try some artificials (single eggs, plastic worms, jigs, spinners, spoons...the list goes on).
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 04:39:12 PM by milo »
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Jk47

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2017, 02:59:47 PM »

I considered myself a pretty good salmon rod before I actually started fishing for winter steelhead. So my first Winter (all geared up and full of steam) I started early in December, and by March I surely had put in 50 hours of fishing at least, without a fish  :'(
After more practice with fall salmon the next year, December came along again and this year I was going to catch a Steelhead!! Well, low and behold I DID and it was an absolutely beautiful chrome buck of about 15 lbs - Hatchery! Iíll never forget that first fish! The take, the fight, what a specimen of a fish!
But that fish came after about another 50 hours of steelheading that second winter. So all in all I literally fished 100 solid hours before I caught a steelhead. I like to think I deserved that fish.
Put in the leg work, read books on steelheading, and learn a few runs really well (as has been mentioned in another thread) and be prepared to spend many many days getting skunked.
BTW: After that first fish they started CLIMBING onto my hook!! Weird..... ;)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 03:02:35 PM by Jk47 »
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psd1179

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2017, 03:11:29 PM »

I hooked and lost one steelhead in my first trip and nothing the next 5 trips to Vedder. To be a better steelhead fisherman, you'd better live in Chilliwack.
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Jk47

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2017, 05:46:59 PM »

I hooked and lost one steelhead in my first trip
Lucky you. Thats the only way to to look at it. So 5 trips later no fish? Thatís nothin! Like I said, put in the legwork. 5 trips is pretty mediocre as far as ďSteelheading LegworkĒ goes to be honest. Lower your expectations and enjoy the beauty of being out. Thatís when I find I start catching fish.
I also have some superstitions when it comes to steelheading. One of them (Iíve read this on this forum, too) is to fish like you KNOW thereís a fish holding behind that rock or along that rifle. I know many times Iíve hooked up, its right as Iím telling myself - almost out loud -ď There HAS TO BE A FISH THERE, there just HAS to beĒ - JK
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mikeyman

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2017, 07:50:37 PM »

I used to get out more. Fish more. Scout the river. Fish it. Would hit fish in certain spots and within spots. Once I had 6 or so go to areas. I would hit them up and most likely would produce atleast a fish every trip. If not multiple fish per trip. But hey lets be honest. Dependent on the year and strength of the return. We all get skunked sometimes. That was my system. Also obviously make sure u felt u fished the run over properly. With confedence. The more u go the more u will catch. High percentage spots. Steelhead will sit in the same spots time and time again. Try a few baits sure. Fish what u feel confident with. I am a bait guy. Roe bugs. Roe sacks. Shrimp. Blades in the spring when i run out of bugs. Roe post salmon spawn earlier season. Jensen eggs in clear low conditions. Pink worm in higher color conditions. Grid water. Cast more in fishy spots. Less in not so fishy spots. If there is lots of pressure watch others and cast and fish spots they didnt. Or spots that are walked by. Steelhead will sit in water u wouldnt think to even cast to. Especially on those days. It was awsome when we had the time to find productive pockets or slicks where there was typically no pressure that would hold fish. Rock paper scissors on who got first cast cause sometimes it seemed it would be odd to not catch one.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2017, 07:56:12 PM by mikeyman »
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Knnn

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #28 on: December 21, 2017, 10:52:50 AM »

Fish a river that no one else does and you will find you do not need a lot of tips and tricks, swing a spoon and if they are there you will catch fish.  Steelhead are no more intelligent or spooky than Coho.  They are only a fish of a thousand casts on high pressure rivers.  So hit the high percentage water and cover water fast and then faster still.  Some of the top rods I have watched hardly ever stand still and will cover 5-10 km of water in a morning.
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Steelhawk

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Re: Winter steelheading 101
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2017, 11:39:21 AM »

I found this out about covering kms of water when I was a newbie. In my first year, the first 6 months from September to March were spent in futility. Not a steelhead and even not a salmon. Lol. Even my family was questioning why I still went out or even if I really went fishing at all as I had nothing to show. By March I had the luck of a friend's friend taking me out to 'show' me how to fish. He is a 'kingfisher', and he reassured me while driving out to the Vedder we would catch steelies that day. I didn't believe it but after being tucked along for kms of river, even being dragged across shallow section of the river to the other side and seeing him casting to so many 'fishy' spots, and with 2 steelies by 11am (which he released), I began to realize what it takes to be a great steelheader. I have since hooked into many steelhead by walking and casting all day instead of camp posting at a spot. It is much more fun to hunt down a steelie than waiting for it to bump into your hook. Lol.
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