Pro Tips: How to Catch Fall-Run Great Lakes Steelhead

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Written by: Tom and Max Werkman, Werkman Outfitters

This huge fall steelhead fell for a basic yarn egg.
All images by Tom Werkman

Fall gives many alternative angling alternatives, however right here within the Nice Lakes area, the primary steelhead of the season are coming into river methods, offended and able to eat. They’re principally following the spawning king salmon and feeding on the abundance of eggs tumbling downstream. What the steelhead might lack in numbers, they greater than make up for with their excessive vitality, feeding eagerly and preventing exhausting when hooked–well-known for his or her lengthy runs punctuated by huge jumps. 

Vital duties for anglers who want to pursue these migratory fish embody realizing the place to search for them, what flies to throw as soon as you discover them, and easy methods to modify your strategy primarily based on situations.

1. The place to Look

Whereas fishing for fall steelhead, search for spawning salmon, and goal the darker water behind them. Ideally, it’ll be medium-depth (4 to six ft), with backside construction like downed timber, and a few close by “transition” water with sooner present. Water temperatures ought to be between 42 and 55 levels. If at first you don’t discover salmon or steelhead, keep in mind that each species are migratory, so each day could possibly be totally different: they’re typically right here in the future and gone the subsequent.

Having a ship makes masking water and discovering fish simpler, however you’ll be able to nonetheless achieve success on foot.

2. What Gear to Use

It ought to come as no shock that egg flies are the principle patterns throughout fall. Strive utilizing shades of orange, peach, and cream to match the totally different levels of pure eggs from the salmon spawn; the older the eggs, the paler they’re. Nymphs also can work, however it’s primarily an egg chunk.

We suggest a 10-foot, 7-weight fly rod with a floating line and lengthy, hand-built monofilament leaders tapering from 20-pound take a look at all the way down to 12-pound tippet.

The additional attain of a 10-foot rod is useful for nymphing, and a 7-weight is highly effective sufficient to make casting all day much less tiring.

3. Make Changes for Depth

Pay shut consideration to the quantity of weight you’re utilizing, and to the space between your weights and your indicator. Small modifications within the depth and/or present pace can vastly have an effect on how your flies are using within the water column, so fixed changes are essential to maintain them down within the strike zone. In case your indicator stops “ticking”the underside, chances are you’ll want so as to add extra weight and/or enhance the space between weights and indicator to permit your flies to sink nearer to the underside. In case your indicator begins to sink, you’ve added an excessive amount of weight. 

 



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