Steelhead Fly Fishing: 4 Quick Tips

Lex with a nice Steelhead from last week. Well done!
Lex with a nice Steelhead from last week. Well done!

As I sit here to write this blog post, I am in Erie with Steelhead on the mind. This is now the third week that we have been in Erie running guide trips for Steelhead. Those of you that have fished with us here this fall know firsthand how exciting it is to catch a Steelhead. Here are 4 quick tips to help get you dialed in for Steelhead Alley.

  1. Steelhead Rods – If you prefer to fish with your own rod, it will be helpful to bring a rod suited for the needs of Steelhead fishing. Longer rods are easier to get a drag-free drift while fishing indicators on our water in Erie. Steelhead are hard fighting fish and rigs for catching them usually consist of large indicators, and heavy split shot. This makes a heavier weight rod a great advantage. For an overall Steelhead rod that can be used during nearly every fishing condition, I recommend a 10ft 7wt. However, rods 9-10ft in length and line weights ranging from 6-8 can also get the job done.

2. Patience with the Net – Steelhead can be very quick, and explosive immediately after being hooked. In addition to quick maneuvers, they are also known for long runs and high leaps through the air. For these reasons, catching a Steelhead can be very exciting. It is very important (and also very hard) to remain patient, calm, and take your time during the fight to help increase your odds of landing more fish.

3. Spotting Fish – In order to catch a Steelhead, you might have to hunt one first. Steelhead are a migratory fish, therefore, taking the time to spot fish can help increase productivity. It can be easier to figure out exactly where to cast, what depth to fish, and which fly to select if you can see your target fish.This is part of the reason Steelhead can be so exciting to catch.

4. Fish All Holding Water – As important as spotting fish is, it can be equally important to fish the holding water that you can not see fish in. As the old saying goes, “Just because you cannot see a fish does not mean there is not one there”. After identifying a nice section of holding water, give it a thorough chance even if you cannot spot a fish. You might be surprised with what you catch.

If you are scheduled to fish with us in Erie this year we look forward to seeing you. If you are interested in a Steelhead trip, talk to Joel and he can fix you up.

One Response
  1. Wow Steelheads are interesting looking fish. Like Salmon all most. It’s definitely on my list of fish to catch and release! Nice fishing and good info Kyle!

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