Follow Gink & Gasoline on Facebook: In the way, however, lie the inevitable challenges of constantly changing river conditions. Winter steelhead have a reputation for being difficult for fly anglers. While the theories abound as to why steelhead do or don’t take flies, after twenty-two years swinging flies in steelhead water I’ve accepted that I’ll never really know why, I’m just lucky that they do. Exploring Summer Steelhead … The most common and effective way to fish steelhead is by bottom bouncing nymphs with either a floating line or the “chuck and duck” method. Swinging flies for Steelhead isn’t for the faint of heart. We were able to lock into some great Bull trout while they were chewing hard on swung flies (past spawn attitude) Theres also some cool Cut throat trout footage as well if your into that. Jerry French Signature Flies . Only “crazies” will wade in a freezing river while making Spey cast after Spey cast with one hope: to find a player and entice it to chase and attack our fly. fishing a beautiful stretch of a quiet Michigan river, swinging a fly with a tight line, only to have your line come tight with an angry steelhead at the other end. Swinging flies … It’s also the predominant technique when nymphing for steelhead in the winter. Prompting the Territorial Grab: The Slow Swing In March I was fishing an under-the-radar coastal stream where a healthy run of big, wild steelhead returns each winter. The fish love well-presented eggs and nymphs. Swinging flies for winter West Coast steelhead is a great thrill. When those two visions come together, you’re onto something good. It’s done in a mindful state. This is the final installment of the BC series from this past fall. Steelhead Anglers who swing flies, are well, pretty crazy. The most common way to target these fish would be to utilize two-handed rods, typically 13-14 foot rods in 8 to 9 weight. Red's offers the very best swinging flies for Steelhead. Never drop your fly and disconnect mentally. Most on days on the water, I carry two rods, one to indicator fish, and the other to swing. With winter steelhead, you obviously need to get your flies down near the fish, but controlling the swinging line speed is the most critical element for winter steelhead. Other times we may see extremely cold, low water conditions. When speaking of Skagit-style casting systems and tying of intruder type flies, Jerry and his friends Ed Ward and Scott Howell are at the forefront of modern Northwest fly fishing for steelhead. This is a small run of fish, but when we find one their stunning, hammering flies and giving serious anglers the ultimate fly fishing challenge. However, in the last 10 to 15 years, swinging Great Lakes steelhead, browns, and salmon has become extremely popular, and many opportunities exist in the Great Lakes for any swinging enthusiast. Bookmark the permalink. If so, drop us a line for more information. The spring season starts up in March where there is excellent fly fishing for steelhead and also brown trout. Steelhead are the most common swinging target, but within the rivers of the Great Lakes, there are some diverse opportunities to pursue different fish species, such as Atlantic salmon and lake run browns. On January 28 at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 EST), Swing the Fly Editor Zack Williams will host a live event about rigging for Winter/Spring steelheading. I’ve been swinging flies for trout and steelhead for over 20-years – classic, winged-wet flies that have been catching trout for over a century in Europe and the United States. The steelhead and browns can be very aggressive to swung flies and stripped streamers at this time of year as they are feeding on bait before returning to the lakes. Swinging flies is a concept that is often overlooked or misunderstood. Start with a sinking fly line then add 18 inches of 20 lb test, 12 inches of 15 lb test, and 30 inches of 12 lb test for a leader. I have heard alot of folks call Bull trout "Poor mans Steelhead".. what do you guys think? If you’re new to Spey fishing for steelhead, try focusing on your swing. When the lies are very shallow a dry fly that is fished in the same way will also produce fish. In addition to the clown egg the list also includes our rabbit wiggle nymph pattern , a black stone , Ed’s Salmon Alevin fly and a good sculpin / goby pattern like the Purple Traitor Sculpin. Swinging flies can also work wonders with steelhead when the other heavier methods aren’t getting them to bite. Visualize the motion of the fly. Come fish with us in the Bahamas! SWINGING & SPEY FLIES STEELHEAD NYMPHS FLIES BY HATCH SKWALA STONEFLIES BWO - BLUE WINGED OLIVES OCTOBER CADDIS FLIES CRANE FLIES Tierra del Fuego Fly Assortment // Sea … During my career as a wet fly fisherman I have discovered some truths about swinging a fly down and across stream: I’m assuming you have an … Conclusion. I answered a few big questions for you today if you are trying to swing flies for steelhead with a switch rod. Swinging flies is like Tai Chi. These 12 flies will be matched to your exact destination by our team of experts. While I personally don’t swing egg flies to steelhead, as a down and across angler of trout I understand why it works and works so well. This entry was posted in *Recycle, Steelhead and tagged fishing, Fly Fishing, fly fishing lessons, Fly Fishing Photography, Gink and Gasoline, how to fly fish, Kent Klewein, learn to fly fish, Louis Cahill, photography, Steelhead, swinging flies for steelhead by Louis Cahill. Steelhead fly fishing: the sole reason many people choose to fly fish. The spring steelhead fishing lends itself well for “swinging” flies, and you can sometimes see fish chase the fly over long distances. The winter weather and water conditions, as well as sexually developed fish, create some of the most demanding conditions that the angler will encounter all year. We have a huge assortment of flies for steelhead. So here is my unabashedly biased look at a small sampling of BC’s Best Steelhead Flies. You need one with a soft tip to protect light tippets, but strong enough to pull a steelhead from cover. We must work hard in colder weather and understand the nature of the fish far more intimately. Note: If you are looking for our favorite rods, reels and lines for swinging flies for Great Lakes Steelhead click here … After fly fishing for steelhead for over 30 years I have come to the conclusion that I really enjoy the feel of a steelhead taking a fly on the swing with no slack in the line or leader. Thankfully the steelhead were as cheerful as our surroundings too. Whether using single-hand or Spey fishing tactics, the goal is the same: feeling that heart-stopping tug at the end of a tight line. Jerry French is well recognized amongst the steelhead spey community. Over the next few months our steelhead rivers will get pummeled with fierce storms and high water events. Other general (uncontrollable) hurdles that can affect your fishing experience include heavy rainfall, snow, clouds, and bears. Swinging sink-tips with large flies that are more like streamers than spey flies is … Steelhead love them! We'll show you what flies will catch those fish. In many ways, steelhead angling is quite a bit harder than some other form of swinging flies. The advantage of spring steelhead fishing, if you plan it right, is that you don’t have to worry about things like high river flows and swarms of biting mosquitoes, white sox, and other insects. This technique is most common for fishing for salmon and steelhead. Swinging Flies Method. From steelhead nymphs to big swinging flies, our selection will have you covered. Whether you are looking for flies for Alaska steelhead or for fishing in Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia, we have patterns you won’t find anywhere else. ... We learned a little more about swinging flies during that day on the water. In 1876, Michigan’s Daniel Fitzhugh never dreamed that his California rainbow trout experiment on the Au Sable River would result in migratory winter steelhead. Being successful swinging flies for winter steelhead is all about adapting to changing conditions and paying attention to details. Thankfully, outside of steelhead circles, down-and-across angling remains limited to a small, occult-like following compared to the numbers of nymph and dry fly anglers. Swinging flies for Steelhead The Thompson River in British Columbia is famous for its summer-run steelhead, and this video offers a dreamy look at the river and a discussion of what is happening to the steelhead population. Sometime between early March and the end of April is peak season for the Great Lakes steelhead run. What follows is the story of three fish and the lessons those fish revealed to me about effectively presenting flies to steelhead. So at Grindstone Outfitters, we do a variety of guiding throughout the province of Ontario, the South Central region, mainly we provide the spring steelhead run. Top 10 Winter Steelhead Flies Revealed. Any list of the top five steelhead flies for spring or for anytime has to include the clown egg. First off, what does it mean to swing a fly? Spring steelhead, like the winter steelhead we pursue in Oregon, return sexually mature in comparison to summer steelhead. Visualize the fish in his lie. Shop with Red's and enjoy a tight line on your next trip. Except for a few locations out west, we are having to throw large flies and getting them deep. Not really your ideal weather in Michigan to be swinging flies for spring steelhead, but a good day for a swing none the less. Spring steelheader "swinging" tube flies on the upper Grand River, OH (This is the first of a series of articles by John Nagy on fly fishing "Steelhead Alley" tributary streams and rivers. Pictured are a couple of nice spring hens from today. When not documenting clients’ outdoor activities, he spends all of his time swinging flies for wild steelhead, casting dry flies to trout in remote lakes, or spinning up fly patterns for a local fly shop. 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