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Streamers and Steelhead Question

Discussion in 'Fly Tying / Fly Fishing' started by Shoeman, Jan 4, 2003.

  1. Hi Jason and other Ohio Flydunkers :)

    I'm under the impression that many of the Ohio tribs are fished with minnows for steelhead.
    Have any of you had any success stripping or swinging streamers in the tribs? Would the speed of a swinging streamer be too fast for a cold-water (32-35 degree) steelhead to chase?

    All of us have had success fishing nymphs and egg pattern, but since dirty water at times seems to be an issue, I just wondered if a larger, more visible presentation is an option.

    Thanks, Ralf
  2. Hey Ralf,
    Yes, the steelies in ohio tribs react very well to streamers,I have already experienced days where the fish just din't want the smaller patterns of eggs and nymphs so out of the blue i put on a white streamer and on.This has happened more than once so i feel you can still get em to hit the streamer in cold water temps.The fly just has to be closer to the fish, i don't think that they will chase it very far or fast in the cold water.Now warmer water,that's another story,hold on to your rod well or you'll be chasin it down river.
    hope this was some help.

  3. Wow, that was quick.
    Thanks Jeff

    Would you fish these on a full sinking line, sink tip or just a weighted streamer on WF? I'm sure it depends on the depth of the water fished.
    Seeing we're trying to slow the presentation, would you recommend a full sinking line fished downstream and slowly pulled back up?

    Thanks again ;)
  4. Use as little as you can, and still get the fly down to the fish. I don't think you really need sinking line in any of the ohio tribs, but in some situations it could help. Try making sinking leaders with a section of lead core trolling line. There was actually a good article on it recently in American Angler. It will shoot your floating line, carry big streamers, and get the fly down in current. I really like fishing streamers and wet flies for steelhead; It's a good way to stay warm, and strikes are much easier to detect. Jim at Mad River Outfitters turned me on to a white wooly bugger pattern this year. Fishes great as a streamer and easy to tie. (good combo if you snag alot). I really like yellow too. Honestly though, I think 90% of steelhead fishing is getting the fly in front of the fish. The fish aren't going to chase a streamer far in cold water, but if you get it within a foot of them, a reaction strike is likely. I think ohio is the only place where people fish for trout with minnows (sure seems to work though)
  5. would you recommend a full sinking line fished downstream and slowly pulled back up?


    Fish set with their heads facing into the current. Pulling line from behind them is apt to spook them, and they are less inclined to bite a fly that comes from behind. They're more likely to turn away from being startled. It also takes a ton of weight to get line deep when you're fighting the current. Let the current work for you. If the current is slow enough, casting up and away is the best. You're fly will sink fast as it comes down stream, and you will be stripping it downstream and across the current. It also gives the best hook sets. If the current is strong, casting across, and up a little, then swinging the fly through holes is the easiest. If you can shoot line far upstream, you're fly will sink deeper before the swing. A fast action rod is a blessing when you're shooting and chunking weight.
  6. Ralf,

    The guys have you in the right direction. A sinking line is not needed to fish the rivers, a floating line works just fine for me.
    When the waters dirty I throw some big bright streamers. I usualy start out with a streamer and then go from there even in the cold water.

  7. After a trip to the Rocky, I can see why a sinking line isn't necessary. Your rivers are much shallower and the substrate would tear it up in just a few casts. :eek:

    I didn't try running streamers during our visit, but plan on it in the near future.

    Thanks for all the help.