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GrabbitSeptember 19th, 2007, 1:52 am
Columbus, OH

Posts: 21
Wow.... who sucked the wind out of this sail. Okay now that its fall who has some nice BWO patterns to share. You know I like to keep them dry but if you have a intresting nymph pattern to share have at it.

Please stop posting the silly leading us to nowhereville "remember when" threads.... it looks like this forum needs a shot in the arm.

Do any of you chase steelhead? If so where? when is it best? and what patterns work for you?
Fishing with nymphs is for fat little kids... man up and throw a dry.
SofthackleSeptember 19th, 2007, 6:12 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
Hi Grabbit,
I disagree that fishing nymphs is for fat little kids. While I use dry flies, I believe it takes a lot more skill to fish wets and nymphs. My BWO pattern comes from my friend Hans Weilenmann. It is his wonderful Partridge and Olive Emerger. I consider this a "wingless wet" or "soft-hackle". I've used this pattern with great success when the BWOs are coming off. I often use Brahma Hen or Blue Dun Hen in place of the partridge especially if you can not get partridge to fit the smaller hooks.

What is nice about this fly is it can be fished deep to the surface or just below the surface on a semi-greased leader or in the film. The results for these methods are similar to dry fly fishing.

copy and paste into your browser:
http://www.danica.com/flytier/hweilenmann/partridge_olive_emerger.htm

Have fun,
Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
GrabbitSeptember 19th, 2007, 6:26 pm
Columbus, OH

Posts: 21
Mark thanks for your reply, I have fished nymphs and wets and enjoy it. Fish are hard to read if you cant see them, when under water they either eat your offering or pass it up. It's hard to tell if they are inspecting and refusing the pattern or presentation of the fly. Conversely trout give you feedback up top in which you can make use to gain advantage. Much subsurface work nymphing especially has a lot to do with luck if you can not see the fish. How can one be certain a fish is even holding in an area? This is just my observaton. If however you are fishing to fish that are nymphing and you can see it happening then you are by all means 'angling' and not simply prospecting indiscriminately for another take. I understand that one can read water and know the whereabouts in which a fish might lie. But on water with a small number of trout per river mile the approach of trying to read water and nymphing it is done in vain as one can search some promising water without so much as a chub being present. I would much rather fish to fish I know are there and attempt to match whatever is on the menu.
Fishing with nymphs is for fat little kids... man up and throw a dry.
Shawnny3September 20th, 2007, 4:21 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Nice reasons, Grabbit. I would only counter that dry-fly fishing is also just prospecting if there are no fish rising. One way or the other, there will be days when all we do as flyfishermen is prospect.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
SofthackleSeptember 20th, 2007, 5:59 am
Site Editor
Wellsville, NY

Posts: 540
I'd have to agree with Shawn. Most fishing is "prospecting". That's why we use the term "fishing" in place of "prospecting". I do not mean to criticize anyones method of fly fishing. I, however, was brought up in a time when strike indicators were not used as readily, and one had to actually feel the take. I also feel that fishing sub-surface is a bit harder when using some techniques over seeing the trout take the fly at the surface.I've fished, sub-surface to fish I've seen in the water using the Lesisenring Lift with soft-hackles/flymphs. It can be just as exciting as using a dry.

To me, whether you are fishing to a working fish or not, there are still variables that make fishing "prospecting". The presentation, the drift, control of drag, implimentation of movement (If called for), fly selection,fly behavior etc. all contribute to whether or not a particular fish will take the fly. The more adept a fisherman is in determining the correct variation, the more fish will take the flies he uses.

It is also my belief that trout are, most of the time, in opportunistic mode, meaning they are looking for an easy target. We often forget that trout are predatory, and if they can find a sitting duck, or a fly that is easier to take because it has some small flaw that all the other flies don't have, they will take that fly. That's something to think about when fishing.

Mark
"I have the highest respect for the skilled wet-fly fisherman, as he has mastered an art of very great difficulty." Edward R. Hewitt

Flymphs, Soft-hackles and Spiders: http://www.troutnut.com/libstudio/FS&S/index.html
RleePSeptember 20th, 2007, 7:23 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
>>Please stop posting the silly leading us to nowhereville "remember when" threads.... it looks like this forum needs a shot in the arm.>>

I'll emphatically disagree with this. I'm just not that certain that my personal preferences as to worthy topics are unanimously or universally held by the balance of the posters here. It's possible that most people like the "remember when" threads. I know that, speaking only for myself, I don't mind them. I like a mix of topics with a mix of tenors or moods.

>>Do any of you chase steelhead? If so where? when is it best? and what patterns work for you?>>

For you, being in Columbus, the Lake Erie tribs in PA seem a logical destination, I'd think. I grew up there. I always thought the "best" fishing was from mid-November until the creeks lock up around New Years (if indeed they do lock up any more). The crowds have throttled back from impossible to simply annoying and there are always fish all through all the creeks. Here is something I posted on another forum not so long ago. I'm far from the expert on these fish or creeks, but I did as i say, grow up there:

"There are some exceptions, but by and large, these are some of the dumbest fish I've ever put a fly over. I once watched my Dad who knows about as much about fishing for steelhead as I know about brain surgery hook 8 fish in 10 casts using a smoke-colored crappie jig on 12 lb. test with a snap swivel

But they are (or can be) moody and this (IMO) can make them seem much more discering than they really are.

But by and large, if you're the first guy of the day to present to a fish, you're going to catch him unless you spook him first.

Here's a couple things that worked for me over the years:

--All the lake tribs (or at least the ones of any size) are loaded with places where the shale bed suddenly drops off a couple feet to form a pocket. There are a lot of these places in between the bigger pools in portions of all the larger tribs. These places, in my experience) hold the least harrassed fish in the creek and hence the most vulnerable. Regardless of how small these places are, they almost always hold a fish if there are any number of fish in the creek at the time. A lot of guys will fish these places and not get down to where the fish is sitting, which is almost always with his nose pretty tight to the upstream wall of the drop off. What I used to do is put enough lead just above an egg fly (like 2 or 3 BB shot) to be able to roll it down the shale bed and have it drop straight down over the edge, into the pocket and bop the fish on the nose. This seems to work pretty well.

--The best fly you can use is one that nobody else is using or has used or a fly any sane person would would be embarrassed to use, whether it's a size 8 Montreal wet or a gold egg fly with a purple eye. I think this is a function of the heavy pressure. More than most fish, these steelhead seem to be interested in novelty.
The more often you change flies (unless you're really killing the fish) the more fish you will probably catch.

-- Tippet size, IMO, is not really a factor unless you want to fish dinky sucker spawn on 6X in the big, slow pools. That works too. Otherwise, I seldom (actually never) had an occasion to use lighter than 3X, even in fairly clear water in the faster runs.

--Consider using really big egg flies in dirty water and lots of lead to get them down. I've done really well on them. When I say really big, I'm talking the diameter of a ping pong ball on a size 6 hook. I used a lot of these in chartreuse with an orange eye and salmon egg pink with a red eye. Actually, I should revise this a little... I've never tied an egg fly that was round. Too much like work...:) I simply lash three strands of glo-bug yarn perpendicular to the hook shank (two of the body color with a shorter one for the eye in the middle). Then I pull them all up together and give the whole thing a haircut. So, my egg flies always looked more like mushrooms than eggs as there is no yarn below the shank.

Take a water thermometer. My experience has been that there is a pretty sharp temerature cutoff where these fish will no longer chase a moving/worked fly like a wooly bugger or streamer. It seems to be 40F. Not 41 or 39, but 40. It's like they have a handbook that tells them this is what they have to do. Or so it seems to me. For moving, actively worked flies, I really don't think you need anything besides some buggers in all white, all black and maybe a yellow marabou streamer. But carry some weird stuff too, as i mentioned earlier.

In a normal year, there will be fish all through the creeks any time after say, Nov. 15 regardless of how much high water there has been. In dry falls, there may not be that many up high, but there will almost always be enough to fish for at this time.

--If you want to have the maximum possible serenity on the creek and the most untraumatized fish, come in December. There will be fish all the way up all the major creeks and at least marginally fewer guys. Come when it's 15 degrees and the wind is out of the north at 30 knots. That's even better. But fish egg flies on days like this. They won't chase a bugger...:)
GrabbitSeptember 26th, 2007, 12:04 am
Columbus, OH

Posts: 21
RleeP,

Looks like you know your steelhead and their waters. I agree the later in the season chances are there will be less crowds. Regardless of the crowds if you are willing to hike you can always find productive stretches of river that have seen significantly less pessure. I prefer to get after them early in the season before most of the yahoos get after them. It was just a few weekends ago I made my way to the upper Conneaut River and did quite well. I landed a few fish that went over six pounds, I was also broken off by a few large shouldered slobs, this always seems par for the course so I cut my losses and move on. I tend to beat feet away crowds and most times I will not see another soul other than my fishing buddy. This Erie Steelhead Fishery is incredible. I enjoy swinging speys with traditional spey gear.

If anyone here would like to give it a go I invite you to contact me. Im not a guide but I do enjoy sharing my years of knowledge with newbies to this exciting fishery, it can be and usually is wonderful sport. I limit my fishing to mostly Michigan and Northeastern Ohio, so if anyone here wants to give it a go please feel free to contact me via private message.

Word on the street is that MANY fish are now staged at the mouths of the rivers and will be pouring in by the thousands after the next substantial rainfall. It's after this first intial push that the fish are still chrome colored and will smash a swung spey with reckless abandon. Yes, its that time of the fishing year to play with the big dumb gear shredding steelhead. My how life is good.

.....Grabbit.....

Fishing with nymphs is for fat little kids... man up and throw a dry.
RleePSeptember 27th, 2007, 8:09 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
>>It was just a few weekends ago I made my way to the upper Conneaut River and did quite well. I landed a few fish that went over six pounds, I was also broken off by a few large shouldered slobs, this always seems par for the course so I cut my losses and move on. I tend to beat feet away crowds and most times I will not see another soul other than my fishing buddy. This Erie Steelhead Fishery is incredible. I enjoy swinging speys with traditional spey gear.>>

I'm familiar with Conneaut Creek. I used to drive 15 miles from home and fish it for smallmouth. I've never heard of the Conneaut River...:)

Nor have I ever heard of steelhead being in the "Upper Conneaut" (wherever that is..)this time of year. Or at the least not before the first day of unicorn season. But I've been out of the area a few years and my information could be dated...

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