Timely tips on fly fishing for steelhead
Step downstream. Not only is this good etiquette but it is good steelheading. Most trout fisheries are best approached hiking upstream, most steelhead deliveries are best made downstream whether you are swinging a fly or nymphing. Take a step down after each cast. Start a little higher in the run than you think you need to and fish a little further down than you think you need to.
Tippet choice. You only need a few rolls of tippet. For swinging flies use 8 or 10 pound Maxima Ultragreen depending on water clarity. For nymph fishing use Rio Fluoroflex Plus 1X for your biggest flies, 2X for all others including egg patterns. For extremely clear water you can use 3X but be prepared to lose a few flies and fish! Start with a Tapered Steelhead/Salmon Leader.
Fly Selection. You don’t need 87 different fly patterns to successfully fish for steelhead. You need about 4-6 that you are confident in and know their behavior so that you can steer and control them like a familiar vehicle. Make sure you have flies that possess the following attributes. You need a dark heavy fly, dark lightweight fly, light colored heavy, light colored lightweight, and a few in between. If you nymph fish, a few big dark stoneflies and a few middle of the road flies, and get a handful of #12 Holo Prince Nymphs.