Winter steelhead season is upon us… Is your fly box ready? I rely on only a few patterns for finding winter fish. My fly choice is based on the type of water I want to fish for the given conditions. Here are a few you should have in your box for this winter.
Marabou is one of the most seductive materials to create winter steelhead flies with. Its life-like movement in the faintest currents makes it a great choice for fishing the slow guts of pools. Another situation is when the water is high and the fish are close to the bank. When the water is cold or off color, try fishing my Reverse Marabou.
Intruders have become a staple fly for most winter steelhead anglers. I like fishing them when the water has some stain but it’s not particularly high. During these conditions the fish won’t be close to the bank. You need a big fly with lots of movement to get a winter fish to rise aggressively through the water column. Scott Howell’s Signature Series Intruders elicit some great grabs.
I like fishing leeches early and late in the season. –Mostly because leeches work really well in riffles and tail-outs. You’ll find fish in these places when the water temps are in the mid-forty range. A simple fly that catches fish is my Loop Leech.