I’m often asked what size and brand of stinger hook I use for steelhead tube flies. First, let me say that I use Owner SSW Octopus hooks almost exclusively with one exception. -For Size #6 hooks I fish a Daiichi D255 Intruder Hook. I’ve tried every other hook on the market and have had mixed results.
If you spend much time on steelhead rivers, you've probably heard someone make the observation that the fly we choose to fish doesn't really matter. That comment is typically followed up with the idea that you just need to put your time in to find a player and stay confident. While there's no doubt our sport takes a healthy dose of patience, practice and persistence, I happen to fall into the fly does matter camp.
As the steelhead rivers rise with spring run-off, you need to adjust your game plan to be successful. Here are a few things to remember when the water is high.
1. Look for the soft water –In high flows, most of the usual runs are moving way too fast for steelhead to hold. Look for the soft “inside” water that isn’t raging fast.
2. Wade shallow –Steelhead will rest in extremely shallow water in run-off. Don’t wade deeper than your knees so your fly can swing into the shallows.
In todays post we're talking about rigging lead or tungsten worm weights on unweighted steelhead or salmon shank flies. This is an extremely useful fishing system that can greatly reduce the number of flies you tie or carry. First, you'll have to know the "saltwater loop knot". The most useful size weights are 3/16 oz and 1/8 oz although I have thrown up to 1/4 oz weights for super deep slots.
Many of your questions can be answered in my "Trip Planner & Packing List" (PDF)
What time do we meet, when will we be done?
I will meet you at Heritage Landing at 2:00pm. I recommend having your waders on and fishing gear ready so we can maximize your first afternoon on the water.
How do I get a BLM Boaters Pass?
Your Deschutes adventure will originate at 1:00pm at Heritage Landing, near the confluence of the Deschutes and Columbia River. Heritage is about 95 miles due east of Portland, Oregon. Heritage is beautiful park with clean restrooms and cell coverage.
Driving Directions from Portland, Oregon
Deschutes River Steelhead Camp 2014 Pricing
Three days of fishing, 2 nights in camp $1650.00/per angler (Three anglers minimum/four angler max.)
Five days of fishing, 4 nights in camp $2750.00/per angler (Three anglers minimum/four anglers max.)
Larger or Smaller Groups
If you have more than four anglers I can contract addition guides. (Six anglers minimum)
Spey rods are extremely effective for steelhead fishing on the Deschutes River. The ability to cast with limited back casting room is a huge advantage. In addition, the length of two-handed rods allows the angler to control the speed of the fly, which is critical for success with steelhead.
Deschutes River Spey Fishing Equipment
Rods: 11’9 to 13’6' for a #6 to #8 weight Spey rods.
Reels: Large Arbor with 150 yards of 30lb. backing.
Running Line: 30lb. Airflo RidgeLine, Miracle Braid or Mono
Early steelhead start showing up in June though we typically don’t see good numbers until July. However, June is primetime for Deschutes trout fishing. Expect great trout fishing with the possibility of a steelhead.
The majority of Deschutes steelhead returning in July are wild. These chrome missiles are by far the hottest fish of the season and take the fly extremely well. July is a wonderful month to be on the Deschutes if you don’t like crowds. The trout fishing remains strong.