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Thread: Winter Steelhead Fishing, How We Roll! Whats in Your Pack?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Winter Steelhead Fishing, How We Roll! Whats in Your Pack?

    In the interest of starting a discussion regarding the coming winter steelhead season, I am wondering how and maybe where [in general] we are planning to fish. No need to give up the farm or spill the well like me but whatever you are willing to share will be fine. There are a million trade secrets in steelheading and we will certainly not cover them all. There are no rules and there is no right or wrong for the open minded in steelheading if someone is confident and successful in the methods they fish.

    Please understand there are always variables and different ways to fish for steelhead and that is exactly what I am hoping to talk about in this thread. In April when we are done we can compare our notes and see what worked best for us.

    I will start us off with what has come to be my stand-bye go-to winter steelhead gear after 26 years of bank fishing for steelhead from California to Canada. My recipe for 100 steelhead a year.

    I roll pretty light with the exception of my Nikon and a bottle of water. I pack every thing into a backpack or chest pack. I have 2 packs for the different ways I fish from small streams to large rivers. I always have my yellow lens solar bat glasses and a license to fish in Oregon and Washington.



    In the Winter I fish 2 different ways related mostly to the size of the stream or river I will be on. I often carry 2 rods when I fish medium to large size rivers such as the Sandy or Clackamas rivers. The first rod will be a jig and bobber rod of 10 feet in length or more with a 1 oz inline float system strung on 15 or 20 lb fluorocarbon or 30 lb Power Pro. I use this rod to cover steelhead jigs, pink worms and bait under a float. This rod has a good solid backdone with a fast taper for line control and hooksets from across a larger river. The second rod will be an 8'6" to 9'6" spinning rod with 12 lb that I will use to roll R&B's through every piece of faster water I see.





    On small streams such as Eagle creek or the North Fork of anywhere I will fish a 7 or 8 weight fly rod with a custom trout bead, a tag of yarn and possibly a strike indicator. A floating line is always fished on this rod. In this type of small water fishing the bead replaces the corkie. This same fly rod can also serve up flys, yarnys and micro jigs. During periods of high water, on certain streams I may also carry one of the other 2 rods to cover the tougher conditions. For small stream fishing with this fly rod I load a chest pack with universal tackle to fly fish or drift fish. The large corkies shown are used only as a strike indicator when beading during periods of low water.





    The second larger river pack is outfitted with spinners, spoons, and enough 1 oz float gear to cover several different methods of float fishing.

    You might be wondering why there is no drift rod or corkies shown here.....I do drift fish in a few places but for all of my small to medium river applications I use the fly rod shown above to 'drift fish' lightly with yarn and beads. In large rivers I feel I can really cover alot more water with the hardware and float rod without loosing much gear for day of fishing.
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  2. #2

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    You guys will think I carry a ridiculous amount of gear... I am planning on sorting my stuff out so I can use a vest and maybe a lil bag. I have like 2 plano ones and then a couple smaller ones.. I'm thinking about limiting it to split shot hooks swivels globugs.. Some yarn and float and jigs.
    MMMMMMMMM
    CHROME!!!

  3. #3
    Mr. R & B Guest

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    This will be a fun thread for sure and more fun to come back to later.

    When I can, I like to roll with two rods. One float and jig rod tipped with T&T Jigs. I may also be adding some new worms to the end of that rod as well.

    The other with my latest favorite spinner or spoon for the conditions. Lately it has been white silver and black #4 but I have a big urge to cast this spinner again


    RB
    Last edited by Mr. R & B; 12-01-2008 at 09:04 PM.

  4. #4

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    New guy here so i guess i better introduce myself. Name is Barry and i live right on the Cal / Ore border (Cal side). Home waters are Klamath and tribs, Rogue, Eel, Chetco, and Smith. Probably 80% of my winter steelheading is on the middle Rogue, i absolutely love that piece of water. Last year was fabulous, i hope this year is as good. When it comes to winter steelhead i am a died in the wool sidedrifter using mostly eggs but last season started useing yarn balls with good success. I'm trying to get away from relying on eggs so much because to be honest i really don't like to eat fish very much and i feel guilty killing fish just because i need eggs even though they are hatchery fish. Don't get me wrong i never waste a fish, i have many friends and neighbors who love to eat em. This winter i will be trying EZ EGGS, they look like they should work. The Scott river (Klamath trib) runs right by my house and when i fish it i'm useing a small glo bug shrimp pink with a red dot. If it's a little high and off color i'll thread a Jensen egg on the leader above the glo bug. Same goes for the Salmon river (also a Klamath trib). Late fall and early winter (like now) plugs are killer on the middle Klamath. I'd have to say my best producing plug on the Klamath is a Brads "lil" wiggler in Michael Jackson color with a red butt. Second would be a copper #30 hot shot. Last winter on the middle Rogue many fish were hooked on a silver and pink Kwikfish, K9X.

    So there ya have it. Looks like you have a very nice site here and i have seen many of Mathews videos, they are Awesome. I am a long time member of, and on the Pro Staff of www.salmontroutandsteelhead.com, also a very nice site. We cover Southern Oregon and Northern California. Lots of great people and info. That's it for now.

    Klamathsteel

  5. #5

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    Matthew-

    Are you pegging that trout bead above the hook and yarn?

  6. #6
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    Klamath,

    I have fished the Klambake a few times myself...had access to R-Ranch from a friend for a while growing up, love that river! such a different world, like the Deschutes kind of....To bad about the salmon crash. I know the Klamath used to get like 80,000 fish in the fall...

    I must come south for Half Pounders next year...



    Quote Originally Posted by TailOutSwingin View Post
    Matthew-

    Are you pegging that trout bead above the hook and yarn?
    It is a sillicon bead peg. I like this kind because it does not injure the leader.
    C. Winterwolf ><,> NWFI Community Director <,><


    Golden Stone Web Design


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2017"~<)))><


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2016"~<)))><

    Fighting over the fish will only serve to divert us from our common goal ><,>

    "The more I see the less I know" Anthony Bourdain

  7. #7

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    1/2 lbers = Somes Bar down in september.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by klamathsteel View Post
    1/2 lbers = Somes Bar down in september.

    Totaly noted.
    C. Winterwolf ><,> NWFI Community Director <,><


    Golden Stone Web Design


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2017"~<)))><


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2016"~<)))><

    Fighting over the fish will only serve to divert us from our common goal ><,>

    "The more I see the less I know" Anthony Bourdain

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default How much is too much

    I've been drift fishing for almost 30 years and gone through many phases. I can remember when I carried a tackle box around for a year, but then that wouldn't hold enough stuff. I then bought a vest with the biggest and most pockets I could find, because I thought I needed all that stuff to up my odds. After a few years I realized that I was carring half the store with me but rarely used 75% of it. Now at this point in my life I just like to keep things as basic and simple as possible.
    Some things that I don't carry anymore are- slinkies, pencil lead, swivles, corkies or any other drift bobbers, pretied leaders, hardware, jigs and many other things. What I do carry can all fit in one pocket unless I also have bait. I carry a pack of hooks, bag of split shot, beads and assorted colors of yarn. In my fanny pack I have water, couple different plastics, sissors and pliers. I never carry a second rod for steelhead, 90% of the time if they wont bite this then they wont bite that.
    To me it's a much more enjoyable day when you can walk and fish without being weighed down, another reason why I release most all fish (it's all fun till you kill one, then it's work). So weather I've got my fly rod on small water or the drift rod on big water I fish the same.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikebraun View Post
    I never carry a second rod for steelhead, 90% of the time if they wont bite this then they wont bite that
    .
    A surprising statement coming from you Mike, IM surprised really...Sure you dont want to re-think this? Not the part about the 2 rods. The part about the steelhead only being interested in 1 thing? I dont think for one second even you believe this to be true....not one second : )

    Thats one of the major variables. This rule does not apply to larger rivers such as the Sandy were 2 rods is very much a key to my success.

    This is totaly based on the type and size of water we each prefer to fish most often.


    It also depends on who your with and were they want to fish. Wilson river for example, if the person your with only knows how to drift fish pocket water and small holes in a few places and is going to take you there to drift fish, your float rod and spinner rod become totaly useless and extra dead weight. Yet everyone knows the Wilson has some 400 bobber and jig holes in the non pocket sections of the river where the partner could reign supreme.

    The variables, lol




    ....
    C. Winterwolf ><,> NWFI Community Director <,><


    Golden Stone Web Design


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2017"~<)))><


    One t0 MaNy cArp's 0n tHe braIn "2016"~<)))><

    Fighting over the fish will only serve to divert us from our common goal ><,>

    "The more I see the less I know" Anthony Bourdain

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