Today we have a few steelheading tips coming at you from our own Kara Knight. Kara is our lodge manager at B.C. West on the Dean River and knows a thing or two about swinging flies for steelhead.
We asked Kara for a few tips she’s picked up from her time on the Dean that might help simplify the steelhead game for the rest of us. Today we share those tips..
- Think Trout. A common question from many anglers making the switch from trout to steelhead is “what is good steelhead water?” or “where do they hold?” Don’t over think it! Kara had a great point; remember a steelhead is still a trout at heart, so fish for them where trout would sit! With the exception of some traditional trout feeding lies, steelhead will hold in the same lies that provide a break from the current that trout would call home. In and around structure, slow deep runs, and so on. Fish them all, think trout!
- Trust Your Gut. Steelheading is not a numbers game. It is important at all times to remain optimistic and be confident that the fish are out there. Constantly changing flies and sink tips on every unanswered swing only cuts down on the amount of time your fly is in the water. The most important thing is getting your fly in front of the fish, not necessarily the pattern or color, especially if near the salt! Do you really think a black lab cares what color the tennis ball is? You get our point, trust your gut.
- Fish Close First: We’ve said this before, but it bears repeating. Never underestimate how tight fish can hold to the bank. Especially in colored up water! According to Kara, all too often has she seen an angler get the eat as their “setting up” for their first cast. Fish that first short cast just as attentively as that hero cast to the opposite bank.
- Take a Casting Lesson: Want to make the most out of your trip? According to Kara, the number one way to increase your chances of success is a simple casting lesson. Whether you’re fishing with a one or two handed rod, working out some of the kinks ahead of time will make all the difference in the world! That way, all you have to concentrate on is the fishing, not how to remove the intruder from your ear.