NFR nymphing for steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by liltanker32, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. liltanker32 Member

    Posts: 187
    vancouver washington
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I need some advice on nymphing for steelhead. I have trout fishing on a fly all y life. this year is my first year to take on the steel on a fly. i know my way around the intruder game but not nymphs. if you guys could throw me a few tips on what works that would be great. pictures of your fly boxes if you dont mind.
  2. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,575
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    Anything with a bead behind it... That also means a bead with a bead behind it.. People may disagree, but whatever...

    I have had the most succes with; a large stonefly (4-6) with a bead, or an october caddis (6-8) with a bead, or a fluoro oj beadheaded prince in size 6 with a bead behind it..
    Luke77 and constructeur like this.
  3. Jeremy Floyd fly fishing my way through life

    Posts: 2,575
    Quesnel, BC
    Ratings: +323 / 0
    14mm peachy pearl bead imho..
  4. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    A bead with a hook
  5. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 2,007
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +788 / 0
  6. JesseC Active Member

    Posts: 1,998
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +776 / 0

    Biggest issue you're likely to face is fishing trout water most of the time instead of steelhead water. Trout are in the river to feed and get bigger. Steelhead are there, moving up river, to get it on. They're usually going to hang out in "travel lanes" or "resting spots" which are, in my experience, much different than trouty spots.

    I notice this because I have a couple of buddies who are excellent steelhead fishermen. But, it's really hard for us to switch mind sets and continue being as productive as we were for trout after a season of steelhead.

    Beads. There are enough colors of them and if you're smart enough you'll realize that it must not make that big of a mother f*#&ng difference. Hit em on the nose with it once or twice and maybe 50% of the time you'll drop that BOBBER.
  7. Kelly Michelsen Active Member

    Posts: 163
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +39 / 0
    I use almost exclusively fish a 2 fly nymph setup large size 4-6 orange bead head stone fly with several combinations of small flys with rubber legs and also with egg patterns, about 75 % of the time the large fly attracts the steel head and the go after the smaller trailer fly, so about 25% of the time I catch them on the larger fly. last fall I caught the largest bull trout I have ever personally seen with the large orange bead head stone fly. the fish in my avitar.
    Goodluck and tightlines,
    Kelly Michelsen
  8. Freestone Not to be confused with freestoneangler

    Posts: 2,371
    Ratings: +1,229 / 0
    Are you going to be fishing for winter or summer runs? If you are fishing the Columbia tribs, just fish your trout box. Seriously. Add some beads or orange cone heads if you like but when nymphing for summer runs, I almost exclusively fish small bugs (12-16) and I almost never add split shot.
  9. liltanker32 Member

    Posts: 187
    vancouver washington
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    thanks for all of the advice so far. I know steelhead water versus trout water is way diffrent. they love the chill out spots where trout dont like those spots as much.
  10. tkww Member

    Posts: 469
    Ratings: +71 / 2
    I love that you labeled in NFR.
    In my experience any large nymph will work. Stone, Hare's Ear, Prince, Copper/Jumbo Johns, etc. I really don't think it matters much. I've had stuff as small as a 1xL #14 work and as large as a 4xL #2. Most important is to get it down to them, not what pattern it is. I would try to match a hatch if you see something going on--Oct Caddis in the early fall, winter stones in February, etc. But don't get hung up on it. Anyway, here are some ideas:
  11. Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

    Posts: 1,598
    Yakima, WA
    Ratings: +375 / 0
    As others have said, bead. Big jimmy legs stone with a bead trailer is all you need.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 4 Beta
  12. Breck Active Member

    Posts: 287
    Lynnwood, WA
    Ratings: +89 / 0
    Central Oregon's Deschutes River offers some of the BEST nymphing for steelies in the Pac NW. I use a triple fly rig under an indicator. A large, double bead peacock stone up top, a big purple rubber leg copper John in the middle, and a glass bead purple rock worm on the bottom. It's a lot like trout fishing with bigger equipment.
  13. SmokinAces Keepin' It Reel

    Posts: 207
    B-HAM, WA
    Ratings: +1 / 0