Beginner steelheader!

J

jathrtn

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Nov 12, 2009
Messages
48
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portland
Im new to the steel head game and was just hoping maybe someone could give me some helpful advice about what to look for considering water condition for steel head fishing? Is it better fish the fast moveing current, or the slower drifts? Does row work better than jigs, or spinners? what about corkys and yarn? corky and yarn have proven productive for hooking into salmon as for the blue fox lures. All advice is greatly appreciated! thanks!:cool:
 
Y

youngbuck307

1
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Mar 5, 2009
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SE Portland, Oregon
for drift fishing you want teh current to be flowing around a fast walking speed. and when it comes to what best to toss at them... it really at depends on what the fish want right then I fish with everthing you said in a lot of my drifts ill run on then the next then the next. And ill work all of them through the whole drift.... start at one end make 5-10casts take 3 steps down, then agen 5-10 casts then3 steps down till you hook a fish or get to the end chang stuff and start over....might take a long time to cover water but you will find the fish if they are in there doing that!
 
Q

qwapaw

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Apr 27, 2009
Messages
263
Location
Eugene OR
Wow, Those are really good questions. Now for a really poor answer. I used to bank fish the Santiam a lot. I mean every night after work. I used everything you mentioned accept Jigs. We didn't have them back them. Differant days differant things woked. In the nice green water it seemed like I have had the best luck with a Blue or Green Steelie. Clear water and little yarn and small corkie. These are things you will learn by trial and error. Just take a lot of stuff and change out when you think you have given what you are using a good try. Good luck, It took me a long time to get my fisrt one, after that it got better. Tight Lines, Dan
 
M

Mike123

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Feb 8, 2009
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Oregon
Honestly the only way to get good is to just go fishing a lot..
Pick a method to learn first. Bobber and jig(easiest), spinners/hardware, drift fishing... Remember that in the winter with high flows and COLD water steelhead will sometimes hold in different areas often... calmer water and deeper slots. In the dead of summer with low flows and warmer water, fish hold in the water with most concentrated oxygen... I.E. white water riffles, head of riffles, where cold creeks come in, etc....

After you catch a few you will learn what to do right and what not to do.
 
J

jathrtn

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Nov 12, 2009
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48
Location
portland
Just wanted to say thanx for the replies and thats just what ill do. as soon as the steelies start running strong ill be in my in my waders on the river with my kid using everything in my arsonal to try and catch one.
 
G

Growbug

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Nov 3, 2009
Messages
523
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Dickie Prairie, Molalla
This may not be much, as I am a newbie myself, only been fishing for a few months, but this is what i have learnt so far..
1- Spend as much time as possible getting to know the water that you will be fishing.
1a - Google maps is excellent for scouting access.
1b - Getting to know the water involves knowing all the regulations. Can you use bait? etc.
2- Read as many of the archived posts as you can. Search through them and read the hidden hints and tips.
3- Keep it simple. You are starting out, practicing. If you bring 3 rods and setups to the river, you will find yourself swapping between them.
4- Patience. You arent going to catch a fish every time you go out, and sometimes its the wrong fish!! Dont give up and enjoy the beauty.
5- Practice. You already know this one.

Good luck.. lets see some pics when you reel them in
 
C

Chrome_Chaser

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Aug 11, 2009
Messages
140
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Eugene
My favorite is small corky and yarn (salmon color) and sandshrimp. After putting the sandshrimp on, apply a small amount of shrimp scent on the yarn. This has been a killer combo for me. Never caught a steelhead on jigs and bobber yet, but I've been trying and won't give up until I do. Good Luck!
 
F

FishSchooler

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Mar 29, 2008
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Oregon
Im surprised no one has mentioned plunking, especially for the winter.

When it's cold and you dont feel like doin' a lot of casting, just plunk!

Here's how you rig with a spreader-- 15 lb main line, goes to a spreader with the strongest knot you know. 3.5 ft Leader-12 lb line with a spin n glow, 2 6mm beads, and a size 2 or 1 hook. Toss on some eggs or shrimp.
For the dropper end, enough weight to hold the whole rig down. 6 oz is enough for most rivers. Don't cast too far, fish hold near the bank during winter when the water is dirty

If you dont have spreaders, thread a barrel swivel onto your mainline. After the swivel, slide on a 6-8 mm bead. On the end, tie on another swivel. Tie your dropper line to the swivel on the end. Tie your leader with the spin n glow to other.

Dropper line lengths depend on the type of river bed. Boulders call for longer ones. Pebbles call for smaller. For the clackamas and willamette, 16 inch droppers should do fine.

Cast out 15 feet or so, then go wait in your car!
 
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M

Mike123

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Oregon
Im surprised no one has mentioned plunking, especially for the winter.

When it's cold and you dont feel like doin' a lot of casting, just plunk!

Here's how you rig with a spreader-- 15 lb main line, goes to a spreader with the strongest knot you know. 3.5 ft Leader-12 lb line with a spin n glow, 2 6mm beads, and a size 2 or 1 hook. Toss on some eggs or shrimp.
For the dropper end, enough weight to hold the whole rig down. 6 oz is enough for most rivers. Don't cast too far, fish hold near the bank during winter

Good tip FS! :clap:

I would like to do some more plunking this year.. I've only done it a couple times but never had any success at it. Maybe if the coastal rivers get high enough this year I will try it again.
 
F

FishSchooler

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Oops I posted it twice

The distance isn't always 15 feet, sometimes it's more or less. Just an example there. :lol:
 
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D

DirectDrive

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Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
453
Location
Vancouver, WA
This may not be much, as I am a newbie myself, only been fishing for a few months, but this is what i have learnt so far..
1- Spend as much time as possible getting to know the water that you will be fishing.
1a - Google maps is excellent for scouting access.
1b - Getting to know the water involves knowing all the regulations. Can you use bait? etc.
2- Read as many of the archived posts as you can. Search through them and read the hidden hints and tips.
3- Keep it simple. You are starting out, practicing. If you bring 3 rods and setups to the river, you will find yourself swapping between them.
4- Patience. You arent going to catch a fish every time you go out, and sometimes its the wrong fish!! Dont give up and enjoy the beauty.
5- Practice. You already know this one.

Good luck.. lets see some pics when you reel them in
x2

If you want to really get permanently brain-damaged and be a good winter steelhead fisherman, you need to learn to driftfish.
That is the foundation.

Find a good, known productive drift (hole or run) on your "home river" and learn it inside and out. Ask all the questions you want now, while you're a noob because later in your career you cannot ask. It's kinda like asking for directions, you just can't do that :)
Kids and wives can however, ask any question at any time, so that will be useful later on. :redface:

DD

Don't you have to be a geezer to be a plunker ?
I know you have to have a good liver :D
 
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J

jathrtn

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Joined
Nov 12, 2009
Messages
48
Location
portland
I just want to thank everyone for the helpful info from this forum, and i will be trying all of these methods. I will be spending as much time as i possibly can on the river! FISH ON!:cool:
 
A

autofisher

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Jun 25, 2009
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Salem, Oregon
There are a lot of different ways to fish the rivers. If you want to get a good understanding of drift fishing fundamentals, you can check out Bill Herzogg's books on drift fishing for steel. He's really good at breaking it down so you can understand what he means. Remember, a lot of us when we started didn't even know what a seam in a river was.

Just remember to grab two poles, unless you're really fast at tying up rigs.
 
G

Growbug

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Dickie Prairie, Molalla
Lets guess.. a seam is what the River splits when it gets blown out

joking aside. Yes.. get the book, learn the holding waters.

Also, i have found that a shorter leader (12" - 18") seems to be easier to work with as it hugs the bottom better, and you can feel bites easier..

As i said previously, i am a newbie to this, so feel free to double check or ignore all that i have just written.
 
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Q

qwapaw

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Messages
263
Location
Eugene OR
Geezer Huh? OK, I am an old guy, but if I don't feel like standing in the cold water and walking a lot, at least I can be fishing if I plunk. Go with a friend and have some good converation while you sit there and get older. Good luck what ever you do, Qwa (The Geezer) Paw
 
D

DirectDrive

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Nov 4, 2009
Messages
453
Location
Vancouver, WA
Geezer Huh? OK, I am an old guy, but if I don't feel like standing in the cold water and walking a lot, at least I can be fishing if I plunk. Go with a friend and have some good converation while you sit there and get older. Good luck what ever you do, Qwa (The Geezer) Paw
Well said.

DD
Who is a geezer himself but still humpin' the trails and wadin' the fast water :cool:
Hopefully 'til I hit my expiration date :D
 
M

masmith

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Aug 2, 2009
Messages
149
Location
Lafayette, Or
Really, there is no answer to your steelhead questions. You just have to fish no matter what the conditions in any water at all times. At least 5 days a week, 30 hours a week at least, don't ask questions, just constantly fish and after a few years you will figure out how to catch one.


;)
 
B

beaverfan

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Feb 18, 2009
Messages
2,166
Location
Beaverton, Oregon
I don't know how many people can tell you in so many ways that the time to get out there is now. There are already winter Steelhead in a lot of the coastal rivers. The Steelhead runs on the coastal rivers are rain dependent. There is no way of saying they will be in at a certain time. Right now is the time to get out and find them.
 
A

autofisher

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Jun 25, 2009
Messages
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Salem, Oregon
I can understand how frustrating it can be trying to figure out when and where is the best time to get into some fish. It's human nature to ask questions and try to find out as much information as possible so as to avoid a "wasted" trip. The reality of it is this (at least to me) everyone has a different style of fishing, and everyone has different likes and dislikes. The advice to get out and hit the water and check places for yourself isn't out of malice, it's out of experience. There are fishing holes that I love to go to and don't mind the hike or the precarious places to stand, but then there are other fisher folk that aren't able to get to these spots or stand where I stand. You have to find out what works for you and check out a lot of different spots. A big part of fishing for me isn't just getting into fish, it's the hunt and the satisfaction of getting into fish after I've gone looking for them.
 
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