Fly fishing steelies

B

bigsteel

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,546
Location
salem, oregon
so i want to get out my fly rod and try for a steelhead,,,,,i have always fished for trout with fly but wondering do you guys mostly use egg patterns or would stoneflies be goood?does anyone know of a good place to buy realistic flies
 
Last edited:
A

autofisher

1
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
762
Location
Salem, Oregon
so i want to get out my fly rod and try for a steelhead,,,,,i have always fished for trout with fly but wondering do you guys mostly use egg patterns or would stoneflies be goood?does anyone know of a good place to buy realistic flies

The few people that we talked to yesterday at EC said that the fish they saw caught were on egg patterns. There's a fly shop here in Salem (downtown) there's also a sports outfitter place in Dallas, but I haven't gone in to see what all they sell.
 
Chromatose

Chromatose

Active member
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
546
I do all my tying, so I haven't bought fly`s in years. Might look into a vise for yourself and give it a whirl. Good fun and exciting to catch a few on some thing you tied. But if your just wanting to look and buy then here is a link for a good fly shop.
Favorite Winter Steelhead Flies


If their not close, they might be able to steer you in the right direction.

Egg imitations, Streamers, Woolly Buggers, would be a few choices I would go with. Good Luck out there.
 
B

bigsteel

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,546
Location
salem, oregon
thanks,,,,i tie my own flies but ive seen some realistic looking patterns that look exactly the bug it imitates,,,my tying skills are nowhere near that good,,,,i tie all my dries and nymphs
 
B

bigsteel

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,546
Location
salem, oregon
wow,,thats a great collection,,i wish i could do that,,,,i still struggle with the humpy once in a while,,im experimenting with extended bodies at the moment..what kind of capes do you prefer,,,metz or whiting?$4000 bucks a fly damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Last edited:
Chromatose

Chromatose

Active member
Joined
May 27, 2009
Messages
546
"""""""""""what kind of capes do you prefer,,,metz or whiting?""""""""""""

I usually go with hand me downs from hunter friends, or road kill. But when I buy from a vendor it would have to be Whiting. Henry Hoffman who started Whiting, spent a good deal of time in Warrenton Oregon. He was a fly tyer and a fly fisherman as well. So I am a bit partial to the Oregon resident. Although the final deal to get the company started was made to be in Colorado, I still have a loyalty to a Oregon fisherman.
_______________________________________________________________
********Here is a lengthy article you might enjoy reading that I copied from another web site.**************

“From the mid 1960’s until 1989 Henry Hoffman of Warrenton, Oregon devoted his life to producing the best dry fly hackle in the world. His primary motivation was an all-consuming, life-long love of fishing. As an offshoot to this intense interest in fishing Henry also learned to tie flies, often by taking apart lost flies he found on the stream bank while out fishing.

Fortunately (for himself and the world) Henry was born into the right situation. His parents had a small meat chicken breeding operation in California, so Henry grew up learning the basics of breeder selection and poultry husbandry. After a stint in the military, Henry settled in Oregon and made his living tying fishing flies commercially, predominantly dry flies.

In the 1960’s good quality feathers for tying dry flies were nearly impossible to obtain and tiers had to rely on very poor quality capes imported from India or China - basically pelted village chickens. In addition, the black and white barred pattern feathers, called grizzly, did not exist in the village chickens, thus major fly patterns which required grizzly hackle garnered a premium price. Therefore, Henry set out in the mid 1960’s to find grizzly chickens to raise for his own tying needs and potentially to develop into a marketable genetic hackle line. He searched amongst the county fairs and poultry fanciers in the Pacific Northwest and finally found an exceptional trio of Barred Plymouth Rock bantams. Incredibly, they exhibited excellent (for that time) dry fly capes and also a respectable dry fly saddle. By Henry’s own estimation these initial birds saved him 10 years of development; and he was off and running.

Because Henry Hoffman was a commercial fly tier, using the hackle in his own work, he brought an end-user’s perspective to his breeder selection. Literally he’d tie flies with the feathers and the best tying feathers determined which roosters became the sires for the next generation. This tying performance criteria put Henry’s breeding program in a league of its own and earned the Hoffman Hackle rave reviews and near mythical devotion.

In raising the world’s finest grizzly hackle, Henry Hoffman had several factors in his favor: a) being passionate about fishing and fly tying, b) having a directly applicable family upbringing, c) finding truly exceptional foundation stock, and d) directing the stock’s genetic development by personally using their feathers.

Henry did three other particularly fortunate things which are even more impressive:
First, he confined his breeding program exclusively to Grizzly for the first 15 years, thus focusing on only one color (also the most important), which greatly accelerated progress.
Secondly, Henry conceived and meticulously developed the first and unquestionably the best dry fly saddle hackle, thus bringing to the tying world a major fly tying innovation.
And the final unique aspect of Henry was he preferred to stay small and focus on quality instead of quantity. The Hoffman operation only grew to 2,200 roosters a year and was essentially a ma & pa operation where Henry and his wife Joyce did nearly everything. Even the family helped out, including Henry’s elderly mother and father.

By the 1980’s the Hoffman Grizzly was world famous, almost legendary and very coveted. The dry fly saddles had progressed markedly and were totally unique, having to be seen to be believed, with individual feathers up to 12 inches long! Henry had also expanded his color range to include white and brown, the other essentials in fly tying. But Henry wanted to get out from under the all-consuming work load and drudgery of his business before he was too old to enjoy an extended retirement of fishing. So he put his life’s work up for sale. Many were understandably interested, but few had all the necessary skills to develop further the potential in the Hoffman gene pool. Needed was knowledge and ability in poultry genetics, production and processing, and an equally serious willingness and commitment to devote their professional life to this long term endeavor.

After 5 years of trying to sell his business Henry Hoffman eventually agreed to a deal with Thomas Whiting of Colorado. Tom was then finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, and also had an M.S. degree from the University of Georgia and a B.S. degree from Colorado State University, always specializing in his particular areas of interest - poultry genetics and husbandry. In addition Tom had considerable industrial poultry experience in managing a commercial egg production complex in Colorado that produced 3 million eggs per week. Henry agreed to consult for 5 years to transfer his knowledge and to initially preserve continuity in the breeding program.

Whiting chose western Colorado to set up the new venture, and in April 1989 hatched out his first Hoffman Hackle chicks there from eggs sent to him by Henry from Oregon. In addition Whiting Farms acquired the another quality genetic dry fly hackle stock in 1997, known as Hebert Hackle, to complement its existing genetic pool and product line. The Hebert/Miner™ hackle stock is reknown for incredible dry fly capes and the widest, best and most unique array of natural colors of any hackle stock in the world.
From about 5,000 birds that first year (1989) to over 125,000 total birds harvested in 2000, Whiting Farms has risen to become the largest fly tying feather producer in the world market. In addition, Dr. Whiting has cultivated numerous new natural colors, 20 now and expanding.

Whiting Farms has production on three primary ranches in western Colorado with a central processing, shipping and administrative facility. Also, Dr. Whiting has developed an “American Hackle” chicken line specifically bred for salt water and other wet flies. Coq de Leon feather birds from Spain that provide fly tying feathers are also being raised, and several other feather birds are under development as well for future proprietary products.

With continual genetic progress, Whiting Farms has been able to develop ever increasing quality, value and selection to the fly tiers all over the world. Recent genetic breakthroughs have allowed the creation of a dry fly hackle superior to any ever seen before, and so a new product line was announced in the Summer of 1998; the Whiting Platinum dry fly hackle. To accommodate an across the board quality improvement in all product lines, Whiting Farms introduced for the 1999/2000 sales season the Olympic medal grade designations of Gold, Silver and Bronze. The purpose of this grade re-designation and upgrade was to pass on the genetic and husbandry advances at Whiting Farms to the fly tiers of the world and to further distinguish Whiting Farms’ quality superiority. Basically the Whiting Farms Bronze grade is as good as and often better than any competitor’s top grade. And the Silver, Gold and Platinum grades are beyond all others. Further genetic advances have made possible an even higher plateau of quality available to fly tiers with the introduction of the “Ultra Platinum” cape and the “Midge” saddle in the fall of 2001.

Genetic hackle is predominantly an American product; there are only about a dozen producers presently, all but two of which are in the United States. Never the less Whiting Farms sells their feather products world-wide. Japan is their largest single foreign market, with Canada, the European countries, Australia and New Zealand buying considerable quantities. Commercial fly tying factories in Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, China, Kenya, South Africa, Columbia, Bhutan and Mexico are also supplied by Whiting Farms. Newly developing consumer markets are also expanding in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, South Korea and the former Soviet Union countries. In all Whiting Farms sells their products into 36 countries and 48 states.

In June 1997, Whiting Farms, along with several other western Colorado fly fishing equipment manufacturers, was selected to provide their product for the official gifts from the State of Colorado to the world leaders attending the Summit of Eight meeting in Denver.

In May 1998, in conjunction with the National Small Business Week, Whiting Farms, Inc. was recognized for its success with three awards. The Small Business Exporter of the Year Award was presented to Whiting Farms by the Small Business Administration for both the State of Colorado and the SBA Region VIII (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and North and South Dakotas). Whiting Farms was also given the Pioneer Spirit Award by the Delta Colorado Area Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the company’s rapid growth and contribution to the area economy.

In August 2001 the Federation of Fly Fishers awarded Whiting Farms, Inc. the prestigious Lee Wulff award for their innovations and contributions to the world of fly fishing.”
 
T

Terry

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
9
You do not need to worry about realistic patterns for steelhead. They will eat anything at anytime, or may not grab anything at all. Use a big stonefly, or egg sucking leach with dumb bell eyes to get the fly down and then tie tippet to the bend of the hook. Tie on an egg fly to the tippet and you will be in business. I have caught steelhead on this set up with and with out an indicator.
 
O

OnTheFly

Well-known member
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
2,906
Location
Oregon City
You do not need to worry about realistic patterns for steelhead. They will eat anything at anytime, or may not grab anything at all. Use a big stonefly, or egg sucking leach with dumb bell eyes to get the fly down and then tie tippet to the bend of the hook. Tie on an egg fly to the tippet and you will be in business. I have caught steelhead on this set up with and with out an indicator.

Hey Terry, for your very first post you hit it right on the head! Don't burden yourselves with fancy flies. Fish will hit homemade flies even if you tied them bad. Realistic flies are really really cool!!! and it is a great hobbie and art form but I don't believe they will attract more fish. I agree with Terry 100percent! :clap:
 
Last edited:
B

bigsteel

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,546
Location
salem, oregon
thanks for the info guys,,,,ill stick with my stoneflies....
 
G

GDBrown

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
1,485
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Double fly setup?

Double fly setup?

You do not need to worry about realistic patterns for steelhead. They will eat anything at anytime, or may not grab anything at all. Use a big stonefly, or egg sucking leach with dumb bell eyes to get the fly down and then tie tippet to the bend of the hook. Tie on an egg fly to the tippet and you will be in business. I have caught steelhead on this set up with and with out an indicator.

Terry,

How long is the tippet section below the fly? I'm thinking of going out soon and want to try something different. I've heard of guys doing this with great success.

GD
 
T

Terry

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
9
About eighteen inches should do the trick. Try a clown egg. It has a bunch of colors in it and one of those colors should catch the steelies attention.
 
T

Terry

New member
Joined
Jan 22, 2010
Messages
9
Also do not be afraid to try swinging big flies on a fast sink tip. That is the most fun way to get stealhead.
 
G

GDBrown

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
1,485
Location
Hillsboro, Oregon
Will anyone be swinging flies this weekend? Maybe we could get our own little group thogether for a demo by the masters and a lesson for the rest of us!

GD
 
B

bigsteel

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2009
Messages
2,546
Location
salem, oregon
we should get a group of people together and do some flyfishing!!!!!great idea gd
 
V

Vectorpete

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
35
They aren't picky

They aren't picky

You do not need to worry about realistic patterns for steelhead. They will eat anything at anytime, or may not grab anything at all. Use a big stonefly, or egg sucking leach with dumb bell eyes to get the fly down and then tie tippet to the bend of the hook. Tie on an egg fly to the tippet and you will be in business. I have caught steelhead on this set up with and with out an indicator.

I agree with Terry. I caught a nice wild steelhead the other day on a rubber-legged stonefly, followed by a zug bug.
 
Top Bottom