Locked out

J
junk4jones
I was fishing some small water yesterday and saw several steelhead holding in a narrow, shallow pool. I must have cast at them off and on for over an hour. Nothing doing. I tried most of my fly box, all kinds of presentations, and they absolutely ignored everything. At first I don't know if they saw me at all. Later they clearly did, and spooked about twice. Other than that, they were just holding tight and so was I. I swear my flies bumped off their noses a couple times. Almost felt like I was flossing 'em (I wasn't).

So, aside from telling me to switch to bait or other rigs, what can you suggest I do to succeed? Is there any cure for the lockjaw?

Some day I'd like to come home and tell my kids & wife I at least hooked a fish. Yeesh. This is turning into a neurosis.
 
J
JKham
I'd like to figure this out myself! I know your frustration as I've ran into this situation before. I found some Steelies at Lost Lake and I threw everything but no dice...
 
M
markasd
You tried small presentations? Try really small... tiny. If you still have no luck, PM me the location and I'll give em a shot!! kidding....

Good luck - I totally feel your frustration! One day they will just hit, the next show no interest... crazy.

mark
 
S
skunk
markasd said:
You tried small presentations? Try really small... tiny. If you still have no luck, PM me the location and I'll give em a shot!! kidding....

Good luck - I totally feel your frustration! One day they will just hit, the next show no interest... crazy.

mark

He's just joking, but feel free to pm me the location!!! Sometimes I've noticed they bit better when they are in water you can barely see them in. A little faster water, if its clear and slower seems like maybe they have more time to really get a look at the presentation. Just a guess though, them fish are tricky.
 
A
alseaalumaweld
pm me the location! all show you how to get them. my lucks been staying hiden. once they see you i never can get them. spinners have worked when nothing else will before for me
 
J
junk4jones
Location is somewhere in the Clackamas drainage.

So what do you guys mean by 'small'? Last time I talked to an experienced fisherman on the water he was shocked that I was trying some nymphs on long #10 hooks--he thought they were too small & I'd never hook a steelhead with them. I'd be glad to stand corrected.

Thanks for the suggestions!
 
S
slimyguts
Take a small spinning rod with ya. Use a #3 Bud Spinner (copper blade or silver blade). Put it right in their face. If you see them backing up as it comes to them, hold on. No strike, do it again and again. They back up a few times, but then get pissed off cause they hate loosing ground and will strike out in anger. Gentle casts so the spinner slips into the water, not come crashing in like a Jap Zero being shot down. If the water is really slow, you may want to try a #2 size, but those are pretty small.

Another trick (depending on regulations), thread a worm on a hook. Just enough weight to bounce the botom once in a while. I also like to use those little fake eggs made out of foam and color them black with a sharpie (the night or two before cause they will smell the sharpie) and stick that on the bend of the hook behind the worm. Helps to keep the business end of the hook from getting stuck. Float this into their face a few times and see what happens.

Try the worm trick for a feeding reaction or just go straight to the spinner for a pissed off "get outta my face" reatcion.

If all else fails, bow fishing will work! Lockjaw or not, bow fishing will do the trick!!

Good luck and let me know how it worked out. Would be willing to carpool for fishin if you interested (i am in Mac)
 
M
markasd
So any luck with the smaller presentations? Not sure if there is too small - I have caught steelhead with just a size 4 bare hook, nothing but the bumper knot was on the hook.
 
S
skunk
junk4jones said:
Location is somewhere in the Clackamas drainage.

So what do you guys mean by 'small'? Last time I talked to an experienced fisherman on the water he was shocked that I was trying some nymphs on long #10 hooks--he thought they were too small & I'd never hook a steelhead with them. I'd be glad to stand corrected.

Thanks for the suggestions!

They's fish, they don't care about size, it just may be harder to hook one solid with a smaller hook. I was surprised the first time I tried smaller flies and did just fine.
 
F
fish_4_all
If small doesn't work go big and gaudy. Nothing was working on alocal river and I put on this aweful egg sucking leech pattern. Was a good 5 inches long and as big around as my thumb, 3 drifts and got nailed. Sometimes putting a bait right in with them and holding it there will get an eventual bite as they stir around and think something new is in the area.
 
S
skunk
fish_4_all said:
If small doesn't work go big and gaudy. Nothing was working on alocal river and I put on this aweful egg sucking leech pattern. Was a good 5 inches long and as big around as my thumb, 3 drifts and got nailed. Sometimes putting a bait right in with them and holding it there will get an eventual bite as they stir around and think something new is in the area.

Yep, always try switching up if the go to fails. Might get a nice surprise.
 

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