What are the different "Techniques"

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steelielover

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OKAY ALREADY!!

I've been happily reading through several of the different forums on OFF - my tiny little mind is starting to steam up with the thought of finally landing one of Oregon's famous Steelhead or a tasty salmon (yes, I am carnivorous). Not only will catching my first decent fish be great fun for the fight - it will stop my wife from hassling me about getting skunked every week :D

Now - I have learned exactly ONE fishing technique for steelhead. This year I went with one of my buddies on a guided trip on the Umpqua - which is what got me 'hooked' on the steelies in the first place. We used pink yarn balls and let them bounce along the bottom as we drifted along. That was great! It's an easy way for a beginner to fish and I hooked 3 fish (I've already learned the pure joy one can get from loosing 3 fish so I don't need any help there). I have also been using a lure (spinner?) on lighter tackle for trout. Here's my plan for both: I cast my offering upstream about 45deg. and then with the yarn I let it bob along the bottom until it's about 45deg downstream, reel and repeat - with the spinner I just keep working it gently to me until it comes around in the current back to the bank, reel and repeat. For steelheading, I use a heavy rod - I have no idea what it is except that it's a handmedown and it's super stiff. I have 8# mono on it and that's what I use for leader too (3 ft. of leader by the way). For the trout, I have a much lighter pole (don't ask, I don't know) with 6# mono and I tend to use 4# leader. For now, I'll be bank fishing though I expect to get in the water with some waders I just got from a friend before too long.

Anyway - I've put those techniques to work on the water around where I live (the middle fork and the Mckenzie) and I will probably continue to do so unless somebody says that I'm doing it all wrong. But, since you guys are now my official "fishin' buddies" maybe someone could explain some of the other techniques I've been reading/hearing about and what they are good for. What are drift fishing, floating, back bouncing, plugging, spinners, spoons and what are they good for and what gear do you need? I don't have a clue and my brain is starting to hurt.

Also, how do you people 'read the water' - seriously?! What are riffles and side slips and backwaters.

I'm not looking for your trade secrets or special fishing holes or anything like that. I'm just looking for the basics - enough to keep me from looking like an idiot in case someday I happen to be somewhere that a fisherman might see me. Right now it seems like my only chance is to follow a tank truck marked ODFW and highjack it!

Thanks for letting me ramble......
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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a lot of the questions you asked can only be properly explained when out looking at water. Riffles are just little choppy sections of water, usually caused by rocks, debris, or a change in gradient on the river bed. Great place to look for Summer Steelhead. Heads of riffles. Backeddies are just slack sections within the current, also created by large boulders, or trees, or a point in the bank will also create one just downstream of said point, or protrusion. Fish like to lazy up in them for rest, before shooting the rest of the stretch.

Drift fishing is pretty much what you have been doing from the bank. Cast upstream, and let it drift down below you. Line angle does not matter if you are trying to target a specific section of water. Otherwise 45 is fine to start if you are just fishing a general stretch of large-ish water. I will say this though. You need to shorten your leader by half, to hook fish consistently while drift fishing. The couple split shot will swing and actually hit the fishes flanks when they grab it. That tap against their body will effectivly pin the hook, and it gives you a split second more time to set the hook proper. Backbouncing, and pulling plugs is normally done from a boat, and is something you really don't need to think about if you are just getting started. Keep it simple, and keep after it. Also, if you are running a super stiff rod, it too will help to not hook fish. Look and see what the line rating is. Like 10-20# or something similar? I would recommend a 6-12 or 8-12 for Steelhead, although Shimano's Cennan in a 4-8 feels so nice, and it fishes very well. This is a little info to get you nosed in the right direction for sure. Good luck man!
 
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steelielover

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Thanks for the tip on the rod rating (I didn't know what that meant either). I ran down to my truck to see what it was - I keep my gear handy in case I have a short day or long lunch:pray: - it's an 8' 10-20 "Master - Specter" graphite. I guess I'll be looking for something a little lighter........
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Keep it around for the Springers that will shortly be thick in the rivers. I fight 'em on an 8-12, in the Clack, but they average 16-18 pounds in there. But a 10-20 would be just right for fish in the 20ish pound range. A Celilo is a great choice for entry level rods. I have had a couple, they both got chowdered, but I can run through half dozen rods a year, no problem. But for the price I think they are one of the better light drifting sticks available. Same with any of the NorthRiver gear, and North X NorthWest. All are great choices on the lower end of the price spectrum.
 
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Kodiak

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Choice of water

Choice of water

Right now the Mckenzie is pretty much void of steelhead. By end of march and april I would focus the same thechnique on the lower sections of the river, then move upstream into different sections as the summer steelies move upstream.
 
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steelielover

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Right now the Mckenzie is pretty much void of steelhead. By end of march and april I would focus the same thechnique on the lower sections of the river, then move upstream into different sections as the summer steelies move upstream.

Thanks for the tip!

While I'm here - I was talking to a friend from work today who says that you should work spinners and spoons from upstream towards yourself - fast - and then once they get about even with you to give'em a snap to set them spinning and let them came around in the current.

Any thoughts on that one??????
 
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Kodiak

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Disposable undergarments

Disposable undergarments

....well depends!!! Depends on the hole, type of water, type of spinner, how much you like prying gear out of rocks. Getting down is important to an exstent, however I have seen steelies come out of 15' of water to hit a spinner 2 ft from the surface. My favorite wat to work a spinner is really similar to trout fishing. Cast slightly upstream, let it sink until you are near the bottom and real slow, as the current catches the blade and it starts spinning faster quit reeling and let the current cake over, until it is strait downstream from me, reel up, wash , rinse, repeat. Thier are other little tricks to like how to make them "float" over rocks, " stall" behind rocks, dead drifting and others. Good Luck
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Sounds weird, but a traditional drift fishing technique is a really good way to swing 'em too. Just toss up and let drift, but keep contact with it. The water will stall the blade, kick it up , make it whizz, and then stall it again all in 15 feet. It really pisses 'em off when the spinner is just not quite right in most peoples eyes. I catch a lot of fish on a blade stall after a nice series of slow "thumps" and quick "whizzes." Might just be me, but I like to drift fish spinners as well as swing retrieve 'em.
 
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Kodiak

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Yup

Yup

Sounds weird, but a traditional drift fishing technique is a really good way to swing 'em too. Just toss up and let drift, but keep contact with it. The water will stall the blade, kick it up , make it whizz, and then stall it again all in 15 feet. It really pisses 'em off when the spinner is just not quite right in most peoples eyes. I catch a lot of fish on a blade stall after a nice series of slow "thumps" and quick "whizzes." Might just be me, but I like to drift fish spinners as well as swing retrieve 'em.

Ditto!:cool: Thats what I refer to as "dead drifting". When you want to get nutty with it let me know and I'll explain how to fish one through deep holes with a bobber!:shock:
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Ditto!:cool: Thats what I refer to as "dead drifting". When you want to get nutty with it let me know and I'll explain how to fish one through deep holes with a bobber!:shock:

Yeah, I guess that really is just dead drifting a piece of hardware. But yeah, there are some crazy ways to get spinners into their faces! Haha, I will give a how to this Spring for one I do for a particular run of Chinook, in a particular hole, on a particular stream...Very entertaining, better than plug takes while yur still hangin on!
 
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steelielover

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Thanks Kodiak and ArcticAmoeba! Sounds like the little bit my dad bothered to show me when I was 10 (that was a long time ago....) hasn't really changed much, I just didn't know the lingo. That, and I haven't really fished since then either!

OKAY, here's another one... What are jigs and plugs?
 
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steelielover

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Yeah, I guess that really is just dead drifting a piece of hardware. But yeah, there are some crazy ways to get spinners into their faces! Haha, I will give a how to this Spring for one I do for a particular run of Chinook, in a particular hole, on a particular stream...Very entertaining, better than plug takes while yur still hangin on!

I'd really be up for some how to and hands on work! I'll even wear a blind fold on the way to your fishing spot;)

Later this week I'll try "dead drifting" a spinner on the middle fork of the Willy - it'll be the first time I've tried a spinner for a steelie. I'll keep everyone posted. I have my gear set up with a swivel and a slinky weight, can I use that with some leader and an 1/8oz spinner?
 
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JeannaJigs

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Thanks Kodiak and ArcticAmoeba! Sounds like the little bit my dad bothered to show me when I was 10 (that was a long time ago....) hasn't really changed much, I just didn't know the lingo. That, and I haven't really fished since then either!

OKAY, here's another one... What are jigs and plugs?

Jigs are an amazing invention :D Not to mention, very easy to use. I use them frequently. Run them on an 18-24" leader generally, below a slider float. I run weighted jigs, and compensate with split shot depending on the size float I run, for instance if I'm running an 1/16th oz jig, and have a float rated for 1/8, I need another 1/16th of weight to get the float to run proper. I cast upstream, and mend my line to keep the slack non existant as it drifts down. If you do it right you can get a fairly long drift with a float, you just have to pay attention to that float real close.

Jigs work work well on the McKenzie, I'm up there all summer long using them. I primarily will use rooster tails, spoons, jigs, and worms. Not the pink worms either, earthworms. They love them for some reason, I guess it's the trout in them coming out.
 
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steelielover

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You folks are the best! I think I'm starting to feel a little too 'sick' to work tomorrow:think:

On second thought - I'll practice my mature, self control and just go to work a little late HAHA. If only I could......
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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You are right, don't get too anxious about it all. There are still plenty of fish to be had , and plenty of time to practice on them. Good luck man... And no blind fold needed. I fish primarily publically accessible waters.;):lol:
 
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Big Moby

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Ditto!:cool: Thats what I refer to as "dead drifting". When you want to get nutty with it let me know and I'll explain how to fish one through deep holes with a bobber!:shock:


Nice! I have been experimenting with this technique, except I'm using thin spoons. I have landed 2 so far in deep cold water.

Takes a little getting used to though.
 
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