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Catching More Steelhead Trout

Steelhead trout are simply one of the best catches that you hope to hook into on any given day. These beasts below will offer the biggest tussle that any freshwater fish will give you, that is, if you can locate them. So I’ve got 5 top tips on catching them!

Steelhead trout are one of the most elusive fish that lie below simple because they rely on cold, winter conditions to survive. On top of that they have a far less predictable spawning cycle than most other species in freshwater.

So to keep you on top of your game and help you hook into some Steelhead, read along and study up on these tips for catching Steelhead trout.

Fly Patterns for Steelhead

The same type of streamers that work for salmon can often do well when you are hunting Steelhead. Nymphs and some egg patterns can also attract Steelhead as they are closely related to salmon in their genetic make up. In terms of flies, some of the most popular options are the Kaufmanns stone and the wooly bugger, but your best bet is to question the guides near local streams. Different things work in different areas and the locals are the ones who will understand the area the best.

Equipment for Catching Steelhead

A lot of top anglers opt for single-hand rods when hunting for Steelhead, but if you are after the big ones then you will usually want to bring along a two hander. These models will usually be between 12 and 15 feet and if you are thinking about using a streamer be sure to tie on some sinking line. If using nymphs is more of your style then leave the sinking line at home and opt for floating line instead.

Experiment with Location

While you do need to be patient when fishing for any kind of trout, you have to be willing to move around when searching for Steelhead. Steelhead do not move around too often and like to stick to one, comfortable pool, so if you don’t feel any hits after a few casts it is usually time to move on. The good news is that once you find one Steelhead, there are usually at least a couple more still lurking below waiting to strike.

Release Steelhead after the Catch

Many anglers fish Salmon in order to bring them home and make dinner, but Steelhead should not be treated in the same manner. These trout will often head back to the ocean after their spawn cycle so it is best to release them and allow them to go through the cycle again in the next season. Salmon will often die after spawning so holding onto them is generally ok, within reason.

Move Upstream for Steelhead

If you are fishing a river that runs into an ocean then these silver bullets will often head to the stream after one or two big storms in the season. As soon as fish are capable of accessing the freshwater that moves to spawning areas they will start to work their way upstream. In order to locate Steelhead you will want to work your way from the mouth of the river towards the spawning ground. Also, they will also face upstream as much as possible so if you do so as well you will not scare them off as quickly.

Catching Steelhead trout is one of the most exciting experiences that fly fishing can offer. If you can find them then you will be rewarded with some of the best fights that freshwater fish can offer. Keep these tips in mind and be willing to switch up your usual routine and you may find some monster Steelheads before you know it.


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