How to fly fish for steelhead.

Swinging a fly for steelhead is a method of fishing a sinking fly with a fly rod. The Recommended rod is a spay rod . The fly line is floating 7 weight. The line starts with 15 feet type 6 leader leading into the leader which is 5 feet long and is 15 pound floro carbon tippett.


With the swing fly method of steelhead fishing you are going to work downstream. That is different then your usual upstream small stream trout method. You will cast the fly diagonally across and downstream. You will then let the fly sink to the bottom (giving it several seconds to do so).  As the fly sinks and floats downstream the line will become tight and the fly will swing in a radius and eventually become straight downstream from you the fisherman.

You are fishing the steelhead when the line becomes tight and the fly swings in a radius working the bottom. You will then take two steps downstream and make another cast and repeat the swing working a slightly different area of the stream. When the line becomes tight you will watch for the fish to take the bait. Swinging a fly works best early and late in the day when  steelhead are most willing to chase a fly or other active baits. Work a section of stream that is wide. Swinging a fly can work very large areas of a stream very efficiently and very effectively.

An important tip is let the fish eat the fly after the fish turns. You will hook more fish. If you set the hook immediately after the fish is hooked the fish is facing the fisherman straight on and the hook will be more likely to come out of the mouth before hooking into the fish. To give the steelhead time to swing sideways to the fisherman there are a three popular methods.

Method one,  leave out approximately 2 feet of coiled line at the reel. When a fish strikes let the 2 feet of line pull tight and then set the hook. Method two is to keep the drag on the reel at a medium tension. When the fish takes the fly with method two you wait until the line actually comes off the reel before setting the hook. Method three Is to keep the rod tip high and when you feel a steelhead strike drop the rod tip down and when the line goes tight then set the hook.

Try swinging a fly for steelhead.  A  fun and very effective way to fly fish steelhead.




Filed under: How To Fly Fish Methods

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