Steelheads are awesome! There is a mystique about these fish that has created a reverence and respect for them that time seems to enhance rather that fade. You usually must go to wild places to fish for them. The fish itself is breathtakingly beautiful when it's brilliant silver flanks and the sometimes just barely there, blush of opalescent pink along their lateral line. And as if that were not enough, they have a power and quickness to them that is almost electrical. Whew! It's just not too difficult to get excited about fly- fishing for Steelhead. But the conditions of each place you fish for them bring their own particular degrees of difficulty.
As you analyze a stretch of water for it's potential you must estimate the speed of the river's current, submerged logs for potential snags, and boulders you or the fish might wrap around. And after all the planning is done and you've arrived at the perfect plan, you cast your fly and anticipate every inch it drifts through the dark water for the take you hope will come, but there is no way to prepare for the runs of a fish you may never see, that leaves your hand shaking and your mouth dry with awe. It doesn't matter if you didn't land it. There'll be another chance.
In April '99 four of us made a five-day float trip on an Alaska river. There was still a lot of snow on the ground but the weather was unseasonably mild and the fishing was awesome. I have never fished this particular river but the water was easy to read. We chose riffles and runs to fish as we floated and there was one that still remains in my memory. The river was full of fish fresh from the saltwater. We landed eight brilliant fish in about forty-five minutes including one of the anglers first ever steelhead on a fly rod. The fish were aggressive and robust and we had the fly patterns that worked along with the proper technique and equipment.
It was a magical day and I'll show you the same fly patterns, how to tie them, and the equipment you'll need to fish for them. For Steelhead there are six flies included, dries and nymphs. ($19.95 for the tying instructions and fishing techniques. Or you can get the six personally tied flies and fishing instructions for $37.95). Both packages include helpful recommended equipment lists, tying instructions, pictures of flies, and helpful hints. Each additional set of six flies is $24.95. Click here to order