As if catching a steelhead isn’t hard enough for most fishermen, try catching them in extremely low and clear conditions. In the Pacific Northwest we haven’t had rain for months and most the snow is already melted off. This leaves the rivers around here running so low and clear they are almost unfishable. I’m hoping a few of these techniques will help you in catching some of these bright summer fish hanging in the rivers.
First thing you’re going to want to look at is your gear, whatever liter your running now, prepare to downsize. Float fishing is going to be the technique of choice. You’re going to be running a 6 pound maxima ultra green liter with my preference of a smoke color fire line 14 pound braid. Make sure you have a long rod, at least 9’ 6”. My rod and reel of choice is a pflueger supreme reel and Lamiglas xmg50 9’ 6” rod.
For bait it’s going to be a combination of things. These fish are so smart and hard to catch in these conditions, we have to trick them in every which way possible. The first step is buying some jigs in 1/16 ounce size or smaller. You’re going to want them to be darker color patterns. I prefer nightmare, and or purple patterns. You need to get some good running floats. Steelhead Stalkers are going to be my pick.
Next thing you need is some sand shrimp. Once your all tied up with bobber, jig, and all, I like to tip the end of my jig with a little bit of sand shrimp as an extra incentive for these weary fish. Just break off little chunks at a time and tip the end of your jig. Make sure you have some nice waiters and a good pair polarized glasses, for comfort out on the water.
Now that you’re all geared up, finding the fish is a different story. The key to finding these fish is deeper stretches of water where these fish feel safe and can be cool. Since you’re going to be float fishing, you need to target areas of the river that are deeper than the rest but stretch long enough for you to get a decent float with your bobber and jig. Sometimes if you can find slots in the river, that’s going to be the ticket to catching your nice bright chrome summer steelhead. These fish don’t have a lot of water to work with so they will use the deeper slots to sit in and move up river. Most the rivers around here have these slots. With your polarized glasses, walk up and down river looking for these slots, but be stealthy. In the hunt for these slots it’s not uncommon to spot summer steelhead just waiting for you to float your jig by their face. Once these slots are found cast up river, and let your jig pass through the slots perfectly, if the steelhead is there….. “BOBBER DOWN!!!” you should have a fish on. Once the summer goes on you will find fish way way up river in the most oxygenated water they can find. Falls or rapids with deep pools are good areas to look!
Summer steelhead is extremely aggressive and feisty, when hooked its very likely that they will put on a nice acrobatic show for you. Make sure to be careful and play them out, with the 6 pound liter your chance of losing these crazy chromers is very good.
Now hurry up and get off the computer, head to Wholesale Sports, pick up your jigs, your shrimp, your line, your bobbers, and hey why not spoil yourself with a new lamiglas rod and pflueger reel. Feel free to ask any questions you may have in the forum! They will be answered immediately! Thanks for reading, cause once the addiction starts it never stops!
YOUR CRAZY ADDICTED FISHERMAN…THE BASSINPIMP
Please check out our sponsor- http://rvrfshr.com/Share on Facebook