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I would like to learn bank fishing for Winter Steelhead on the coastal streams. Can anyone offer advice as to what technique(s) or tackle are best for a beginner that is used to Trout, Kokanee fishing?

spinning or bait gear?
Plunking, float drifting, drifting on bottom?

I tried drift fishing for Salmon a few years back and could never learn to not get snagged and get a feel for what I was doing. Is there an easier technique that I can use and stand a chance of landing a fish? Your help is appreciated

thanks
 

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The custom on ifish is to introduce yourself with a fish story before you ask for advice.

Tell us a little more about yourself, and welcome to ifish.

Thanks,
SKP
 
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There are a lot of good steelheaders here. Search feature under steelhead will pay off too.

Ultimate lazy for steelhead is plunking spin n' glo and eggs/shrimp or both. Pure drift fishing is the ultimate winter steelhead deal, but not the only way to catch them.

Talk to First Cast and Stew about bobber and jigs too.

Rick

[ 10-24-2003, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: ****** ]
 

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I never told a story and they never caught me! Now they try to figure out ways to shut me up! :grin: :laugh: Good bunch of people here. Welcome to the club. Fishft.
 

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Sometimes the new folks are not aware of the customs. I know I didn't know I was suppose to give a story, until I had already made a number of posts.

By the way, did I tell you about the BIG ONE that got away? Was a ....
 

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If I were you, I'd choose one particular section of one particular river and learn it really well. Not just one hole, but one stretch 1/4 mile to 1 mile long and learn it really well.

Here are some ideas:

When the water is clear, especially if it is low and clear, and DEFINITELY if it is clear, low, and really cold, use jigs under floats. There are tons of colors out there, but in clear water stick with pale (kind of like bubblegum) pink, light (creamsicle) orange, and these two colors mixed with white. Fish these anywhere there's not too much chop in the water, maybe a foot off the bottom.

If the water is up and moving, but not muddy, I'd go with weighted spinners--gold when it's overcast, or when there's no direct sunlight, and silver when the weather is clear and/or there's direct sunlight. Cast where you think a fish would lie if he were trying to sneak up on something--behind a rock, under a logjam, against a ledge, or down in a little depression.

There's nothing wrong with drift fishing, but if you are new to steelheading 1.) You'll spend a lot of time re-rigging, and 2.) You'll miss a lot of strikes. Once you're good at spinners and/or jigs, and you've learned where fish lie and have your confidence up, then try drift fishing. Unfrotunately I think a lot of people start out drift fishing, get frustrated, and quit. With jigs or spinners, this shouldn't be a problem.

Good luck!
 

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Bobber and jig!! This is not my most productive method but it's very easy to learn and can be very productive.

R.R. :dance:
 

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there are alot of techniques on how to catch winter steelhead, but for the new fisherman fish a bobber and jig in average to lower water and always have some #4 blue fox spinners in your pocket. silver blades with blue and green bodies...look up first cast he has the best jigs Ive ever used and if your lucky he will give you some friendly advice on how to set up your rod for bobber and jig fishing. not droughting in colorado anymore steve :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
 

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Spinning or casting gear? Definitely your preference. Which is easier for you to use? I'd go with what you are confortable with. I prefer the casting now, but it has taken awhile to learn how to not create a very nice nest after each cast. :hoboy:

Like ****** said, plunking is probably the ultimate lazy way of catching them. Can be very effective.

Bobber and Jig is supposed to be the easiest way for beginners to catch steelhead. I can't really say it is. I haven't caught any that way yet. Definitely the easiest method of bite detection.

Drift fishing with corkies, corky & yarn, or with eggs / shrimp added is very effective, but learning the difference between bottom and bites is tricky. Lots of fun though.

Definitely follow C-lice's advice. Find a stretch of known holding water and learn everything about it you can. Start now and go look while the water is down low. Learn where the larger rocks are. Learn the bottom terrain. Pay attention to what others are doing around you.

Good luck and Welcome to Ifish!

Steve :cheers:
 

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Never hurts to hire a guide. $150.00 one time "Learners fee" can pay off for the rest of your life.

A good guide will show you the type of water steelhead hold in; the types of gear and the little things that can only be taught "one-on-one".

--spud-- :smile:
 

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Try bobber and bait I tried drifting without a bobber and still cant tell the diffrence between leaves and strikes but when the bobber goes down its usaully pretty easy to tell the diffrence. Good Luck and I agree learn one spot realy well then try diffrent rivers its alot less frustrating. :smile:
 

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i'll back Clice's advice. drift fishing is probably one of the toughest techniques to learn. float and jig is one of the easiest to know when you've been bit with spinners a very close second. don't forget float and bait. winter steelies love sand shrimp. they're expensive and delicate so i tend to fish jigs that have the same colors as sandshrimp with scent instead.

overall, find out as much as you can about steelie holding water. for a couple of years, i was fishing the wrong water. now that i know a little better i seem to be catching a few more fish.

a trip out with a guide will help flatten out that learning curve and can make your fishing time more productive.
 

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Excellent advice given above. I would recommend fishing anything under a float. Float fishing allows you to cover a lot of water very quickly and efficiently. Once you catch your first fish, remember where you caught it and the conditions of the river. As time goes on you'll see certain patterns develop and then you'll be able to predict where fish will be holding in the water. That's half the battle. The rest is just working on your presentation.

Welcome to winter steelheading. Let the fun begin.

Mark
 

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Jig fishing is EASY.. If you get the right equipment. I tried round corks,egg style etc and never could figure out how to read the bobber and now i know that in the vast majority of cases i was fishing far to deep because i could not "read " the bobber. In other words my jig was draging along the bottom and I had no way of knowing it until it snagged up.
That all changed when I switched to a virticle style bobber.. What I recommend for Jigs is a Thrill balsa wood float. Get the longest one with the wire out the bottom called the "turbo master". Simply follor the instructions on the back to rig it. When it is fishing properly the bobber will be floating straight up and down. If it lays on it's side it leans to one side it is set too deep. ALl you have to do is slide it down the line till rides straight up. It's extremely easy.

2 tips

1. put your jig on a short leader connected to a barell swivel then to your main line. This will allow to get your bobber back in most cases should you get snagged

2. put fly floatant on the line between yout bobber and rod tip and keep as direct of contact with the bobber as possible
oh an umm when the bobber dissapears... set the hook..
 

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fishbyte and others...

Here are a couple pics of how to rig up a fixed and sliding float. I use these two methods almost 90% of the time when I fish jigs under a float.

On the fixed float set-up, simply run your line through the cork and tie directly to the jig. Insert the orange plastic tab next to the line. Adjust your depth by sliding the cork up or down your line. Start off running shallow and then go deeper. Most of the time winter steelhead will be holding a couple feet off of the bottom.





For this sliding set-up, first put on a bobber stop. This is a simple nail knot that can be tied yourself or you can purchase bobber stops at most any tackle shop. Then put on a small red plastic bead. Next comes your float. I'm using a 1/2 oz West Coast Float in the picture. Some people like to put on a second bobber stop under the float. This will prevent losing your float if you happen to break off. In this picture I have an 1/4 oz in-line weight with swivels on each end. Tie your mainline to one end of the weight. Then tie on about a two foot leader on the other end of the weight. Finish off by tying on a jig and you're done. The combination of both the 1/4 oz weight and the jig will make the float stand straight up in the water.







Some people think this is too much fuss and like to go with a fixed float. This is where your personal preference comes into play. One huge benefit of using a sliding set-up like I have here is the ability to cast long distances almost effortlessly. Also with the added weight, your offering gets down a lot quicker then with a bare jig. This will allow you to fish faster water much better.



Mark

[ 10-29-2003, 08:33 AM: Message edited by: First Cast ]
 

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I would like to offer a bit more help. c-lice is correct if you want to really catch fish consistantly learn a small piece of the river. If you have a choice small water is easier.

There is fish traveling water and fish holding water, try to find the water that those steelhead will be holding, perhaps a bit deeper, bottom with a bit more structure, resting places above faster water. If you can figure out a couple spots that the fish rest or hold up you will be fishing over more fish more often. This will definately help you catch more. Jig and bobber is probably the best way to learn a spot, and it is a very effective way of catching fish.
 

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ETB
Jim B. started the jig fishing craze for steelhead in the Clack. he used 10Lb. mono on a spinning reel. Just rig up like the upper picture Mark posted. The only thing Jim did different is use Cast-a-Bubble floats (the clear plastic ones) fill the float half full of water and it weighs 1 Oz. and you can cast it a long way or right next to the boat. To secure the float to the line just use a toohpick or a stick match. As far as drift fishing goes don't use heavy weights and make sure the rig you use floats (your corkie will float your hook). The thing to keep in mind drift fishing is that you do not want to bang the bottom hard (think about the guys side drifting). You want to glide through the drift just brushing the bottom a few times this makes feeling the bite easier and you hang up a lot less.
Randy
Oh yea if you cast like The Hog Hunter and like to fish from the trees you need a really long leader.
 
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