Posts Tagged ‘great lakes steelhead


Fish eat fish (inciting the bite, or some provocative creature)

Fish Eats Fish by Michael Rossiter of Leurna, Australia

Fish Eats Fish by Michael Rossiter of Leurna, Australia

This pattern is not typical of West Coast Steelhead patterns. But it obviously has a good look. I imagine it would be great for Brown Trout. (East Lake-Oregon) The olive color would be a good color to experiment with in the low, clearer waters of Summer for steelhead . I am by no means an expert, but I do find the differences in Great Lakes Steelheading and West Coast very interesting. I think an open mind is important in order to borrow from all the people out there doing it for real on their home waters and figuring out what works and what doesn’t.  An example is the trend a few years ago, of using trout nymphing techniques with oversized nymphs for steelhead…this flew into the face of the traditional technique of swinging patterns. But added to the arsenal of steelheading. Today the craze or passionate addiction of a two hander further adds to the arsenal. All good!     

Sunny Delight

Sunny Delight

Steelhead Streamer Pattern

“Sunny Delight”

inspired by Kevin Feenstra‘s pattern the “Reflector”

  • Daiichi 2461 Size 2-6
  • Black Ultra 140 Thread
  • Olive Marabou
  • Olive Ice Dub Chenille
  • Olive Schallpen Feather
  • Pearl, Gold, and Red Flashabou
  • Olive Ice Dub
  • Bead Chain Eyes

Spey Line Primer (Skagit’s & Scandi’s~but, realize this is evolving)

I am by no means anything but a novice re spey fly fishing. I am learning just like you and this is a very evolving pursuit, always being tweaked with innovations from the pioneers in the field. I came across this link of a steelhead & spey enthusiast from the Great Lakes region. He has a lot of good, solid, basic info for a starting point, realizing that every expert or wannabe expert may have differing opinions. One has to start somewhere. He covers more than lines. His patterns are a bit different than most NW spey flies, but again, maybe something to be learned and added to the arsenal.   

Modern Scandinavian shooting heads resemble standard WF Spey lines only in a reduced length.  So instead of being 55’ to 75’ long, they’re only in the 30’ to 45’ length.  While they may be as much as 40% shorter, they’ll only be about 20% or so lighter, resulting in a line that is fairly heavy for its length.  This characteristic is required to provide an adequate rod loading when using such as short line…….

 Skagit heads are designed as sinktip lines composed of a very thick, very heavy floater belly, often just a piece of level line, attached by a loop-to-loop connection to a sinktip that is usually made up of T-14.  Unlike Scandinavian heads where length is dependent on a variety of factors, Skagit heads lengths are strictly a function of rod length, being typically 3 to 3.5 times the length of the rod (line length includes the sinktip, but not the leader).


Fly Fishing and Fat Matt (Steelhead in tainted waters)

Great Lakes Steelhead  (Beserk Matt in a not so pristine environment)

‘I woke up at 3am this morning to drive more than two hundred miles to the shores of Lake Michigan where the anadromous fishes of autumn are beginning their annual migration up Trail Creek, Salt Creek, and the Little Calumet River, following their biological orders like good soldiers would. The commando is strong. Little do they know their efforts are mostly in vain. They too were once hatchery brood. They’ll spill their futile gametes all over the river in a sad genuflection to their native cousins swimming strongly in the Pacific.’

‘The highway hums persistently in the background. The river is flat and muddy mostly, yellow and brown mostly, sandy in some places. Beer cans, styrofoam worm containers, plastic bags, garbage can lids: various Michigan City cultural artifacts litter the log jams. It’s ninety degrees and humid. The ever present sheen of grease on my forehead does little to dissuade the multitudes of blood sucking insects that swarm exposed skin.’

Edgy, Fat Matt in the Midwest. Making the best of an apparently deteriorating river bank. I think he is pretty good at making the most of it. (Fat Matt evolves to here)

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August 2020

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