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  • Steelhead fly on the Top
  • Riffling Hitch on the Exploits River

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Steelhead on Tube Bomber

Skeena River steelhead caught on a Black Tube Bomber ™ – Picture by Chad Black Nicholas Dean Lodge
 

Steelhead fly On the top

Living in Northern Europa one is blessed with fishing possibilities – some of the worlds greatest Atlantic salmon river are merely a few hours away… Surface fishing for salmon and sea-trout is certainly a possibility during summer but when the low autumn temperatures start creeping up on angler in Europa, salmon and sea trout turn their attention away from the surface. Sunken line and leaders are now needed to keep the fly in the right depth of water.

On the West coast of Canada crispy cold autumn mornings could very well mean steelhead fly in the surface! – As temperature drops, big fish will be resting in pools and will be attracted to surface pattern fished slowly cross current.

Chad Black - steelhead wake fly

Your next top water destination….

Fishing for steelhead in the surface is considered the top of fly fishing – Certainly, it is at the top of the Fishmadman wish list – so we asked lodge manager Chad Black from Nicholas Dean Lodge to give us a brief view of the possibilities they have to offer during the season

Chad Black manage one of the best-bespoken steelhead lodges in BC and have helped us design and hone some of our greatest steelhead wake flies – but foremost Chad is a top water aficionado that waits for the right opportunity to gear up for one of the most exclusive of all fly fishing sports – steelhead on the surface

Read his unique advice

Dry Fly Steelhead

Picture with courtesy of Mr. Chad Black Nicholas Dean Lodge

Prime top water fishing for steelhead

You need to fish your dry fly with confidence. The reality is that day in and day out, you will hook more fish with a wet fly that’s fished below the surface, with or without a sink tip. So, if you want to raise a steelhead on a dry fly, it’s going to take some perseverance! When you do, you’ll be glad you invested your time – it’s one of those scenarios where the ends do justify the means.Some styles of flies create different profiles when skated and are better suited to different current speeds. As an example – I’ve done exceptionally well fishing our foam skater (tied on hitched tubes by Fishmadman) in faster, riffly water, particularly at the heads of pools, where it creates a large, broad wake. However, in slower, more even paced flows or near tail-outs, this same fly creates a wake that’s just too large, and can sometimes even put steelhead down. In this case, I switch over to a fly that creates a smaller disturbance or wake on the surface, like the Grantham Sedge (also tied on a hitched tube by Fishmadman). Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what the fish want on a given day.

To be successful when fishing dry fly for Skeena steelhead, there are a few key points that you need to keep in mind

  • You need to identify the best holding water where a dry fly can be fished effectively and with a reasonable chance of success. Deep, tanky pools are great places where steelhead will hold for prolonged periods of time. But, these places are very difficult to swing a fly, particularly a dry fly. So, what you’re looking for are pools with a nice even flow – a fast walking pace, two to six feet deep, preferably with boulders scattered throughout, and with a particularly heavy section of water below the tail-out. This encourages steelhead to rest in the pool and gets them looking up.
  • You need to identify the best holding water where a dry fly can be fished effectively and with a reasonable chance of success. Deep, tanky pools are great places where steelhead will hold for prolonged periods of time. But, these places are very difficult to swing a fly, particularly a dry fly. So, what you’re looking for are pools with a nice even flow – a fast walking pace, two to six feet deep, preferably with boulders scattered throughout, and with a particularly heavy section of water below the tail-out. This encourages steelhead to rest in the pool and gets them looking up.
  • You need to fish your dry fly with confidence. The reality is that day in and day out, you will hook more fish with a wet fly that’s fished below the surface, with or without a sink tip. So, if you want to raise a steelhead on a dry fly, it’s going to take some perseverance! When you do, you’ll be glad you invested your time – it’s one of those scenarios where the ends do justify the means.Some styles of flies create different profiles when skated and are better suited to different current speeds. As an example – I’ve done exceptionally well fishing our foam skater (tied on hitched tubes by Fishmadman) in faster, riffly water, particularly at the heads of pools, where it creates a large, broad wake. However, in slower, more even paced flows or near tail-outs, this same fly creates a wake that’s just too large, and can sometimes even put steelhead down. In this case, I switch over to a fly that creates a smaller disturbance or wake on the surface, like the Grantham Sedge (also tied on a hitched tube by Fishmadman). Don’t be afraid to experiment to find out what the fish want on a given day.

Dry Fly Steelhead

Beautiful hen fish caught on the classic steelhead fly the Steelhead Bee a fly designed in the 50’s

Dry Fly Steelhead

Likely looking holding water for steelhead Pictures with cutesy of Mr. Chad Black Nicholas Dean Lodge

Without a doubt, watching a steelhead slowly materialize out of the shadows in a choppy, riffly run and seeing it track – and hopefully inhale your fly – is one of the pinnacles of the steelhead fly fishing world. It’s such a visual, personal experience that no matter how clearly one tries to describe and capture this moment on paper, it really is one of those moments in fly fishing that you need to see and experience yourself!
So, while there are many different fisheries available in the lower Skeena region throughout the angler’s season – including small, unnamed coastal rivers for large steelhead, and monster 45 lb. chinook salmon on the fly and larger – the dry fly steelhead season will likely forever remain a client favourite – and one of mine – here at Nicholas Dean Lodge.
 
Tight lines Chad Black
 
Nicholas Dean Lodge

Wake & Skate series

Together with guides from one of Canada’s greatest steelhead lodges: Nicholas Dean Lodge we at Fishmadman have developed a series of Wake & Skate flies that corporate some of the smart features from our hitch-tubes system, with known steelhead patterns – Our series consist of a variation over of the best steelhead fly patterns

  • The hitch-tube steelhead fly series has also shown to be very good on our Scandinavian sea trout and Arctic Char in Greenland
  • Flies are is tied on our superior 3,2-millimeter hitch tube, and will hold a variety of different short shank hooks.
  • Flies fish equally good from both banks and the various patterns will cover fishing in different situations and various water flow

Wake steelhead fly series 2012

Grease Liner Medium BROWN

Grease liner a clasic steelhead fly from the 70´s – Here in our tube version

Steelhead beetle skating fly

The steelhead Beetle a fly designed by Mr. Rob Brown from Terrace – Here tied on tube

Grantham Sedge Medium

The Grantham sedge by Mr. Ron Grantham – Here tied on tube

Ska-Opper Flash:Black

A version of the Ska-Opper Steelhead fly..designed for an active stop and go retrieve – here tied on tube

Rifling Hitch on the Exploits River

This winter was so ##%XX! cold that I took time off to edit the little sunny video film we managed to get in the box while we visited Newfoundland and the mighty Exploits River the summer of 2011 – We did so with guide superior Mr. Bill Bryden from Eureka outdoors – Yet another superior destination in Canada – for the top-water angler.

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