Monday, November 19, 2012

Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Class - January 5th or January 6th, 2013

When you ask most anglers how they fly fish for winter steelhead, they often tell you only one method on how they do it. They may say "I swing flies with a Spey rod using a Skagit head and 10' of T-14 sinking tipped line on the end, and a huge articulated fly on the end". The next guy would say he uses a 28' shooting head and an single handed 8wt with a big black leech. The next woman uses a strike indicator, and a fly that looks like a pink jig on a 10' 7wt rod; while her friend uses Trout Beads on a switch rod with a Thingamabobber strike indicator. They are all correct techniques to use for winter steelhead, but which one is the best for you and the river/spot you are fishing at?

All of these methods sound great, but which technique would want to do when you go to a river at the coast laden with bedrock slots and very little cobblestone present? Many people boldly tell you, "This is all you need to do to catch winter steelhead", or "the only thing I ever use for winter steelhead is..." Those people are often not the ones you should be picking up your techniques from; since they may fish a river or a run that is conducive for swinging flies; while you are constantly fishing a stream/run that requires a dead drifted fly to probe into a deep slot to get into a fish. This class will demystify all of the things that make winter steelhead fly fishing seem so hard or unapproachable. Reality is that winter steelhead fly fishing can be as simple or as complicated as you want to make it. Another reality is that you should be able to catch winter run steelhead on most of your outings when you are fishing proficiently. Winter steelhead are not the mythological fish that they used to be years ago. With the internet having live feed of water levels, modern fly line design, modern flies design, and the high tech rods we now have; winter run steelhead can be effectively fished for, and by season's end, you can have large numbers of fish you have caught while everyone has been complaining about the winter and having "cabin fever".
A gorgeous wild native winter steelhead
I will be instructing two different steelhead classes coming up in early January. Each class will have room for four people to sign up, and participate. The class will not be a GUIDED fishing trip, but it will be a CLASS. You will be on the water in this class; so you will need to have your own waders and wading boots, a rain jacket, hat, polarized sunglasses, etc. I will have several rods I will be bringing, and you are more than welcome to use the equipment I will have for the class. You can also bring your favorite steelhead rod, and we can make sure in the class that you have the right setup for winter steelhead fly fishing. For this class, I will have single handed rods (10' 8wts), switch rods (11'ers), and spey rods also (13'ers) to demonstrate and have you all try out. This way if you are interested in winter steelheading, but have not chosen a rod/reel yet, you may find out what type of setup you are most comfortable with.
Admiring a wonderful trophy winter steelhead
The class will go into winter steelhead techniques and there will be on the water demonstrations; so you can see how the fishing should actually look when done correctly. Casting techniques will be demonstrated; since most winter steelhead streams have no back cast room, or little back cast room at all. Reading water will be covered; since you have to know what types of water will hold winter steelhead, and then how to approach those types of water for your best success out there. We will go over the equipment used for winter steelheading, and the different types of fly lines used for different situations with the two handed rods and single handed rods. Choosing your flies, and how to rig them up properly will be covered in the class. This class will really dive into all of the common aspects of winter steelhead fly fishing, and you will come out of the class knowing what to do on your own when you decide to hit the water this winter in pursuit of winter run steelhead.

Winter steelhead are one special fish to tie into with your fly rod
The cost of the class will be $100, and the class will be offered on Saturday January 5th -or- Sunday January 6th. Class time will be from 9am to 2pm, and we will start right at 9am. You will want to show up about 15 minutes early to be able to get your waders and gear on; so you can be ready to start on time for the class. We will be meeting at either the Wilson River at the Jones Creek Bridge or at the North Fork Nehalem Hatchery Parking lot (location to be decided when the date gets closers according to river conditions). I have chosen the two possible spots for the meeting place so I can decide on the location according to which place will offer better steelhead conditions according to water levels and weather, etc. -There will also be backup/alternate dates in case rains raise the rivers too much and we have to do the class at a later time. The Saturday the 5th class will have a backup date of Saturday January 19th, and the Sunday the 6th class will have a backup date of Sunday January 20th.
This rose cheeked native buck winter steelhead finally yielded after one acrobatic fight
In order to sign up for the class, email me at or call me at (541)-232-6360. Payments must be received in full to be officially signed up for the class.
-Cancellations must be done at least 15 days before the class date to receive a full refund for the class. This ensures people to be able to re-sign up if someone cancels; since these classes often fill up fast, and have a high demand for instruction.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing looking photos and looks like your arm should have been pretty sore from battling those steelhead monsters. :Cheers