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How to zero in on BIG steelhead while float fishing?

steelheadfishing float centrepin rainbow trout Niagara river

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#1 ApacheFishingVentures

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 07:16 AM

Gonna be hitting a big river this weekend where i'll have more options than just running a bead or small jig a foot below my float so i'm just wondering what everyone's preferred method for targeting bigger steelhead on the float rod is. Up size? Downsize? live bait or artificial? Is colour a factor for these bigger fish? is depth relevant when you're fishing in 30 feet of water? Or are you just fishing a normal rig and just hoping a big one hits? I've hooked into a few tanks using minnows and minnow imitations but i've thought about tying hollow body pike style flies on a shank with a trailer hook like an intruder but in a 6-8" profile and running that under a float or on the spey rod but im thinking i'll be float fishing more this weekend. I don't know, kinda just thinking out loud here. Let me all know what your go to is for these tanks!


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#2 fishfreek

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:45 AM

I just up size or down size as I go. From flies to eggs , roe and plastics you should carry all sizes. I have caught some pretty big Bows and Salmon on some small presentations , some days it just doesn't matter what you through at them. Here's a tip on clear water and shy fish, try and float some small spoons. A friend of mine made me a believer last year on a east trib . This weekend looks high and dirty , good luck anyhow.


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#3 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 10:59 AM

Under a float....tandem... beads...or bead+pink worm. I have used bead + woolies in the past it has worked great in the past but not this year so i abandoned the idea. Under indicator when I do some flies....2 nymphs...that could work on pinning to i guess.


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#4 ApacheFishingVentures

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 11:50 AM

Thanks guys,

 

I just up size or down size as I go. From flies to eggs , roe and plastics you should carry all sizes. I have caught some pretty big Bows and Salmon on some small presentations , some days it just doesn't matter what you through at them. Here's a tip on clear water and shy fish, try and float some small spoons. A friend of mine made me a believer last year on a east trib . This weekend looks high and dirty , good luck anyhow.

I generally carry beads from 6-10mm and nymphs down to a #22 and upsize and downsize according to conditions and i have definitely hooked into big fish on small presentations so I know big fish will hit tiny flies and beads but i guess im wondering if theres a way to wean out the little guys. I have a buddy who will try running anything under a float and he actually caught a salmon floating a black fury haha and ya high and dirty is what it's looking like. Maybe i will just throw big streamers and jigging spoons under my float. Thanks!

 

Under a float....tandem... beads...or bead+pink worm. I have used bead + woolies in the past it has worked great in the past but not this year so i abandoned the idea. Under indicator when I do some flies....2 nymphs...that could work on pinning to i guess.

In deep water i'm generally running 2 beads (10mm up top and 8mm on bottom) of different colors to see if they are hitting one or the other and i have thrown a pink work under beads before but i wasn't sure if that was too funky of a presentation, but i guess not. Bead and woolies would make sense! More or less an egg sucking leech trying to chase an egg lol and in big water if i do nymph, ill just use the pin as im not a huge indicator fan. When i nymph fish creeks, i use a 10' 7wt and just high stick it. But i appreciate all the help! i'll try some weird stuff this weekend i think lol you never know.


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#5 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 01:04 PM

Not a big fan of indicator too. I love high sticking for big steelhead. If it's gin clear water. I just use a single leech patter fly (black or olive) 10'6" 8wt...post spawn seems to love leech patterns or woolies. It's fun when they start chasing them on the twitch.


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#6 ApacheFishingVentures

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Posted 24 March 2017 - 04:01 PM

Not a big fan of indicator too. I love high sticking for big steelhead. If it's gin clear water. I just use a single leech patter fly (black or olive) 10'6" 8wt...post spawn seems to love leech patterns or woolies. It's fun when they start chasing them on the twitch.

Funny you say that, my profile picture is of my first steelhead i caught last spring stripping a black leech through a gin clear pool in a very small stream and i literally watched him look at it for a few seconds from the undercut bank and then BAM! Short fight but way cool watching them smoke a moving streamer.


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#7 DILLIGAF?!

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:32 PM

Funny you say that, my profile picture is of my first steelhead i caught last spring stripping a black leech through a gin clear pool in a very small stream and i literally watched him look at it for a few seconds from the undercut bank and then BAM! Short fight but way cool watching them smoke a moving streamer.

freaking awesome IMO....in a pool with more than 5 steels, in clear water you can watch one seperate from the group to key in on the fly. you don't even need to cast in front of them.


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#8 Guest_tossing iron_*

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:37 PM

Other than clear water conditions.
Nothing you can use to attract the Big ones. Lol
Myself. I prefer dirty water.
What size fish pull your float down totally discretionary.
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