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Techniques for Steelhead


There are many different techniques that an angler may choose when fishing for steelhead. All of these techniques will catch steelhead under certain conditions. The key to success is to develop several techniques that can be matched to the particular river, or drift you are fishing, based on the current river conditions. Some techniques are better suited to fishing from a boat, such as pulling plugs, while others will work well while bank fishing. Some techniques are better suited to fishing downstream from the anglers position, while other can be fished upstream.

Until 1997 I fished almost exclusively with standard drift gear (corky/yarn & eggs). I caught alot of steelhead this way, but I knew I was missing fish in certain types of holding water because I could not present my drift gear properly. Although I knew of these other techniques, I did not have confidence in them, so I never took the time to learn how to fish them properly. When I made the decision to learn these other methods, success did not come right away. But I stuck with them and read everything I could about these other techniques. Soon I started catching steelhead, which led too increased confidence in these techniques. After awhile my success rate started to climb. I am now hooking more steelhead than ever. I am not saying that these other techniques will guarantee you more hookups, but they will provide you with the ability to more effectively cover certain types of holding water.

Since a Steelheader spends most of his time fishing, rather than catching, it is important to choose a technique that is enjoyable. The links below will provide you with information on some of my favorite techniques for catching steelhead.

Drift Fishing
Fishing on or near the bottom with bait and/or drift bobber's such as Corky's, Spin and Glo's, Cheaters, Okies, etc.
Float Fishing
Fishing with a float or bobber, with bait or a jig suspended below it. One of my favorite year round techniques.
Spoon Fishing
Quickly becoming my favorite Winter Steelhead technique.
Spinner Fishing
Very effective for both winter and summer steelhead.
Pulling Plugs
Deadly technique when fishing from a drift boat or sled.
Fly Fishing
Increasingly popular technique for chasing Steelhead.
The Pink Worm
A favorite lure in British Columbia which is becoming increasingly popular in Washington State.



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All content and images © 2006, 2007, 2008 Brian McArthur