Fishing forum > How to steelhead

Author Topic: How to steelhead
Louis Vuitton

Hey, I'm new to steelheading, and want to catch my first one this winter. I fly fish, and i have a drift rod set up (Quantum Iron3 and Shimano 10'6" Synergy). I want to head up to the Vedder with one of my friends, but don't know where to start. I dont know what pools, or where, and what to use. I've never fished the Vedder before, so any help would be awesome!

Tight Lines
winter steel

Perhaps the most addicting of the sportfish and definately the most elusive. Not because they are particularly difficult to catch, it is just that their numbers are not great in comparison to the fall salmon runs. In regards to fishing the Vedder there is plenty of water to fish at the end of Peach road and Lickman road. If you want to catch steelhead consistently you really need to look for where they will lie and travel in any particular run. My best piece of advice would be to learn two or three runs really well as opposed to trying to fish the entire 36 km stretch of the Vedder. Unfortunately, the river (Vedder) changes after high water and this year is no different. You simply have to go out to the river and observe where fish have been hooked and pry as much information from those that are willing to give it. Fly fishing for steelhead is tough this time of the year, stick to drift gear. Good steelhead bates/lures are roe, spawn sacs, rubber worms (in various colours) wool, corkies, blades, and jensen eggs. Good luck and have a great steelhead season, Wintersteel.
Louis Vuitton

Thanks Winter. I am curious to know what the river is like. Is it moody? I've never been there, and am wondering what the access is like. Is it fishable from the shore? Is there enough clearance behind you to lay out a flycast? Is it treacherous at all? Just stuff like that. When I go, I don't want to show up after driving all the way out there only to discover that its a tight river thats moody and unpredictable. I just want to be safe, and have a good time.

Thanks alot, and tight lines

Oh, happy birthday to Alex
winter steel

In regards to fishing the Vedder it probably is the most fisher friendly for all types. If you prefer to fly fish then from mid river (Vedder Crossing) down is your best bet. The runs are 3-6 feet deep and there is plenty of room for you to back cast. It is a popular river and so you may feel a bit crowded in the more popular runs. Should you choose to drift fish then I would say anywhere from top to bottom is good. Just read your water. Ninety five percent of the river is accessible and easy to get too. There are no canyons like tha Cap and the only real danger is attempting to cross where one shouldn't. I don't think you will be disappointed if y ou go out. If you want exact information drop in at Fred's tackle and they'll point you into the right direction. Don't be afraid to explore its great exercise and you might find some virgin water. Tight lines, Winter steel.
Louis Vuitton

Thanks alot Winter. I can't wait to hit the Vedder. I'm like reading all my old magazines, and all the new ones that have Steelhead articles in them. But bad news. My wallet was stole, and it had all my licenses in it. Like, my citezenship card, Washington state saltwater license, BC Freshwater lisence. All of them. It sucks. You wouldn't happen to know how to replace the licenses, would you? I only need the BC Freshwater one. I live in Tsawwassen, so like, thats the only one i need rigt now.

Thanks alot for your help though,
Tight lines
winter steel

That's too bad. When I had my wallet stolen and all my essentials with it (ie license) you use to be able to go to the fisheries office in New West (provide the necessary I.D.) and pay 5.00 to replace your license. You would however have to be pave for the stamps again. I'm not sure if that is still an option. By the way I hope you do not plan on going to the river over the next few days as the Vedder had a severe mud slide above Tamihi creek. The river will be out of shape for the better part of a week or so. Maybe its time to bring out the vise for a bit. Tight lines, Winter steel.
Louis Vuitton

Would you happen to know by chance what flies would work? The drift bait is easy enough to figure ou (i.e bubblegum worms,roe,krill), but for flies, theres like a billion salmon/steelhead ones. Should I just go to the vise and make a bunch of stuff up, with like bright colours and lots of marabou?

Thanks Winter, and anybody else who helps,
Tight lines
winter steel

I have this fly that works everytime when I go out, unfortunately it doesn't cast very well and you need a match. Seriously, when fly fishing for steelhead you will all ready be using something they have not seen and will take it aggressively within a half dozen swings or casts in a particular lie/run. The usual popsicles, marabou flies, egg patterns and even winter stoneflies dead drifted will get them. It is more a matter of presentation then what your using. I know people say that they slay them on this or that, but really one puts confidence in that which has worked for them (positive reinforcement) and so has little time for experimenting. If you have never caught a steelhead on the fly then you are blessed as your judgement will not be skewed until you hook one. I too have my favorite baits, but I know that where they sit/travel is equally, if not more important than the bait/lure itself. Take care and tight lines, Winter Steel.
Louis Vuitton

Hey Winter, yeah, I've been like searching Google and everything for info. I've been pulling out old BC Outdoors, and old FlyFisherman Magazines and what not. I want to go prepared. But Ive been hearing alot about how fly selection doesnt matter; and that presentation is more important. One thing though, I read about guys and their outings and how they hook up (not necesarily land) with like five or six in a day on the river, but then I also read that they are very elusive and that you can go like ten times and maybe get a tickle once. Not even a grab, but a tickle. This is sorta discouraging me though. I want to get one on the fly sooo bad. I live to flyfish. And I they are the only fish that I havent gotten on a fly yet thats worth it. I've gotten all sorts of trout, including Cuttbows from the Dean River, to Pinks on the Fraser. Dollies, Carp, everything from around here on the fly and I'm only 17. But the master of them all, the great steelhead, I've never even gone after. I want to go for them so bad, so I'm trying to go prepared. But yeah, thanks for the help, Winter. If you have anymore, feel free to put it up here.

Thanks alot,
Tight lines!
winter steel

Louis if you have been to the Dean why not try for the summers up there on the fly. That is the holy grail to most fly fishermen (that or the Thompson) as the fish are relatively aggressive. If you realy want to get a steelhead on the fly you would be wiser to wait until March/April/May on systems such as the Vedder, Squamish, Cheakamus. The water is warmer and the fish seem to respond better to a well presented fly. That doesn't mean you can't hook a fish now, its just tougher and hence the poor stats, not just for flyfishermen, but drift guys as well. It doesn't matter how good of a fishermen you are if there is nothing in front of you to catch. Tight lines, Winter Steel.
geoff

i truly enjoyed reading this thread! while lower section of vedder is spoiled by murky water, you may consider the section of river below twin cedars. there is a lot of room for fly casting and nice sections with slower water.

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