|Fresh winter steelhead that munched on a 5/0 Winter's Hope|
With a few early season trips already under my belt, I'm coming to terms with what appears to be effects of an el nino year, with above average rainfall and rivers running high. I got out on a coastal stream yesterday and with all the rain we've been having, flows were "marginal". Keith and I found a few soft inside cushions, but options were limited so we quit before noon and made a quick retreat to town for a late "breakfast" at a local diner. Sausage and cheese omelets never tasted so good to a couple of rain soaked steelheaders.
As I begin another winter steelhead season I ponder my prospects as a dedicated dry line steelheader. Of course I plan to stick with the dry line throughout the season. I anticipate rivers running at higher levels this year which means I'll most likely spend more time on smaller streams that drop and clear more quickly than larger systems.
Fishing smaller water means busting out the single handers and switch rods as long casts are not needed in close quarters. My JM Reid 8' 5" 9wt "Wee Heavy" has already got some airtime and my single hand glass rods will also get out as well. My 11' Cabela's switch rods will see some use too. Ambush lines and Rage heads will be my dry lines of choice with tapered Maxima leaders delivering Winter's Hopes tied on heavy irons the primary set up used most often. I'll be tossing skaters when flows permit, especially in the early afternoons. Front weighted MOALs, sparse intruders, and simple lead eyed rabbit strip flies will come into play in snaggy areas where "disposable" dry line flies are needed.
|This chunky winter buck dwarfs my 7wt single hand set up|
It will be interesting to see how the winter steelhead season develops this year. Wishing you all a great winter season!
|A Little Hope is all I need!|
|Black Friday Steel|
|A non traditional fly does the trick, a memory from a winter's past|
|Winter's Hope in the corner of the jaw, where it belongs|
|A Happy Place|