However, there is a lot more to the steelhead run than people think. Reading Steelhead Water Winter Steelhead are truly a prized catch here in Washington, but it only takes a basic understanding of their habits to have a fruitful day on the river. One of the hardest parts about catching Lake Erie steelhead, other than getting them to bite, is finding the fish. Being able to understand when and how fish move can be the difference in a bad and unforgettable day on the water. When the conditions change you will need to adjust your tackle, the water you choose to fish and the way you swing your fly. Would it be for better or for worse? Let’s start out with a simple, golden rule: warm is fast and cold is slow. Matching Baitfish includes guide tips for reading the water, strategies for swinging flies, and 20 guide flies and detailed recipes. Subscribe to our Newsletter and get all the information you need to learn, plan, and equip for your next fishing adventure. Most people forget this and continue to fish in these larger holes, leaving the smaller sections above them relatively untouched. They don’t want to be battling rapids, but they like a little water disturbance. So, it is important to look at objects floating in the water to see the direction they are getting pushed. A funnel is a pinch point that brings all of the fish to a certain point that they have to go through. To fish effectively, attempt to have structure separating you from the targeted water. Steelhead feed primarily at mid-depths (the middle of the water column), but will also feed on surface insects. In the spring, the fish that are still in the rivers are completely exhausted. We will cover fish movement more in depth in a later section though. In larger holes where the water is slower moving, or if the water levels are lower, then they have the ability to suspend while still using very little energy. The second idea I want to get out of your head is that fish only face upstream. So, they have a relatively good idea of what things should be doing in the current. I also focus on bottom content. Winter steelhead have a reputation for being difficult for fly anglers. The truth is it aries for almost every inch of the water you look at . There is also an eddy in front of objects as well. If you look closely, you will notice that a lake gives off a number of subtle clues that most people don't catch their … Second, to enable them to use the knowledge they gained with us to continue learning on their own afterwards. Adequate depth to protect the fish from predators, boaters, and anglers. This is where you have to rely on your instincts and ability to read water to guide you to the fish. This small device allows you to mark waypoints at the click of a button and it will show you the conditions from that day at the time you marked that waypoint. I hadn’t been in Erie since October 2016 when I took my annual fall run steelhead trip. while I discuss what had changed and how we were able to 1. Learning to pinpoint structure in different sections of a river is the final step to reading water like a pro and increasing your likelihood of finding trout. Once they get into these riffles, they can now see better which makes them easier to catch. Structure can refer to objects in and around the river such as boulders, gravel bars, holes, and changes in bottom contour. Top 10 Winter Steelhead Flies Revealed. About the Author Terry J. Wiest has over 38 years of experience fishing for salmon and steelhead, with float-fishing being his forte. These fish are trying everything possible to conserve energy so the pools are an excellent bet this time of year. A good riffle will fulfill all of the basic needs of a trout. If you can start to think more like a steelhead it can drastically increase your chances of having incredible days on the water. Anyone who has been reading my blog since that time knows that October was a terrible month for Pennsylvania steelhead fishing. So, you need to be able to recognize when the fish are moving versus when the fish are holding. However, reading water also applies to lakes. This means they will hold in less predictable water, meaning you will find more fish holding in heavier current because they can afford to. v Before you begin wading, locate potential steelhead resting and holding areas by “reading” the water and observing any surface texture changes which would indicate current breaks below. A summary of each […] Remember Steelhead want to get from point A to point B using the least amount of energy required. 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