Successful Steelhead Fishing: 3 Tips
Fall and winter are prime steelhead seasons on the Salmon River. A member of the salmon family, steelhead are one of the top freshwater species for anglers to pursue. They are fast, feisty and unpredictable in their swim patterns, making steelhead a sought after goal for experienced and new fisherman.
“When you hook a steelhead, you never know what’s going to happen, “ said DSR and NYS licensed guide Nathan Adam, a Pulaski native who has fished since the age of 2. “Steelhead are known to jump 3 to 4 feet in the air and will even swim directly at the angler.”
Steelhead anglers take on the challenge of more than chilly air and water temperatures when they decide to brave the waters of the Salmon River from November to May. Often compared to Atlantic Salmon, fishing for steelhead has a steep learning curve that keeps the sport ever challenging, despite numb feet and hands.
For anglers interested in steelhead fishing, here are 3 tips from Adam to help:
1. Fish flexibly. Just because you've had success with a specific technique doesn't mean
the same technique will work today. Don't be afraid to try a new pattern or color.
2. Egg patterns aren't necessarily best. After the salmon spawn, Steelhead focus back on bugs and minnows. Now is the time to try nymph patterns and streamers.
3. Fish light weight line. As months get colder, the water typically get clearer. Then it’s time to start thinking small. 6lb and 4lb test will aid in those finicky winter fish. ‘Kur-plunks’ are a sure way to scare fish. Fish weighted flies or small weights, size 7 to BB.