Welcome to Steelhead University "Ask the Pros" section. Got
a question? Ask away!
I am curious when jig fishing with a bobber using a spinning reel.
Can you use the switch or little handle that controls the rotation
of the spool, to feed out line while drifting your float and jig?
Rather than keeping the bail open?
Hi Ron, I've never tried it, but thought about it a few times. I
use my finger against the spool to control the line going out. There's
no "rules" for how you control the float, so if switching to free
spin mode allows you to feed out the line in a controled manner
while keeping pressure off the line and float so there is no resistance,
then I bet it works great. I'd experiment if you feel that method
would be beneficial to you. The most important thing is that you
are comfortable with it - again just make sure no resistance that
would cause an unnatural float.
Luck ~ Terry
If you're fishing for Chum, what's best to use from the bank, do
you fish the slow waters like with silvers or other type of water.
PINK jigs - either twitchin or under a float. This is also the only
time I might use bait with a jig. A piece of prawn meat on the hook
of a pink jig under a float. I'll only use the bait if they aren't
hitting it by itself. Twitchin is preferred, but if you don't have
the right rythm they may not smack it. Also - if pink for some reason
doesn't work - try chartruese. It the slow water - same water as
the coho. Also, the slow flats next to the bank is where they'll
Hello, Do you know anything about fishing the cispus river. It is
beautiful but I have not found anyone that has fished it. Please
let me know. Thank you
power trucks many salmon and steelhead from the barrier dam hatchery
to the upper Cowlitz including the Cispus river most of those plants
happen in the fall around the yellow jacket creek area if you go
to the Tacoma power web site and look under Parks and Rec then go
to Cowlitz fishing report they list how many fish they have trucked
and where they put them. The Tilton , Cispus, skate creek, and upper
Cowlitz at Packwood all get planted about once a week in the fall.
If you dig around one the Tacoma power wed site to will probably
find the trout plants also. At times both the salmon and trout fishing
can be good.
check the rules and it is not a bad idea to call the Tacoma power
fishing hot line 1-888-502-8690
Terry, Thank you for taking the time to read this question. I'll
direct this one at you since you are the float fishing specialist.
I am taking the dive into float fishing but after several steelheading
trips, I've discovered that my 8'6" Loomis is sorely inadequate
for this style of fishing. I am pretty stubborn I must admit, and
concluded that I could make my drift rod work by holding my arms
over my head to keep the line off the water (I probably looked foolish!).
Anyway, I'm in the market for a 10"+ rod, and in my research, I've
come across the "traditional sliding ring" reel seat. I would like
to know the advantages/disadvantages to this type of reel seating.
Dose this style allow one to convert the rod from spinning to bait
casting to center pin? Or is it more for achieving correct balance?
Hi Chris, I think that you will find a 10' plus rod will offer you
many advantages when it comes to this style of fishing. I would probably
stick with the 10' 6" and not go any longer as the longer ones seem
to be awkward unless you're used to fishing with them. The sliding
rings are more traditional and are more for centerpin reels. With
a centerpin you need to adjust the distance from the butt to the reel
to be comfortable when casting, and also like you indicated for balance.
With a reel seat it's in a fixed position and doesn't offer that adjustment
(with a spinning reel or baitcaster most rods are pretty standard
as far as the distance from the butt). The sliding rings are also
lighter but with the new titanium reel seats you don't notice that
much, especially on a well balanced rod. Terry
Hello I have been trying to fish the Puyallup river for silvers.
I can only plunk fish, I am handicapped. the river is always dark
can you help on what color of bobbers or yarn or any good hookup
to use. Thank you for your help.
your fluorescent reds and greens (chartreuse) are going to be your
best bet. But more important than color is going to be your profile
that's going to attract them by noise (spin-n-glo), profile (size
and location of presentation), and smell are going to be what triggers
you are plunking, the Spin-n-Glo is going to be your most important
part of the presentation. Make sure it's large enough to help float
the eggs off the bottom in the current. Not only will it help the
eggs float up off the bottom and into the strike zone, but the movement
will create noise and be an additional attractant.
sure our egg cluster is larger than your spin-n-glo. About twice
as large till give it the correct profile. You'll want eggs that
milk out but are tough enough to stay on when casting or having
the trout and smolts pick at it.
smell comes from good eggs. If they don't hit off the attraction
and noise, you'll want them enticed by the smell of the eggs and
cure. You can purchase one of the pre-cured jars of egg clusters
or cure your own.
if the eggs come off the spin-n-glo can still draw a strike from
both site and smell now that you've gunked it up with eggs. But
check your eggs often as the whole package will hook more than the
this helped. Please let me know if you have any further question.
Hello, Wanting to branch out for Salmon on some of the local rivers
and have been doing some homework. Read your article on river levels
and have the following question: Does it affect the fishing much
if it is raining (like it does for trout) but the river levels and
clarity are good? Or, posed another way, if I wake up and its raining
should I wait for a break in the clouds? By the question you can
probably tell that I have pretty much only fished for trout! Thanks
for helping the rookie.
Hi Kevin, As long as the rivers have the clarity and the flow is
good, hit it! If you wait you might not get to fish. I've had some
of the most productive days fishing in the rain.
piece of advice, invest in some good quality raingear and waders!
They'll pay HUGE dividends in the end. I almost plan on it raining
while I'm fishing in the winter. If it doesn't, then it's just a
Hi Terry, Just a quick question, I recently started fishing in Washington,
got tired of Oregon, I have been hearing that Night fishing for Salmon
and steelhead is awesome, any good tips? like depth of water? baits
to use? what kind of holding water I should look for? I will be fishing
the upper Kalama, around the Canyon Thanks Eric
Hi Eric, The Kalama Canyon can definitely produce some fish and
should be turning on pretty quick.
salmon you're going to want to use bait. Preferably freshly cured
roe and use scent! I like to have at least two different types of
cured roe with different scents, usually an anise/shrimp mix and
a salmon feast mix. Salmon are chemical junkies. Check out Steelhead
University for a great cure.
hold in the deeper pools, but that have some movement to them. The
deeper frog water pools are more for silvers.
will also hit bait so you'll have a good shot at either species,
but they are not so dependent on chemicals.
far as fishing for them at night... be careful. That Canyon can
be quite tricky even in the daylight. Night fishing can be productive
but the best way is to float your presentation so you don't end
up snagging the fish. Use a "glow" float and something that "glows"
with your eggs. Try to keep your presentation 1 to 2 feet off the
bottom. Spin-n-glo's, lil corkies, cheaters, they all work but the
glow presence will attract the salmon. Use a camera flash or there's
some flashes made for "charging" the glow in most sporting goods
stores. This is also where your scent will come into play. In order
to draw an aggressive strike make sure your eggs are milking. When
the float goes down... set da hook!
sure and check the regs before venturing out for any night closures
and bait restrictions (there is a night closure beginning Sept 1
on the Kalama). Also make sure and release any wild fish.
luck and good fishing. Terry
Terry, what is your go to method for catching Steelhead, and how did
you choose that method. Rory
Great Question Rory! My "go to" method, if I have to choose one,
is float fishing. Whether it be a jig, eggs, shrimp, corkie, etc.
under a float I believe I can achieve the most natural presentation
under a float in most conditions. The main reason I choose to float
fish is confidence.
though, I don't have to only choose one method. Since I mainly bank
fish, or use a pontoon boat to float a river, I always have at least
two rods with me, one being a float rod, the other a drift rod.
Throughout a system there will be many holes which one method I
might have more confidence in over the other.
you can, be flexible in your methods, but above all be confident
in the method you choose. Good fishin, Terry
Rob, Is there an effective way to fish steelhead in the lower tidal
influenced part of a river? I've never seen any information written
up regarding this but I've often wondered if there is a proven way.
Thanks for the email, Michael! Since steelhead don't typically hold
very well in the tidal areas not many people target them there.
An exception to this would be at times when rivers are extremely
low and steelhead will wash in an out with the tides and won't venture
very far upstream. Bait, spinners and spoons, plugs, and flyfishing
will all take fish low in the river when the water is low.
will typically enter the river on the high tide, but the best time
to target them is on an outgoing tide or at low tide. The outgoing
tide will force them to hold up and low tide will give you a better
idea where to target them, as most tidal areas are bank full at
high tide and fish can be just about anywhere. Sand shrimp and eggs
work very well and under the right circumstances flyfishing can
also be the ticket. Steelhead moving into the lower Situk River
in Yakutat, Alaska at low tide, for instance, will hit a Polar Shrimp
or General Practicioner quite well when they're fresh out of the
salt. Hope that helps and thanks again for the email! Rob
Iím thinking about buying a new drift boat and would like your opinion
on style, you donít have to recommend a manufacture if you donít want
to. I do lots of back-trolling plugs and would like a boat design
for that type of fishing. So what type of drift boat design works
best for that type of fishing? Thanks, Eric
For back trolling I really like how well aluminum boats track in the
current. I run a 17' North River that tracks very well and doesn't
slide sideways like a lot of the fiberglass boats do. If you want
sports car handling, however, you may consider a fiberglass boat.
I've rowed both fiberglass and aluminum boats for years and can honestly
tell you that the aluminum boats track much better for pulling plugs.
They definitely respond a little slower than fiberglass because of
weight and the hard chine along the bottom edge, but for plugging
aluminum is definitely my choice. Hope that helps! Rob
Hey Thanks for getting back to me so fast, I love your web page
and check it often. I live in Challis ID and Iíve been guiding here
on the Salmon River for the past 7 years. Just in the last few years
I have mainly switch to back trolling with clients. I have been
rowing a Hyde glass boat. I have only rowed an aluminum boat a few
times, but not enough to get the feel of one. What I was wondering
is it seems like some of the guys rowing aluminum boats arenít working
as hard as I am to back troll. My Hyde doesnít seem to have the
same curved design as say a Willies and most aluminum boats are
wider. Does that have something to do with it or am I just getting
old. Here is my thoughts: My Hyde was designed for flyfishing, which
is comparable to side-drifting in the speed of the boat. My boat
will get across the river quickly, but may be hard to slow down
to back trolling speed because it moves side to side too much, so
you have to work harder at keeping it straight, which in turn pushes
you down river. Also without the curved design, more of the boat
is in contact with the water or under water. The tracking or running
straight of the aluminum boat is caused by the hard chine, which
in turn you arenít working to keep the boat as straight. Les strokes
to straighten the boat and more on slowing the boat down, just few
oar strokes. Also les boat in or under water and less push.
am I way off here? Thanks again!
You nailed it! All of the glass boats I've rowed take constant fine
tuning to keep them on the "tracks" while plugging. With aluminum,
however, you're taking less strokes to keep in the zone. In addition,
I've also rowed a few of the larger 18' and 20' aluminum boats and
they track even better. My next boat may very well be something I
can handle four people in. Best of luck and let me know which boat
you decide to go with.
I'm a huge fan of your websit Steelhead University. I had a questions
regarding Okie drift bobbers and thought maybe you would know the
answer. I was wondering if any stores around sold those or if they
went out of production? I have looked at many stores including Outdoor
Emporium and have been unable to find any. Let me know if you can
help. Thanks alot for your time! Drew
Sorry Drew, The Okie went out of production years ago. Unless you
get very lucky at a garage sale or raid my on-air partner Bill Herzog's
garage you're gonna have a tough time finding them! Tom
Hello Rob, This may sound stupid, but I recently caught what I believe
to be a steelhead (because of the 2nd picture shows the white gum
line) and my father-in-law swears it is a Salmon. Can you view the
attached photos and let me know what type of fish it is! I caught
this (Steelhead) at Savage Rapids Dam on the Rogue River last month
using a Hot Shot #35 flame red/orange. The fish absolutely slammed
the plug so hard, it bit a piece of it off! Just the way it hit
the plug and the way it faught and jumped, I knew it was a Steelhead.
I would really appreciate it. I hope I am correct! Thank
you, Garry B.
Thanks for the email, Garry! I hate to tell you this, but that fish
is definitely a member of the salmon family and appears from the
photos to be a king salmon. The spots, coloring, etc., are all indicative
of a king salmon. Even though the outside of the gum line is white,
a look inside the mouth probably would have revealed a black tongue
and gill rakers. Congrats on a great fish, however! Hopefully you
didnít have any bets with the father-in-law on this one : ) Thanks
again for the email and best of luck on the water! Rob
I saw your boards out of Steelhead University, I thought I would
ask a few questions. I have been reading avidly and trying to learn
to catch steelhead in Alaska's Anchor river, on a recent trip I
could see steelhead but couldn't get them to bite, have you got
a back door secret for these type fish.
was thinking of throwing a squid or shrimp imitation( this is fly
only water) or a pink worm since the ocean is within 400 yards would
they hit a shrimp imitation in fresh water? What about that worm
I read allot about it, is there a worm out in the ocean they eat
or is is just instinct to hit that I look under rocks and don't
see worms here in Alaska so the river bed must not have any in it.
other questions is on float fishing the Anchor river is about 50
feet wide and relatively slow moving about waist deep in most areas
with big rocks and tons of white water runs into slack pools. I
have been reading about jig fishing and dink floats there is a ton
of rocks to hang up on would float fishing be better? How do you
rig a dink float it has holes in it but I cant figure out how to
rig it, is this a slip bobber operation with a bead and bobber stop
or peg with a toothpick?
up fishing for Catfish in water just like this in Oklahoma we drift
spring frogs for big channel cats with bobbers, but the hang up
problem the hooks get into the rocks, I was thinking of a break
off rig with split shot crimped on the tag end of the line to bounce
bottom and the jig up about 6-10 inches so if the weight snags a
steady pull will remove it. And then re-crimp more lead.
of the guys I encounter are fishing with fly rods and floating line
and a flash salmon fly or leech pattern, I have one of these rigs
and have caught a steelhead with a fly but it is slow and tough
its tough to back cast with all the brush. I think a float even
one of those old time balsa wood corks with the spring on the bottom
of it rigged to break off ought to make things happen. I have note
seen anyone float fishing, so I am kind of on my own.
I have been fishing the river upstream where it is narrower and
choked full of brush and logs rocks and etc, what about the float
up there, have any tips. I think the float will help float the jig
in behind rocks in eddies leaving the jig hanging like a target
for the steelhead.
thanks in advice for any tips you can give me. - Joe
The fish that you are encountering on the lower Anchor might have
already been disturbed by your approach or by other anglers passing
them before you. For starters, I would purchase a pair of polarized
glasses and use them to spot steelhead before they spot you. Also
remember that steelhead are usually pointed upstream, so if you
approach them from downstream youíll usually have a better shot
at getting close to them before they spook. If the water is low
and clear, which it sounds like it is, youíll want to ďhuntĒ for
them and approach every pool like itís got a fish in it. Shy away
from brightly colored clothes and stalk the river like youíre hunting
for whitetails back in Oklahoma.
pattern or egg pattern will probably be the best way to get these
fish to strike, but if you get to them before they spook they may
very well hit just about anything. If the river is gin clear youíll
want to cast well upstream of them and either swing the shrimp pattern
in front of them or nymph an egg pattern thru the area where they
are holding. Youíll probably have to use a roll cast along those
brush choked banks.
itís flyfishing only water youíll want to check the regs to make
sure jig fishing with a float is legal. To be legal and ethical
itís probably best to stick with the fly gear! - Rob
Rob, Do you typically run divers (crankbait style or Jet Divers) in
front of your plugs like Hot Shots (Size 30 or 35ís), Tadpollys, etc.
for steelhead or can they be fished alone? If fished alone, do you
recommend adding weight, swivel, & leader? Thanks, Jeff
Thanks for the email, Jeff! Since most of the water I fish for steelhead
is less than 15 feet deep I will never run a diver in front of the
plug. I routinely use Tadpollies and Hot Shots and Iíve never found
the need to run a diver in front of the plug and, in fact, I think
it would detract from the side-to-side ďhuntingĒ action of the plug.
In deeper water I will often use either a Hotín Tot or Hot Shot SE,
however, as they both dive consistently deeper than the Tadpolly or
standard issue Hot Shot. On deeper rivers like the Snake River in
Southeast Washington a Hot Lips (Luhr Jensen) or Mag Wiggler (Storm)
will get the job done, as they will dive as deep as 20 feet. Hopefully
I answered your question, but if you have any others please feel free
to email them to me. Thank again! Rob
Thanks for the info Rob. When using say 12lb. mono, do you use a swivel
and leader or do you tie directly on your main line? When using line
like Power Pro or Tuffline, do you use a mono leader? How long of
a leader do you recommend? Is there any reason to add weight? Thanks,
When using mono I tie the plug directly to the mainline and the only
time Iíll use a leader is when Iím running high vis mono for mainline.
When using high vis Iíll blood knot a leader of 4 to 6 feet in length
onto the mainline. I use Power Pro almost exclusively now for my plug
rods, however, and Iíll use a uni-knot to attach a leader of 17 to
20 lb test ahead of the plug. I also started using YuZuri fluorocarbon
last year for leader and had some great luck with it. In regards to
leader, many of the better plug fisherman are running Power Pro straight
to the plug and arenít seeing any decrease in hookups. A good friend
does this and uses a black felt pen to color the last 20 feet of line
to decrease itís visibility under water. The only time I ever use
weight is when Iím backbouncing Kwikfish. Best of Luck! Rob
I have a plug rigging question and this may be purely an opinion type
of thing but here go's, I have read a couple of articles that suggest
removing the tail treble on plugs such as "Brads", "Wiggle Warts",
Hawg boss, Kwikfish etc., adding a bead chain to the belly eye with
split rings on each end and a quality treble would improve hook-ups
and result in a decrease in lost fish. I lost a monster steelhead
just recently on a small Rapala and when the plug popped free both
the belly hook and the tail hook were locked together so it would
stand to reason that by having that single treble on that bead chain
the fish wouldnt be able to use those 2 hooks as leverage. Just wondering
what your thoughts are on this as i certainly dont want to be messing
up the action on a few of my favorites. Do you run yours in a similar
fashion or would this be just a matter of ones personal preference?
By all means keep up the good work there. Best Regards Brian
Howdy, Brian! Iíll take a stab at a couple of your questions. Adding
a swivel or bead chain between the hook and plug does two things,
it moves the hook closer to the tail of the plug and it allows the
fish to twist and turn without binding the hooks up against the
plug. This is especially true with Kwikfish, as a king or silver
doing the death roll in the middle of the river will invariably
use the plug to pry the hooks loose. Since the plug has tension
on it from the rod it wonít spin as readily with the fish and neither
will the hooks, the end result being a lost fish.
are a couple of problems with adding a bead chain to the plug, however,
and that is that it adds weight to the plug that may effect itís
action and in very slow water the bead chain and hook will hang
straight down from the plug and be somewhat out of the fishes strike
zone. When this happens fish can get hooked in the side of the head,
under the chin, etc., which increases the chance of a lost fish.
advice would be to run swivels on both hooks and only run a bead
chain on the belly hook when single hooks are required. The bead
chain allows the Siwash hook to get far enough away from the plug
to allow for a solid hookup without the plug getting in the way
of the hook. Throw a single Siwash hook directly onto the belly
eye of a Kwikfish and youíll see what I mean.
steelhead plugs like Wiggle Warts and Hot Shots the use of a bead
chain on the belly eye (not the tail eye) get the hook far enough
towards the tail of the plug for a solid hookup and like the Kwikfish
setup allows a fish to twist without binding up the plug. On steelhead
plugs, however, itís important to not use too large of a bead chain,
as the extra weight will usually hinder the performance of the plug.
A light, yet strong, bead chain will get the job done.
to hear about the fish you lost on the Rapala. Rapalas typically
come with very small hooks that really arenít suited for salmon
or steelhead. The hooks are only big enough to penetrate the skin
and donít usually get a good hold on any bone or cartilage in the
fishes mouth, which is why they pull out so easily. My advice would
be to use a swivel to attach Siwash hooks that are larger than the
hooks supplied, without being so big that they hinder the action
of the plug.
again and best of luck to you Brian! - Rob
Hello- I was reading on your Steelhead University site the article
on how to rig the pink worm. It's all very simple, I understand
how to thread it. My question is, how long of a leader do you run....
and do you run an inline slinky? Also, what do you think the best
size/brand of dink floats are for this application, or would you
use the Steelhead Stalker? Thanks a lot! AWESOME SITE! -Eric
Thanks for the email, Eric! Since most worms float like a cork Iíll
typically run an 18 to 24 inch leader to keep the worm in the strike
zone. Even in clear water there is no need to run a longer leader
than that, since theyíre either going to hit the worm or they arenít.
For this reason worms are great for covering water, especially when
there is some color in the water. You can use any weight system
you want for the worms and if an inline slinky is what youíre comfortable
with that will work great. As for floats, I will usually run a medium
to large dink float, since it takes a bit of lead to get the extremely
buoyant worms down in heavy current. Head Hunter worms use to make
a sinking worm that worked great for floatfishing, but since we
mostly side drift pink worms now Iím not sure if they still make
them. Iíll reserve the Steelhead Stalker and low profile floats
like similar to it for low water presentations. Hopefully I answered
some of your questions, but if you have any more please feel free
to email them to me. Thanks for visiting the site! Tom
Tom & Rob, I was just checking out the website, but I think it may
be even better to ask you directly. My question is regarding the
use of a drift boat when fishing the local rivers for salmon and
steelhead in Washington. But let me back up real quick first. Since
I was little, I've spent countless hours fishing saltwater and continue
to do so every year. Probably about 7 years ago I got into river
fishing and have spent more and more time doing it as a compliment
to the summer saltwater runs. The time I've spent, however, has
been 95% going around to different bank spots and drift fishing
the standard fare. Over the years, I've also been on several different
drift boat trips, and to me it seems like this really allows you
to cover more water and often times less pressured water; not to
mention the relaxing aspect of it. So lately, I've been entertaining
the idea what it would be like to own my own drift boat, new or
used. The reason is, it seems like there a fair number of rivers
that I've drifted down that don't seem extremely technical (while
there are a couple I went on with guides that I wouldn't dare attempt
myself unless I reached that expert status some day). But maybe
that's where I'm mistaken. Maybe some of the rivers that appear
to be straightforward drifts really are more technical than they
seem. To me, and this might come from my time spent on the saltwater,
safety comes first, then play. And knowing that ending up in the
wrong situation in a river can be as extreme as any rough weather
on the saltwater, I wonder if I'd be getting myself into something
where I'd be in over my head. With all that being said, do you have
any thoughts on having your own drift boat, the difficulty of learning
how to use it, and the overal danger risk involved? Sorry for the
long email, and I appreciate any comments or advice you might have.
Hey Peter, I agree with you that "it seems like this really allows
you to cover more water and often times less pressured water" and
in reality driftboats really do help you reach more water. I would
encourage you to invest in a driftboat especially the North River
Drifter. One more thing to consider, if you've got concerns about
your rowing skills hire a reputable guide for your intended river
and let him "Show you the ropes". Driftboats are also great partner
outfits as there's no motor and no fuel tank to be left dry... See
if one of your fishing friends wants to go in on a driftboat with
you! Good luck and good drifting! Tom
Hey Rob, I want to know what to use at different levels of the barometer
readings, and if the fish move around to different holding water due
to different air pressure. I bank fish, and would really like to increase
my fish hook up percentage. Fish-on!!! Arnold
Thanks for the email, Arnold! Pretty tricky question, but I'll try
to answer it as best I can. I haven't been able to determine if steelhead
hold in different water on a rising or dropping barometer and neither
have any of my guiding/fishing bum cohorts. One thing for sure, however,
is that a falling barometer almost always puts fish off the bite for
whatever reason. I know when a low pressure front is rapidly approaching
that I'm probably going to have my work cut out for me on the river
that day. The best scenario for steelhead that I've found has been
sustained high pressure with very little fluctuation. If you ever
find the definitive answer to this question please send the details
this way. Thanks and let me know if you have any more questions. Rob
Thank You for the quick response Rob. I will give them a call. Another
quick question for you. Is there a techinique top fishing "rising"
water levels? I know there has to be with as much rain as you guys
get up north. Down here (Smith and Chetco Rivers) people don't fish
when the river is rising. Is there any difference in fish movement
that would cause them to off the bite when the river rises? What would
be a good technique to use when the river is rising? I am thinking
plugs myself. What do you think? Thank you again for your time. Vince
For steelhead rising water levels are the worst, especially if the
water is coming up quickly. A little blip in flow isnít usually
too big a deal, but a big bump in flows definitely puts them off
the bite and usually ends up in a day off for me. Plugs and bait
divers are by far the two most effective methods we use up here
when the waters up, mostly because you can hang them in a steelyís
face for so long, giving them the opportunity to pick up the scent
trail or at least see/hear the plug. Iíve heard great things about
the Smith and Chetco and hope to get down there someday. Best of
luck to you and donít hesitate to email with questions. Rob
I heard a few guys on the river are using a technique called 'Flossing'.
Could you explain what this is all about and how well it works and
under what conditions it is to be used? Thanks for any input. Keep
up the good work. Chuck
Thanks for the email, Chuck! "Flossing" is the term used to describe
the technique of drifting a super long leader that goes across the
fishes mouth as they open and close it in the current. As the lead
drifts downstream the leader continues to run thru the fish's mouth
until the hook or drift gear hit the fishes mouth or just outside
(gill plate, outer jaw, etc.), the hook is set and the fish is hooked
up. "Flossing" in most situations is considered highly unsportsmanlike
and just short of snagging. The only situation where it isn't totally
frowned upon is with sockeye fishing in the river. Sockeye are very
difficult, if not impossible, to get to bite in the river and flossing
is usually the only way to catch them. On some rivers, such as the
Fraser, anglers use leaders as long as 15 to 20 feet to floss sockeye
as they make their way upstream. A flossing rig usually consists of
pencil lead, a long leader, and either one or two hooks with a pill
or corky to keep them just off the bottom. It's not the way I like
to fish, but in some very limited situations it can be used to catch
fish like sockeye as they make their way upstream. Hopefully I answered
your questions. If you have any more questions, however, please feel
free to email them to me. Thanks again! Tom
Rob, Good Morning, I have been trying your float set-up as pictured
and have a couple of questions.I noticed in the picture that there
is a weight attached just under the float.I assume this is to keep
the float upright in current,correct?If a weight is used can you tell
me how to attach it and is it movable?Also,if you are dealing with
current and the weight is holdind your float in the correct position,
is the current keeping your jig (1/8 oz.) higher than you would like?
Kudos to you guys. Thank You, Chuck L
Hi Chuck! Got your email on the float and jig setups. Actually there
are two rigs pictured. One is simply a Thill Turbomaster 3 float and
a jig (no added weight) and the other is a sliding Thill float with
bobber stop, hollow-core pencil lead (pinched in position), swivel,
leader and jig. You're exactly right that the weighted rig can hold
the float straight up and down. That's why I highly recommend the
first rig, with no added weight, for getting started. Start with a
Thill Turbomaster 3, and a 1/8-ounce jig, nothing more, nothing less.
Without the added weight, you get a great read on what the jig is
doing and if there is any problematic drag in your drift. With this
rig, the only way the float will stand straight is when the jig is
being presented properly. The weighted rig can come with time, as
you gain confidence in your presentation. It can be helpful when bank
fishing big water where long casts are necessary. As you're experiencing
though, the added weight can mask what the jig is doing. Hope I've
answered your questions. If not, let me know. Tight-lines, Carmen
Macdonald Steelhead University Chief-Instructor firstname.lastname@example.org
I fish the Puyallup River quite often the problem i am having is landing
the steelheads i have noticed that there will be times i can see the
fish in the water and they will open their mouths and release the
hook and the other thing i have noticed the fish will be tangled in
the line is there anything i can do to land them better? Also,The
other thing i have noticed when i am fishing the river is i will be
out in the water about waist high and i will be fishing it half way
out and the fish will flap their tails 2 feet away from me can you
tell me why they do that and is there any way i can catch them any
suggestions will be greatly appreciated Walter
Thanks for the email, Walter! As if locating and hooking a steelhead
isnít difficult enough, landing them can be even more of a challenge.
The only thing I can recommend to you is to use the sharpest, highest
quality hooks you can afford and get a solid hookset on the fish when
a strike is detected. A common mistake the many anglers make is to
wade too deep into a run, thinking they must fish the deepest part
of the run to have any chance of hooking up. In medium to high flows
steelhead and salmon often move up and over the bars that we wade
on and fish from, meaning theyíre literally moving around you to head
upstream. If fish are rolling within feet of you, which you say they
are doing, youíre best bet is to not wade so deeply into the run and
try targeting these moving fish from closer to shore. Hopefully that
helps and thank you for the email. Rob
Rob, What line have you found to be the best for spinning reels? Do
you tie a 6' piece of flurocarbon to the end?, if you do what knot
have you found to be the most effective? Thanks, Jeff from L
Hey, Jeff! I use either Ande or Izorline on my spinning reels, mostly
because of the quantity of line that we go thru in a year. When
it's necessary to use flourocarbon leader I'll use a blood knot
to tie the two together. The best flourocarbon I've found is Yozuri
or Seaguar, as they're both fairly abrasion resistant and have good
knot strength. Hopefully that helps! Rob
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