Podcast: Dead-Drift or Swing for Steelhead?

This week, it’s all about steelhead, or at least mostly about steelhead. Besides the main topic—dead-drifting vs. the swing for steelhead—we talk about such varied subjects as overlining rods, matching a rod to a fish size, dressing dry flies, the NOAA Saltwater Registry, hooking fish in the tongue, fishing beads, and whether to ask a guide for a refund if you don’t catch any fish. (I think you know my answer to that one.)

If you don’t see the “Play” button above, click here to listen.

Young Cammy shows off his first fly-caught brown trout near his home in Scotland.
Photo by Kevin

6 thoughts on “Podcast: Dead-Drift or Swing for Steelhead?”

  1. just listened to your pod cast on steelhead.very informative. I live in western montana
    i have been steelhead fishing now for 5 seasons, guess why never caught one.
    I started w/ a 6wt 9 ft.went to a 9ft. 8wt. nwext to a 14 ft. 9 wt spey rod. Now have a 11 ft. 7wt switch
    I have a proble loading the tip andlifting the on a doubble spey cast any answers.I fish the salmon in north fork Id. Once a week love it. I keep telling myself you can,tfish sitting on the couch

  2. Thanks for the great podcast as usual Tom. Is it common in the Great Lakes tribs for anyone to use a large steelhead or salmon dry like a Bomber or Steelhead Bee as an indicator with an egg or nymph below it in low water? Kinda like a hopper/dropper but for Steelhead? If I had to nymph fish it would be more palatable to do so with a fly on top which I tied rather than a thingamabobber, etc…

    1. I’m not Tom, but I’m sure he would agree and trust my judgment. 😉
      Sure, but you can only fish 1 hook point on the Salmon River NY and surrounding Trib’s to Lake Ontario. No tandem’s. (Please check the reg. book for all this including weight (depends where your fish’n) and hook gaps, etc….)
      Using a bomber is an exciting way to fish, skated across the surface. But, if you only have 1 fish ALL day take a swipe at it, and miss it, you’ve had a good day.
      Best Fish’s,
      Salmon River NY Guide – Randy Jones

  3. I find that having a small patch of leather (4X6?) on my vest helps restore the floating properties of all flies including CDC. The leather does a great job of drying flies. Make sure you wash the slime off first.

  4. I’ve had lots of days catching steelhead with the chuck and duck method. I ve always wanted to catch one on the swing, thought it was would be more like like salmon fishing without the expense of going salmon fishing. the takes from most salmon are ferocious and I thought steelhead would be more so because I think steelhead are crazier once you hook one.I went to a lake erie trib to try just that because I heard they were more aggressive there. with my guide spotting I was swinging a pink bugger under a tree branch and got my wish. The guide told me a steelhead had indeed taken my fly but it was very subtle and I had to lift the rod a little and he was on.A little disappointing!! The problem with chuck and duck is that you foul hook fish and they seem a lot bigger and nastier than they really are. Rarely landing them. When you swing it catches them mostly in the scissor of their mouth and there is a better chance of landing them.I was told by guides that are times when swinging flies work well but the guys who really catch most of the fish fish upstream.

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