Drift fishing is the most frequent strategy utilised for steelhead it is also 1 of the much more hard to develop into skilled at. You will need to have the suitable gear, know what variety of water steelhead hold in, and the hardest aspect is understanding the distinction among bouncing more than rocks and a steelhead strike.

How challenging can drifting a piece of lead and hook along the bottom bouncing more than rocks and figuring out the distinction among a rock and a steelhead's bite is. Nicely I have been a Steelhead fisherman for more than 40 years now and there are instances exactly where I just finish up hooking a fish without having even realizing I had a strike. For getting such a big fish steelhead have 1 of the light bites and till you fish for awhile it is really hard to clarify just what you will need to be watching for. All I can inform you is that there is a various really feel to a strike and the bottom and after you fish for awhile you understand to detect these subtle variations, after you do then you are on your way to becoming a correct drift fisherman.

Let's appear at what you will need to begin drift fishing:

The Rod

Your Fishing rod desires to be sensitive sufficient to give you a excellent really feel of the bottom as you bounce more than rocks and gravel, and at the very same time it desires to be robust sufficient to give you a excellent hook set when you have 30 to 50 yards of line strung out across the river. Your rod decision will be the most crucial piece to the drift fishing equation so pick wisely.

Right here are some items to look at when you are deciding on your rod:

1.What is the size of lure or bait you will be utilizing (heavy, light, ultra light?)

two.The variety of reel you will be utilizing on rod (spinning reel, or bait casting)

three.What is rod created from (graphite, fiberglass ) these will identify the feeling and strength of your rod

four.Rod action this is the bend in the rod (Quickly, Medium, Slow).

five.What size of line you program on utilizing (two lb, six lb, 10 lb, 15 lb, 30 lb test)

six.The length of rod, if your casting from the beach or open region and will need to make lengthy cast you will want a longer rod eight feet or longer, if you are going to be fishing from a boat or exactly where there is a lot of brush you could want 7 foot or shorter. This will identify what variety of reel you use to maintain a excellent balance of your rod.

7.What variety of warranty does it have (Rods do break when fishing these big fish)

The Reel

The reel is the second most crucial aspect of your gear it desires to match your rod getting a nicely balanced rod is the crucial. My private preference is a bait casting reel (some fisherman get in touch with these level winds) they do take some having use to nevertheless they are extremely productive when drift fishing, the bait casting reel will enable you to release line when sustaining handle and you can comply with the drift longer you want to remain exactly where the fish are holding. The spinning reel functions nicely for drift fishing also and is preferred when cast light lures or fishing along banks with heavy brush.

Deciding upon a reel:

1.Matches the style of fishing you intend on carrying out

two.The quantity of line the reel can hold (if you are fishing large water you will want much more line)

three.The variety of line you are going to use (braided lines can reduce into the metal of a reel) – (newer reels use titanium for the new lines).

four.Appear for a good quality manufacturer as your reel will be tested by these large fish

five.Make confident the drag method functions smoothly


The line you use need to match the rod, reel and the circumstances you will be fishing. The Rule right here is that the clearer the water is the lighter the line you want to use. I have gone as light as two lb test when fishing in clear slow moving pools but you will need to have a rod matched to this. Typically you will want to use line in the 10 to 15 pound test variety. Braided or mono lines is a matter of your preference.


This is exactly where steelhead fishing gets difficult and encounter comes into play. What you will be utilizing will once more rely on the water circumstances, low and clear maintain your lures and bait modest and pale. If the rivers are up and murky you will want to use a bigger lure and dark and vibrant colors. Sometime just utilizing a modest piece of shrimp or a modest cluster of eggs is what you will will need. You can verify with the locals and see what they are utilizing for the circumstances. As for the colour of lures this is any bodies guess so make confident you have a excellent assortment to pick from as this alterations continually even via out the day.


Steelheads use their great sense of smell as nicely as their eye website they also have an uncanny scents to detect movement. When the water is so muddy you can not see any point in the water, steelhead can locate your bait by movement and smell. Some of the most frequent baits are shrimp, eggs, evening crawlers, and sand shrimp. Some fishermen combine these baits providing they really feel this offers them a tiny edge more than other fishermen.


Barrel Swivels and 3 way swivels are utilised to attach a lighter leader to a heavier principal line. This makes it possible for you to swiftly modify your rig to water circumstances and it reduces your mainline loss due to snags and assists maintain your line from twisting from the lure action.


Your hooks will variety in size from 12 to three/ based on the variety of lure and bait you are utilizing. Make confident that they are robust sufficient to hold a fish without having bending when they make their runs. They will need to be kept sharp for a excellent hook set, and it is a excellent concept to have a hook file or stone to touch them up when required. Verify the point of your hook frequently or it could price you a fish. I am not substantially on the double hook theory nevertheless several Steelhead fisherman swear by them and is a decision you can make.


Lead weight come in a quantity of designs and shapes for drift fishing I choose to use either a pencil sinker or what is referred to as a slinky. Pencil lead comes in sizes of 1/8' three/16″ and 1/four” diameters and is typically utilised with surgical tubing. The slinky is lead shot inside if parachute cord and is versatile this appears to maintain it from snagging as substantially as the pencil weight but you are unable to trim them swiftly need to you locate you have to substantially weight. Lead weights can be tied a quantity of various way either repair or sliding I choose the sliding weight as I really feel it is simpler to really feel the strike with a sliding weight, nevertheless a fixed weight will get you to the bottom more rapidly.


Make your leaders from a tiny lighter test than your principal line. This will enable your leader to break off when you develop into snagged as an alternative of your principal line which leaves a lengthy piece of line in the river for you to snag onto the subsequent time you cast. It will also avert you from have to go house early due to the fact you for got to bring additional line for your reels. An rule I use effectively is that the clearer the water the longer the leader commonly I use a leader 18″ to 24″ lengthy but you will locate that in some cases altering this will choose up much more fish do not be afraid to experiment. I seldom us a leader shorter then 12 inches although and I have utilised leaders as lengthy a four feet.

My subsequent post will cover most likely holding water for Steelhead and how to fish them so maintain in touch!