I have a question about fly fishing for Steelhead. I'm still new to fly fishing and just have a 5wt.. I was doing some reading and some people recommended an 8 wt. I've also talked to an experienced fly fisherman, and he said that he fishes for steelhead with his 5 wt.
So my question is, do I need to buy something bigger than a 5 wt?
It can definitely be done, its done quite often as a matter of fact. Youll tire the fish a little more, and youll want to fiah somewhere with dexent space around you because you wont be able to turn the fish real well on a run. That being said id take your 5 wt until you are sure you like it enough to buy a new rod
I wouldn't recommend a 5 wt for steelhead especially in the early season. I don't think it would be too hard to land one in January when the fish are sluggish but in the early season when the fish are fresh and the streams are crowded a 7 or 8 weight is the proper rod.
Yeah I prefer a 10ft 7wt. I've seen guys use a 5 wt but like others said it is a lot harder to control a fresh fish. Especially if it's crowded. Remember these steelies live most of their lives in a lake with plenty of room to swim and get very strong. I have had some epic fights with my 7 wt
Thanks for the input everyone! I'm still contemplating on whether or not to fly fish or take the spinning rod. I do love the challenge of the fly fishing though. I may just have to go out and get a new fly rod!
Personally I think a reel with a nice smooth drag is more important than an expensive rod. Most of the time in the pa erie tribs you will be high sticking nymphs or egg patterns and not laying out long casts. So my opinion would be if you want to get a new steelhead outfit to buy the nicer reel then you can always upgrade the rod
I use an old (1935) Shakespeare bamboo 9' that's about a 6wt. and it has worked fine and I'm no pro by all means. I will tell you this, when you hook one you are in for the fight of your life. they are like a rocket ship! YOU will be hooked for life. I agree on the reel, are good drag is important.
they are like a rocket ship! YOU will be hooked for life.
That is the best description I've heard and it is 100% accurate. I remember hooking into a steelhead fishing the salmon run in a lake ontario trib up in NY during . I wasn't more than 250-300 yards from the lake and when I set the hook the fish took off for the lake like a demon. That was the only time I have ever been spooled and I was using spinning gear 150-200 yards of like gone right now. It happened so fast I didn't have time to adjust the drag.
I prefer a 10' 7wt or even 8wt that way you can use it in NY for kings. You have better drift control with a longer rod and won't over play the fish with a heavier rod. I would also recommend a large arbor reel with a good drag, I've burned up a few cheapies and finally got a better reel.