Sight casting both literally and figuratively (Photo). Conditions change on the tributaries every day and so should your tactical approach to Steelhead fishing. When the water is Turbid (stained), conditions are much more forgiving in terms of your presentation of your fly. Floats or strike indicators and weights in the form of split shot might well be versatile enough to entice a fish into biting. However, when the water is gin clear the game changes considerably. The ultimate challenge in tactics and skill are on the table. Your approach to any given fish in this setting must be planned and stealth. Once a fish is identified, chances are the fish has identified you too. Many times a longer cast is required. I always say “fish to fish you can’t see”. That means stand back, choose your angle of approach and make a longer cast. In essence, sight casting for Steelhead. Get comfortable presenting streamers or wet flies on the swing or swing/strip. Mended line in this setting is effective as well. Stacking the mend or mending upstream will give the initial presentation of your fly a look of a stunned baitfish. Once the fly line falls out of mend, the line begins to swing and pick up speed. A fish will bite on any part of this particular dift, so be ready with your strip set. Sight casting without the extra “hardware” (floats/weights) gives way to a stealth presentation and a tactical winning approach to fishing varied water depths on every inch of the creek.
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