Catching fish on the surface is certainly not an everyday occurrence for most steelhead anglers. However, during certain parts of our season at BC West we’re pretty fortunate to have a very real opportunity to target them on top, and today Kara Knight gives us a few reasons why you should give the dry a chance.
5 Reasons to Fish a Dry for Steelhead
We’ve all experienced it; You’re rigging up in front of the perfect dry fly run but you hesitate to tie one on. You don’t want to miss your one shot at that fish or perhaps you just have more confidence in a wet fly. It’s true, you always hear about more fish being caught on wet flies, but believe it or not, there are certain advantages to fishing a dry. The next time you find yourself in that moment of self doubt, remember these reasons to keep your fly on the surface.
- It’s more exciting! Nothing beats a fish taking a dry fly.. Whether it just boils on the fly once or repeatedly returns to the surface for it, your heart is going to start pounding, and that’s what its all about.
- It’s a better fight. Hooking up with a steelhead is already plenty exciting. Their tendency to run, head shake, and jump make them an incredibly exciting fish to fight. Some people would argue that taking away the weight of your sink tip and fly makes that fight even more exciting – Less weight and less drag in the water. Besides that, you can bet it’s not going to be a tired or lazy steelhead that moves to your fly on the surface! You’re targeting and hooking the most aggressive fish in the run, and therefore the fight is bound to be more intense.
- You learn where the fish are. Ever wonder how many fish take a look at your wet fly in a swing but turn away? Yep, we do too. Another advantage to fishing a dry fly is that you get to see more of that action. It’s more difficult to miss a fish coming to take a look at your fly on the surface. By staying attuned to any movement behind or in the general vicinity of your fly, you have the opportunity to learn more about where the fish sit in the run. If you manage to raise (or even hook) one on your dry that’s fantastic! But if not, you have a better idea of what areas of the water to target when you go back through with a wet fly.
- You’re more involved in the experience. There can be something very meditative about swinging for steelhead – Cast, swing, step, repeat.. It’s easy to lose yourself in it. Dry fly fishing for steelies feels like more of a hunt. You need to be engaged at all times or you could miss that flash, boil, or subtle ‘V’ tracking behind your fly.
- You usually get more than one chance. They say when you have a player you shouldn’t give up on it.. If a fish comes up to take a look at your dry fly chances are it’s going to come up again. The beauty of dry fly fishing is that you often get more than one chance! Can’t raise it to that skater again?Try a bomber. Won’t rise to the bomber? Try a sedge or a gurgler. After all, you always have the option to go to a wet fly afterwards.. Who doesn’t like having more shots at steelhead?