Hope you all had a nice winter and were able to get out and recreate responsibly. Things are shaping up favorably around here from a steelhead fishing perspective. Usually by the end of March you can expect to find steelys nearby Stanley. They’ve been holed up all winter and their internal biology is starting to sound the alarm that it is time to get upstream and spawn.

The Stanley Fly Shop is  now open!

If you’re looking for a challenging, rewarding fish to dust off the cobwebs, this is a great opportunity. The Stanley Fly Shop’s bins are stocked with all the steelhead goodies.   Drop in for help with rigging, tackle suggestions and tips that will help you fish more effectively.  We will be adding a bunch of SFS merchandise throughout the month including our Grateful Dead inspired gear, ReCaps hats, MFC flies, Costa Sunglasses and FreeFly Sun Hoodies. 

The Bottom line….

Tactics for this time of year vary depending on who you ask. Steelhead folks tend to be a persnickety about the minutiae and honestly I’m no different. On some days the trivial details really make a difference. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed these fish do stuff that completely goes against popular opinion and, sometimes, logic. 

It is tough to go wrong with a stonefly imitation and an egg trailed off the back. That rig just flat out works in the headwaters,  and just about anywhere you find steelhead.   Steelhead can be fairly bitey before the spawn but sometimes it’s a challenge to get the fly close enough to them to elicit a response. Often times, they are indifferent to your offering– it’s anyone’s guess as to why. That’s what makes it fun.  Ultimately, you can stick with one tactic and move through water efficiently or you can experiment with your presentations (sizes, colors, depth) and work that end of the spectrum. Either style has its advantages.

Drop by the Stanley Fly Ship this spring for some friendly advice and direction.  We increased our selection of steelhead tackle this year for conventional/spin anglers including: steel and lead sinkers, spoons, soft beads, swivels, spinners, some Okuma combo rods (in case yours breaks or you need a new one) and more! As always we take enormous pride in our MFC fly selection in the sink-y and swing-y varieties. 

Good luck and have fun.   Tune in next week for the Stanley Steelhead Report