Rigging Up Right For Steelhead
By Toby Trigger

Posted: November 14, 2015

Catching Steelhead is an absolute blast but for  angler “A’s” things like “If I get one grab all day it was a good day” or “All I want to do is catch one and I’ll be happy” are symptomatic statements from would-be steel headers or steel headers who well, don’t catch very many steelhead.

If you don’t want to be one of “those” steel headers and would rather be an angler “B” – one of the ones landing daily double digits you’ve got to do three things:

(1) Go when the river is lowering after a storm or melt off.

(2)  Go with tough gear when the fish are in the river.

(3) Rig your terminal tackle right.

Miss any of these three things and you’ll be like anlger “A” do all three and bring your camera and a stringer if you’re a fish eater.

To simplify this article here’s a photo or two to do it right:

Photo of a bobber dogging rig using a three way barrel swivel, surgical tuning, float and yarn fly with a braided main line and florocarbon leader. Adjust weight as need

The bobber dogging rig set up using braided main line about 2 feet of fluorocarbon and a sharp #2 or 4 hook. The weight drags the bottom which keeps the bobber or “float” laying sideways as it drifts. When a fish strikes the bobber goes upright then under and that’s when you set the hook.

Photo of a slinkey rig with braided main line, pegged bead and red #2 hook

On this set up there is no bobber or float. Let it drift. Peg a bead about 3 or 4 inches above the hook. Cast upstream and let it drift down. This method requires that you feel the bite because you won’t see it like a float.

The authors friend Angela with her first Clearwater Reiver steelhead 2015. Walrath 2015

The third thing you should do is smile big when you catch one – like the steel header in this photo.

Watch and listen to the the Montana Outdoor Radio Show for steelhead reports and when its good…GO!