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HELP OUT GUYS by posting in this interesting and helpful thread topic, which seems to arise every winter steelhead season. That's cool. ... Hey, I want to start one. ;)

So, what's that I see hangin off the end of your plug rods? My short answer - "Why fish, of course! Lots-n-lots-o-feesh!" ;) Well, sometimes, when I make the right guesses of plug type and color pattern.

The ol' cliche that nearly always applies to salmon and steelhead fishing - "It depends on water conditions" - does apply around here! In general, plugs work a bit better in clear to mid-level water color than in murky brown color, except for the lowest plug in this picture below (T50, with a K15 above it - with sardine belly wrap + thick egg juice added at the river):

The black color makes for a good silouette within murky water and bright white reflects whatever remaining light has filtered thru the colored water, then the bright flourescent orange flappin around in their face finishes them off - AND they just have to have it!!! FISH ON! Just like me at the donut shop - "donuts down"! Oh ya, big Kwikies are mostly for chinookies, but that same color pattern (3rd plug down in the pic) on Warts or Wigglers are killa for steelhead too! Yeeehaw!! :beer: [Gee's, did I just type down the word again?] :ugeek: (btw, what's an "Uber Geek"?) .....

For a couple good color patterns that usually work quite well in a broad spectrum of river water color, I suggest the 'Dr. Death' (pink & black - 1st & 4th plugs in pic) and also the chrome body with black bill plug with added green & chartreuse, or flame red, arrowhead under the tail end (made from lure tape or quality paint - I call mine a 'Cop Car wit da Flashing Red Light', with either the bright white or chrome mid-body). That extra bit of bright arrowhead flash on the end does make for more hits in average 'steelhead green' river water color, as does using a bit larger steelie plugs such as the #35 Hot Shot (instead of #30) and standard mid-size Warts-n-Wigglers by LJ's-n-Brad's, instead of the Mag sizes.

For real clear water, try a productive array of metalic colors and smaller sized plugs (#30-n-#50 Hot Shots, and Wee Wart's). There's a lot of great killa patterns for that "low and gin clear water"! I personally think the all-time best 'stock' pattern for that is the 'Dark Green Metalic', in size #30 & #50 Hot Shots by LJ -- absolutely deadly effective with a stealthy approach on unspooked fish! That's a Hall of Fame lure for sure! I also like them colored in what I refer to as 'mild copper', with either a black or bubblegum pink bill. If you can't find them, paint your own. I commonly pick up several all chrome plugs for the purpose of painting.

<---Ay guys, post about your fav plugs. Pictures of custom painted ones would be great!--<<<<

SOME may be article candidates - but no customs will be re-printed by me without specific permission. Thanks.

Steve Hanson ( book info & fish pics )
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