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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't seen debates, OR JUST SIMPLE Q & A's, about competing steelhead fishing techniques, for a long long time. I think we should try a bunch of them in this thread which debate the effectiveness of similar methods of catching these sometimes elusive 'slime rockets' -- AFTER we answer the current Q first (to make a fun contest out of it).

... "ONE DAMMED GOOD STEELHEADER !" -- After at least 10 questions! -----> Then onward for more if there's interest in continuing with it.

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Unofficial tech Question And Answering thread begins with this one:

QUESTION NO.1 - Which is the most effective for catching winter steelhead,"Drift-fishing" vs "Side-Drifting", comparing 3 bankies working one side of a medium to large river area, compared to 3 guys fishing from a sled run by an 'accomplished Side Drifting Cappeetan' on the equally productive other side of the river? ....

Post your answers.

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If any newbies ask what the tech differences are, for anyone who knows it well enough, it would be greatly appreciated if you reply with the basic differences. Thanks much!!!

The MEMBER who posts the correct answer to a current ongoing QUESTION get's the option of posting the next question, or designating another member to do it for him/her. Or the Admin or I can designate that a question has been answered correctly (if the Q's poster drags his/her feet) and quickly ask another good Q - to keep things moving faster.

Any questions? :lol: J/K (just kidding)
 

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RT, I will take a stab at this with my knowledge from doing both.

"Which is the most effective for catching winter steelhead,"Drift-fishing" vs "Side-Drifting"

Hands down, side drifting in a sled is the most leathal way to slaughter Winter Steelhead. If I remember right this technique started on the Skagit, when we first saw it in the early 70's on the Cowlitz it was looked at kind of funny at first. But, as each sled owner got the hang of it man did we slaughter the fish. It was like strip mining the river for steel every weekend. I can remember 20 and 30 fish weekends for my Dad, my brother and I. To show how effective this was, my brother and I were 11 and 12 years old at the time. When Side Drifting was introduced on the Snake River I hear they were tearing the Steelies up like the old days. You get a guy that can operate the sled and a couple of good fisherman and they can put on a clinic. As with any other fishing technique it is all about attention to the details. When it comes to side drifting the this is so true, attention to the small details will put more fish in the boat.
 

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side drifting , As In the side drifting Of cast directly out , Holding the boat at half the river speed and making repeated casts as your drift returns , If you are calling boondogin drift fishing ,then side drifting is better for a particular spot , But for covering water ,Drift fishing covers more water , And can I get a pic of clarity of water you are talking about , IE general conditions , It was answered already so I can't win , But it is a debate , So lets all chime in , This could be fun and educational , And are you talking bait ?or just corkies , I just believe that water condition plays a part but would not change my answer , And I don't know anything really , what I really know Is jerk , And if it jerks back it's a fish ,
 

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Heck, even a fly guy like me knows that sidedrifting from a sled, size 6 spin-n-glo with bait, mines steelhead right off the river bottom. You didn't think this is rocket science did you?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I really GOOFED on setting this litte contest up -- my bad, I'm sorry -- SO ........ (You can read this first sentence of this post just fine, right? :D

I re-EDITED the 1st/original post, so check it out to see how it's supposed to work.

NOTE: As EDITED into the original post, any qualified excellent steelheader may ask the questions if designated - not just me. We'll pick a winner after 10 Q's (or 25, or 50?), then keep going from there as long as there is interest in it. There should be! It's both fun and informative!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fish4Fun scores the first point with his post getting the right answer first. .... Either FISH4FUN, or I, or anyone else knowledgable about steelheading techniques, will post the SECOND question soon.
 

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reminds me of a Hillary/Obama debate..lopsided. doesn't seem to be much of a debate beings everyone seems to agree on this one. Sidedrifting.
 

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I'm just dieing To ask the next question ,
Based on the theory that steel head are more lethargic when the water temp is below 42 degree's , And good visibility
How do you change your presentation for lethargic steel head ,
Ok 3 part question here ,
Q1 Speed
Q2 Type of water fished , as In slower , faster, deeper ,
Q3 type of gear , As In Jigs floats , bait size , or by adding attractors like spin corkies ,
I have a number of questions if you all don't care I will post them later
 

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Discussion Starter #11
codliveroil said:
I'm just dieing To ask the next question ,
Based on the theory that steel head are more lethargic when the water temp is below 42 degree's , And good visibility
How do you change your presentation for lethargic steel head ,
Ok 3 part question here ,
Q1 Speed
Q2 Type of water fished , as In slower , faster, deeper ,
Q3 type of gear , As In Jigs floats , bait size , or by adding attractors like spin corkies ,
I have a number of questions if you all don't care I will post them later
Great Q's Codliver' - all 3 parts!

Part 1 -- Some increase the speed of their presentation when the water first dips into the upper 30's, perhaps because they think that will stimulatre the 'shiverin' fish. But I slow it down! That's because, as you mentioned within your Q's first sentence, "steelhead are more lethargic". Instead of drifting a small egg cluster with a small piece of lead, you can slow it down with more weight (using a slinky so as not to snag up and lose it as often). Another excellent way to slow down bait presentations (especially for river kings ... but this Q is for steelhead season?), is to back-bounce from an anchored boat or a wide bank outcropping with just barely enough lead to allow a VERY SLOW DESCENT into the fish's hold. Or stop the descent near it's face and do various tempo bottom tapping patterns there (anywhere from a dead hover to a 'git down jig dance' and puming rates in between). :cool: :D Do the same actions for a bit if the current slowly lifts the bait rig-up off bottom a short ways, then you might need to add a little more weight (for another 'facial'). :p Also, slow down your boats rate of river descent when plugging during cold water conditions - often the plugs need a little more time for da table dance right in front of their faces (if the water is also clear enough to 'sight fish' for them). From a long away anchored spot I'd try the more common techs first, then I'd slowly allow a small plug that won't dredge easily (such as a size 5/50 Hot Shot) to descend down one side, then around behind it, then very slowly reel it back up the other side of the fish about a foot away from it. If it's holding there because of a rock to rest behind, then play a little 'peek-a-boo' around each side of the rock .... until it gets po'd enough to smack it! Same techs for small sized diver-n-bait with about a 50" leader.

Part 2 -- Present yo' stuff to fish you can see, while keeping your movements slow/low/camo'd. Then try all those water types you typed in for #2, after the sight fishin' -- in holding water that's both easy for them to hold in AND where they feel somewhat concealed from predatory eyes.

Part 3 -- To make good use of limited time, and when not experimenting, I'd present in this order:

A) 25" to 30" Cameleon 'Green' leader and use a small camo'd float. Try small baits first then micro-jigs. Then rest the hole for just a short time and follow up with slowly backing down a #50 Hot Shot or Wee Wart, preferably in the dark gree metalic color (low, clear, cold water killa!!!!!).

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BTW COD'L'O', if my posted answers get picked on this particular cold clear water presentations, then you can go to bat for me and post the following Q (or up to 3 Q's if appropriately needed) Tup:
 

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Sounds fine, except for the part about having a contest with another board. I'm not really interested in that part, especially since I didn't see any reference to this site in your post on the other board.

I edited your post to remove the reference to the other board and a contest with it.
 

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Alright where's every one now , I have different variations , of answers but basically the same ,I will take up the offer for more questions but wait till tomarrow to post new questions and allow others to participate ,C'mon guys this is for fun !!! and education ,
 

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Here is a question that goes around at least once every year on all of the boards.

What makes a better "PLUG" rod, glass or graphite. Give a reason to why you go with one or the other. After we get a couple replies I will kick in with some of the things I have learned from the 35+ years of Winter Steelheading and plug rods.
 

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I think for using smaller plugs like hot shots, tad's, warts it doesn't matter quite as much since the plugs have a relatively tight wiggle. But for bigger Kwikies I think glass is way better and allows that wide wiggle. For divers it wouldn't seem like it would matter that much either. Also if you're using braid, seems like glass might be a little better since the whole non-strech thing. BUT....... I haven't hooked that many fish plugging so these are just token guesses. In the end, I use what I got, which is mostly graphite.
 
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