Low Water steelhead fishing - steelhead fishing tips and tactics for fishing for steelhead in low and cold water - catching steelhead in low water rivers - how to catch steelhead in low cold rivers in oregon and washington

Steelhead fishing low water 
How to fish for steelhead in low water conditions


Low water steelhead tactics by Oregon Guide Dennis Hull


Fishing for steelhead and actually catching steelhead during times of low and cold water can be a challenge. Steelhead after all are just big sea run rainbow trout which can be very shy at times, especially when the rivers are cold and low and clear. The summer steelhead also can be a tough quarry during low water periods. Winter steelhead will often move to areas that have broken surface area like riffles or where there is some cover overhead. They will tend to move to the head of the pools again where there is some broken water to cover them. Low water means light tackle and subtle presentations, it also means stealth is required on your part to sneak up on them. With high colored water you can just wade right in and it wont bother the fish, not the case when the water is low and clear. Some of the best low water steelhead fishing presentations include jigs under a float or a small offering of roe or shrimp suspended under a bobber. Small plastic worms also produce well under a float. Drift fishing becomes less productive during low river conditions because of the lack of flow. If you do choose to rattle lead along the bottom you will need to think small - small baits - light leaders and try to not let them see you. For low water steelhead fishing fly presentations work great as well. Drift boating during low water is often tough, even if you do have enough water to float in many cases its best to pull over to the bank and work the hole without going right through it often spooking the fish. Bobber presentations are one of the best methods to catch steelhead in low cold water. The summer fish will tend to stay aggressive but during warm low water conditions they will move to the faster riffles and areas with more current that have the most oxygen. The best thing to remember in both cases is the fish look for cover from above, broken water surface, overhanging bank, brush or tree limbs hanging over the water and so on - find that and you will find them.



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