steelhead flies

I’ve had many steelhead guests on the Wet Fly Swing Podcast who have told me that steelhead flies and the fly pattern you select for steelhead is not of critical importance.

More important are likely the presentation of the fly, the line you use, and whether you are getting down to the fish.  I have many podcast episodes and blog posts that cover these types of steelhead fly fishing Tips especially if you are focused on the wet fly swing.

I had Adrian Cortes on the podcast in episode 169 to focus on dry line winter steelhead fishing and the flies he loves to fish.

He calls them his irons.  There’s a lot of beauty in calling your fly an iron.  His two favorite steelhead patterns and 2 that could easily be on this list are the Greased Liner from Harry Lemire and the Steelhead Bee.

I’m going to lay out 6 different types of flies below. All are effective, but all use a different style.

The point I want to hit home on is that there is no one size fits all.  I could list 100 different flies from 100 different people and all would be good.

Some are personal preference and experience. Actually, a lot ends up being the fly that has been successful in the past.

This is really just a primer to get you thinking about what’s available to you. I know this will bring up more questions than answers and I’ll try to answer these as we go.


6 Killer Steelhead Flies and How to Tie Them

  1. Egg sucking leech – fall/winter steelhead
  2. Stewart – summer steelhead
  3. Glo Bug – winter steelhead
  4. Greased Liner – summer steelhead
  5. Purple Intruder-summer and winter
  6. Hobo Spey – summer and winter

1. Egg Sucking Leech (Fall/Winter steelhead)

Let’s start with one of the easier flies to tie from the list above. The Egg sucking leech or similar wooly bugger style flies have three very basic parts.

The bunny strip and egg on the head make this fly.  Remember, there’s never one way to tie these flies. That’s the beauty, you can experiement a bit.

Follow the video here to see how the fly is tied. Do you have any questions? If you do, send me a message here and I will find time to skype until we can figure it out.


2. The Stewart (Summer/Fall)

The Stewart is from the Max Canyon series and one of my favorite flies of all time.


3. The Glo Bug – winter steelhead

The glo bug fly pattern is as basic as it gets and as effective as it gets.


3. Greased Liner – summer steelhead





Grab the basic tools and materials above from your local fly shop. Watch my step by step video again as you tie the fly.  After you feel comfortable with the first fly, work your way through the other steelhead flies in the list.

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