One of the things you will learn about steelhead fly fishing is that sometimes you can put in a lot of time for one shot at a fish.  That one pull that you put in 40 hours for.  You will likely be logging a lot of time and effort until you get that next hookup.

I want you to be ready and have the best chance to hook, play and land that stealthy hard hitting steelhead.

This is why you should periodically check your leader for wind knots and nicks in the leader.  Wind knots can occur from all of the casting, twisting and slapping you will do to your line and leader.  Especially when fishing below the surface, nicks and scrapes from rocks can weaken your leader over time.

Once a wind knot or nick occurs, you’ve just found your weakest point.  This weak point is where you’ll break your steelhed off.  I’ll check my line before going out for a session and preiodically if I make poor casts, get tangled or just have a bad day.

All it takes to check is a quick strip in of the line.  Then run your fingers down the leader until you feel anything that’s not smooth.  Cut off and replace this section.


Before jumiping in the water, check your leader for nicks cracks or wind knots.  Fix any abnormalties in the leader.  Then, next time you have that crazy fish on, you’ll be confident that your leader will not be an issue.  Have you ever lost a steelhead?  Leave a short comment below of what caused it.