Sunday Classic / Tying Steelhead Flies That Work, The Sid Fishious

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Chromer Photo by Louis Cahill

 Tying steelhead flies can be a bit mystifying.

If you’ve been tying trout flies for a while and are just getting started on steelhead flies there are some important differences.

I know that my first steelhead flies were way too heavy and the hook was all wrong. They looked great but they were a pain to fish and my hookup ratio was poor. Getting the right profile, weight and hook placement is easy once you learn a few simple tricks.

Healthy dubbing balls help boost your profile and insure great action. Interchangeable trailing hooks make a huge difference. Winter steelhead will frequently just nip at a fly’s tail. Having a sharp trailing hook is important and being able to change that hook if it becomes damaged really extends the life of your fly.

Possibly the funnest part of tying steelhead flies are all the great colors you get to play with, and isn’t that what every tyer is really looking for, an excuse to buy more cool tying material?

No body ties better steelhead flies than Jeff Hickman. In this video he ties a pattern he originated for Idylwild Flies, The Sid Fishious. It’s a great fly and the techniques that Jeff uses can greatly improve your steelhead flies.


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “Sunday Classic / Tying Steelhead Flies That Work, The Sid Fishious

  1. That’s an awesome tie. I’m glad I don’t have to make a living coming up with steelhead patterns. I’d just end up getting lost in a pile of feathers! But, hey, who says you can’t try swinging this for some rainbrowns? 🙂

    • Hi Justin, Jeff in Oregon here:

      I confirm your statement about catching trout on steelhead flies. One of my frequent summer fishing excursions is to the Gunnison River in CO. It is a big mountain river with some big healthy browns. BUT, they are deep and usually can’t be tempted with a little tidbit. I have caught some fishing big browns there swinging steelhead streamers on a sink tip to get deep quick. I had some guys in a drift boat heckling me for fishing with a spey rod saying “Hey there aren’t any steelhead here.” As good luck would have it, I hooked what turned out to be a 28″ brown. They watched me land & release this fine brown and floated away very quietly. 🙂

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