Steelhead eat nymphs. They just do. Whether by instinct or hunger or aggression or curiosity, they eat nymphs along with rocks sticks, leaves, feathers, Styrofoam, and eggs. Scrambled mostly, if I recall the research.
Great lakes fly fishers are deep into nymphing for steelhead, and they fish nymphs that are big and tiny, dark, subtle, and bright. Deschutes, Klamath, and Rogue River steelhead anglers here in Oregon fish nymphs when they aren’t soaking night crawlers, maggots, cured eggs, shrimp, rubber worms, jigs, or plastic beads. Yes, you heard it here.
This is a simple stonefly nymph with pink hues and fine rubber for the tails. Steelhead in the Great lakes will eat this fly. Steelhead in the Siletz, Alsea, Siuslaw, and Elk will eat this fly and its cousins too.
The fly is simple to tie and looks good in a box, but looks better in a steelhead’s jaw.
Perfect Steelhead Stonefly Nymph – Great Lakes Pink
Hook: Daiichi 1730 #6
Thread: Lagartun 95 D Black
Tail: fine grizzly barred rubber legs
Body: Hareline Speckled Crystal Chenille – Midnight Fire
Rib: Copper wire – small or brassie
Bead: Hareline Plummeting Tungsten Bead – 7/32 Fl. Orange
Legs/gills: American Saddle Clump – Pink grizzly