Forgotten Summer Steelhead Flies

An assortment of favorite summer steelhead flies you will find in my shirt pocket.

An assortment of favorite summer steelhead flies you will find in my shirt pocket. All are equivalent of size 6 TMC 7999.

Just a quick note to remind summer steelhead anglers that traditional wet flies or simplifications of these flies are to this day very effective when fishing for summer steelhead.

While we have embraced the art and functionality of the Intruder and various modern fly styles, I’m reminded by my own experience and comments from friends and Shop Clients of the fact that subtle modifications of the flies we fished two to four decades ago are also effective. In fact these modern versions of small traditional or semi traditional wet flies will sometimes and in some places be more effective than much larger flies.

Why should this be so? Plenty of possible reasons – including the occasions when a feeding instinct dominates a territorial or curiosity instinct. That is the shortest explanation I can offer.

I always carry an assortment of these flies. You should consider doing the same.

Here are some of the standards that are always effective – there are others too.

Copper Top

Bennet’s Last Light

Green Butt Silver Hilton

Lady Caroline

Silver Hilton

Purple Peril

Steelhead Coachman

Silvey’s Pool Cleaner

Hartwick’s Silent Assassin



Mack’s Canyon

Blue Charm


JN May 2018


A quick note to add to Jay’s post. Willamette Falls fish counts are looking better for summer steelhead this year compared to last. We are nearly at 2000 fish over the falls this year while at the same time last year we had about 500.


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