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Blog - trout flies

Top 7 Steelhead Flies That You Need To Have In Your Box

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I know it's a subjective list, but what list isn't? Though some of these flies can work for all types of species, they all have a proven track record for both summer and winter steelhead. Give these a try and catch more fish!  This list is in no specific order.

Muddler Minnow
Designed by Don Gapen around 1937, the Muddler Minnow has proven itself to be (quite possibly) the most effective fly the freshwater steelhead angler has at their disposal. Whether it's dead drifted, subsurface swung, stripped or waked the Muddler Minnow will cause a steelhead to take notice!

Woolly Bugger
Where'd it come from? I don't know. Who designed it? Not sure. Which species was it designed for? Does it matter? Over the years, the Woolly Bugger has proven itself to be one of the most successful flies of all time, for almost all species of freshwater fish. Do you want to catch fish? Make sure that you have a few buggers in your box!


Designed by Ed Ward (with the help of Scott Howell, Jerry French & Dec Hogan), the Intruder has become known as a true modern classic of Pacific Northwest steelhead flies. Fish it deep on the swing with a heavy sink tip or just below the surface with a tapered leader. Just be prepared for a take that is fast and strong!

Created in New Zealand during the late 1800's (from the feathers of the now bittern) to catch bullies & koaro, the Matuka has found its place in most fly anglers boxes that really want to catch chromes. Its movement is dynamic and the grabs are never subtle.

Silver Hilton
Originating somewhere between 1930 and 1950 for the Klamath & Trinity River systems, the Silver Hilton's reach has now extended to most river systems where Steelhead can be found. And for good reason! It's organic, impressionistic and effective... a natural fly with supernatural results!

Egg Sucking Bunny Leech
Moving like a Hawaiian Hula Girl, the Egg Sucking Bunny Leech lures even the most lethargic steelhead out of their comatose state. Tied very simply from rabbit zonker strips it is one of the most durable flies you can have in your box. Tie 'em up in all kinds of colors and give 'em a go!

Green Butt Skunk

What's black and white and green all over? Dan Callahan's Green Butt Skunk! Any fly that was designed for the beauties of the North Umpqua has to work anywhere else right?

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