Jeff Hubbard of Jeff Hubbard’s Outfitters North sent me the following information about low water steelhead patterns. Jeff has been a full time year round Fly-Fishing Guide for 16 years. His home river is the Pere Marquette River and he also guides on the Muskegon and White rivers. His favorite technique and fish is chasing steelhead on the swung fly. You can find him on the web at www.outfittersnorth.com where you will also find a weekly fish report and much more.
This year the Mid West and most of the U.S. as we all know have seen very little amounts of precipitation equaling very low water levels. This fall the Pere Marquette brought very technical steelhead fishing conditions due to the low clear water. On some days in November you felt like you were fishing spring creeks for trout instead of steelhead fishing. The low, cold, clear water really forced me to change tactics for taking steelhead on the swing. It was a matter of downsizing patterns and fishing much sparser flies.
Here are a couple patterns I came up with this fall when your dealing with low, clear water.
These flies are a copyright of Outfitters North Guide Service 2013.
Hubbard’s Low Water Leech
Hook: Daiichi 2461 Size 2
Tail: Pearl Fringe (Hareline)
Body: Peacock Ice Dub wrapped towards front of Hook
Wing: Black Marabou tied in by tip and palmered towards eye of hook
Wing: couple strains of Polar Fringe and couple strands of Red Flashabou
Collar: Barred Wood duck Flank feather palmered towards front of hook
Head: a little of Peacock Ice Dub followed by Burnt Orange Dub or Steelhead Orange Ice dub clumped on and frayed to egg shape.
Hubbard’s Skinny Mini Sculpin (low water)
Hook: Daiichi Alec Jackson Steelhead Irons 2051 Size 1 or 2
Tail: Steelhead Orange ICE dub
Body: Olive Krystal Hackle Med.
Body: In front dub Steelhead Orange ICE dub
Collar: Olive Marabou tied in tip first palmered to front
Wing: Pearl Flashabou
Collard: Mallard Flank Feather palmered towards eye of hook
Head: Sculpin style clump of Tan Australian Possum or Senyo’s Laser Dub