Spin Fishing Techniques for Steelhead on the Deschutes

Spin Fishing Techniques for Steelhead on the DeschutesThe Deshutes River in Oregon is a tributary of the Columbia River that offers anglers excellent steelhead fishing opportunities. Whereas fly fishing for this migratory rainbow trout has become quite popular in recent years, anglers who employ the use of standard spinning tackle can catch these mighty fish as well. Read on for three popular spin fishing techniques used in this famous watershed.

Jigs and Floats

Spinning tackle is ideal for float fishing with a marabou jig. The rigging is quite simple, a 1/4-ounce pink marabou jig and a float large enough to suspend the jig off the bottom. Adjust the float till you find the depth the fish are holding at and set the hook when the float disappears under the surface of the river.

When casting this combo, be sure to swing the rod around and lob the cast into the water. Rearing back and casting directly could lead to getting hit with the rig as it comes forward!


Drift Fishing

Drift fishing for steelhead is by far the most popular technique in the Pacific Northwest but few anglers employ spinning tackle. With its ability to cast light leaders and weights a longer distance than comparable bait casting reels, spinning tackle is ideal for the low flows of summer.

Begin by casting the rig upstream at a 45-degree angle from your position. Wait a few seconds to allow the rig to sink and take off the slack line by turning the reel handle. As the rig ticks along the bottom, follow its path downstream with the rod to maintain contact at all times.

Spinner Fishing

Both summer and winter strain steelhead have an affinity for spinners such as the Vibrax or Mepps. The pulsating blade and flash of the spinner agitate steelhead into striking violently.

Start by casting slightly upstream and allow the spinner to sink for a couple seconds. Engage the reel and turn the reel handle slowly to keep the line tight to the spinner. Do not reel too fast, bu just enough to feel the blade of the spinner turning in the current. As the spinner swings down stream, hang on tight as steelhead often strike when the lure stops moving and holds stationary in the current.

Article Written By Brian M. Kelly

Brian M. Kelly has been freelance writing since 2003. His work has been published in respected outdoor magazines such as Outdoor Life, Great Lakes Angler and Salmon Trout Steelheader. He holds an associate's degree in automated machine design from Macomb College.

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