I throw the same, but sz8s, but anything sz8-sz4 (sz4 can be tough on trout speys) olives, browns, blacks, combos of these colors. I've noticed it's not about the color, but about presentation and the right water.
I always thought that Half-pounders and early Fall Steelhead were best in the low light of the AM, PM and overcast days.
Well, that is because I fish on or near the surface mostly..........Dah.
In this warm weather, clear skies and maybe warm water of late summer and early fall I found the Steelhead were down in the deepest, darkest, faster runs with the early salmon for oxygen.
Probably 20 years ago top fly fisher Jim Christensen and I were in one of my small jet boats between Gristmill and Watt.
It was mid-day in September and we were getting ready to call it a day when Jim stopped us on a familiar deep riffle.
He said he had found Half-ponders in this "long walk in" run before.
He had a G.Loomis 10' #5 line GLX with a WF7F, very long 12'? leader and weighted olive woolly bugger?
Jim let me try his rod and told met to cast across and just keep mending.
I could feel it occasionally touching the bottom in this deep, faster run and then hooked a nice Half-pounder.
I think we caught maybe 3-5 fish and it was a learning event for me, as usual when I fished with a very good angler.
I was lucky to be invited by Terry Thomas, a world class fly fisher, to go on 2 of their fall trips to the lower Klamath river.
Terry and his group of friends usually go 2-3 times a year to jet boat the lower Klamath river for Steelhead and salmon.
They usually go first in August hoping to get some Steelhead action and take a few small fresh salmon home to eat.
On one of those early trips we fly fished out of a jet boat from Klamath Glenn, near the mouth, up to around Johnson's Bar.
We fly fished for Steelhead for 3 days and them the last day before going home we drifted fresh roe for salmon.
These early salmon were in the deepest, fast, narrow dark runs on the bottom to get oxygen in the warm water.
While doing this I hooked a nice 8 pound fresh run adult Steelhead that we quickly released.
In July, August and September the salmon and steelhead like the deep, dark, fast runs and anywhere that cold water from spring or
tributaries is found, like Blue Creek.
I really like to fish the Klamath river in October because as the water cools you will find the steelhead in the tailouts more.
Then I can get them on or near the surface with a floating line, leader the length of my rod and an unweighted fly.
Love those "boils and yanks"" on the take in a nice smooth tailout.........with a "rachet reel" of coarse.
Early and late in the day in October you can sometimes see steelhead surfacing/rolling in the smooth tailouts at the end of a pool.
I was on the "Lower Yuba" yesterday. Here's where we need to ask "What do you call the Lower Yuba? The lower Yuba to me means from the mouth where it joins the Feather to upstream to ???. To other folks the "lower Yuba" means from Parks Bar down to DeGuarre Pt. dam.
I fish mainly striped bass and for me the mouth is a great starting point which permits me to fish both the Yuba and the Feather. Going upstream I'm limited because of my prop. Others with a small jet boat can go all the way to the dam. And yes, there are stripers there pretty much year round.
Feather River Fly
Yuba City, CA.
I guide both sections and I call hwy20 down upper lower Yuba, then daguerre down lower lower Yuba.
Also need to get another Tonys Stripping Basket
I had the pleasure of guiding Terry last year on the Trinity and we did extremely well mid/late Sept. Once again this year I'll have the same pleasure but this year Jim will be along for the rode. Dry lines n muddlers, grease lining with traditional speys.
Thanks Brian, you are a 'class act' and I really appreciate you being here to help keep the real fly fishing alive.
There is nothing wrong with some indicator fishing but it should be only part of the mix....not the entire movie.