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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Split Shot Patterns for Steelhead

Well the secrets are out! I've been working on some diagrams for the Water Gremlin Sinkerizer. These are the rigging methods that we commonly use while float fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead. They can be employed anytime you're river fishing, no matter what species you pursue. The important thing to keep in mind is that steelhead are on the bottom so keeping bottom contact is essential. Don't be afraid to experiment with different sizes and amounts of split shot. It is also sometimes necessary to pull back slightly on the float during your drift, a practice known as "trotting". This is not a complete list of split shot patterns, but should get you started in the great sport of float fishing!

Diagram #1 Bottom Bouncing 2 Fly Rig
This is my high water blow out conditions method. It allows you to bottom bounce and use your float as a strike indicator to signal strikes. The rig starts out by placing your float onto the main line. We then attach a high quality barrel swivel. We then attach 3' of line and a split ring. From the split ring we run 4" of line out to   a fly. We then attach 9" of line to another small split ring. From there we run another 4" to a second fly (where legal). We then run another piece of line down 12" to a Water Gremlin Snap-Loc Dipsey Sinker. I like to bring a few different sizes of Dipsey Sinkers to experiment with and make sure I'm keeping good bottom contact. Following these lengths will allow you to cast this rig without tangling your line. To adjust your depth simply slide the float up on your main line. This is high water steelheading at its finest and will allow you to fish when others are stuck at home on the couch! 

Diagram #2 Stacked Shot
I like to use this shot pattern when fishing heavy current like the head of a hole. This rig will punch through the heavy surface current and get you down to the fish quick. Start out with a Raven FM float and attach a high quality barrel swivel. Add a leader of 3-5" feet depending on the depth of the hole. Go down half the distance to your hook and stack 3-5 size 3/0 Water Gremlin split shot. Hang on tight a chromer is in your near future! 

 Diagram #3 Shirt Button Shot Pattern
 This pattern is for the deep tail outs and holes with moderate current. It starts out by adding 4 BB Water Gremlin Split Shot under the float. An even distance away I place 3 BB's. An even distance away I place 2 BB's, and eventually taper down to one. This rig is designed to keep your bait out ahead of your float and in the strike zone. This is the most popular pattern for float fishing steelhead and is highly effective under many conditions.

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