Steelhead In Fast Water

Steelhead In Fast Water

Rushing, crashing, thundering, raging rivers. Look for the pocket water, where the current is blocked by outcroppings, points, and inside bends. Steelhead will be there this time of year. The salmon are gone, and the big 'bows that followed them upriver will be moving into the current after rain events. And, boy, have we had rain events. My friends and family in Alaska are taking inventory after what might be the worst storm since records were first kept there (113 years). A few weeks ago it was snowing in Virginia. And, after more than a decade of low, bone-dry rivers during late autumn in Michigan, the rivers are up and steelhead fishing is on fire.

In pocket water on fast rivers, bait is seldom required. This is where the yarn fisherman excels. The best way to fish yarn is with an egg loop, also called a bumper knot. Select a color, cut a 1-inch piece of yarn, slip it into the loop, and pull on the leader. Trim the yarn, fluff it into the shape of an egg cluster and start fishing. Easy to change colors this way.

The knot selected here is from Fintalk.com, one of many great sources for finding knot illustrations and videos on the internet.


The egg loop is ideal for fishing with skein — salmon or trout eggs still adhering to the meniscus that holds them together inside the female until she's ready to spawn. Skein is toughened up with some kind of cure, generally involving borax. My good friend Mark Chmura (despite the fact that I'm prejudiced, Mark is easily one of the best salmon-steelhead guides on the planet) uses Pautzke Bait Co.Fire Cures. "I like the pink," he says. Ok. He likes the pink. Mark ties an even easier egg loop but  doesn't post a diagram of it. You'll just have to call him up and climb aboard his river jet on the Big Manistee River. He'll show you the knot, but there are better reasons. I've had some of the best steelheading days of my life on Mark's boat. When fishing is tough, you can count on him to find fish other guides can't.


Whatever egg-loop knot you settle on, try it in fast water. No need to kill fish for bait in these situations. Add some scent, maybe (I use Dr. Juice from Blue Fox most of the time, but some new, space-age scents are popping up that I'll be blogging about shortly). And don't mat the yarn down with it — just put a drop on the knot and apply some of that to the hook. No need to waste bait here. Yarn's the ticket in rushing, thundering, crashing...'nuff said.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures. Walleye

The Lowdown on Walleye Hardbaits

Steve Ryan - May 28, 2019

The range of walleye hardbaits encompasses multiple categories and a dizzying number of lures.

Which of the ten is the best? You decide. Bass

10 Best Bass Fishing States In America

Matt Straw - November 01, 2017

Which of the ten is the best? You decide.

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make an irresistible and addictive crust for catfish fillets Fish Recipes

Pecan-Crusted Catfish Fillets Recipe

Emilie Bailey

This is not your run-of-the-mill fish recipe! Buttery, savory pecans are seasoned up to make...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

Giant Walleyes According To Calendar Periods

The search for big walleyes begins with an understanding of their nature, keying on prime locations during specific times of the year.

The Scoop on Garmin

The Scoop on Garmin's New Force Trolling Motors

Why did Garmin's new Force trolling motor win a Best of Show category award at the 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando? OSG's Lynn Burkhead gets all of the scoop on the amazing features that come with Garmin's first entry into the trolling motor market.

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at catching Pike & Muskie

How To Catch Pike In Spring

Dan Johnson - April 26, 2016

Spring is prime time for pike. The Prespawn and Postspawn periods offer excellent odds at...

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers nationwide. Catfish

All About Catfish

Rob Neumann

Catfish are among the most popular groups of fish with over 7 million catfish anglers...

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is simply a matter of putting a good bait in the right in front of them. Catfish

The Best Catfish Rigs

In-Fisherman - January 11, 2018

Catfish are simple creatures that can be caught using the best catfish rigs. Catching them is...

See More Stories

More Trout & Salmon



Placid water stretched across the seventh largest lake in the world, extending into that texture Trout & Salmon

Quest for a 40 Revisited: Lake Trout Fishing

Matt Straw - January 14, 2014

Placid water stretched across the seventh largest lake in the world, extending into that...

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow late-season Trout & Salmon

Hawg Nation Lake Trout

Jeff Simpson - August 09, 2016

The In-Fisherman staff takes you on a mission for monsters, as they cast for shallow...

Stream trout were the glamour fish of the early-to-mid twentieth century. Wild settings, clear Trout & Salmon

How To Fish For Trout: A Stream Trout Primer

Matt Straw - July 03, 2013

Stream trout were the glamour fish of the early-to-mid twentieth century. Wild settings, clear

See More Trout & Salmon

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.