Steelhead Set Up

There are 3 techniques we like to use to target Michigan Steelhead on the fly. Indicator nymphing, swinging streamers, and chuck and duck.  Each method can be effective on certain rivers during specific times of the year. Below are diagrams and descriptions of how we like to rig for each method. 

Check out the Ultimate Steelhead Combo - Everything you need for each of these methods!

Indicator (bobber) fishing, is arguably the most effective rigging method for Steelhead. It can be used throughout the year, and quickly adjusted to the rivers and conditions you are fishing. Essential Equipment for this method includes:

  • 10ft 7wt or 8wt Fly Rod, and a reel with a sealed drag. Longer rods make it easier to mend line and control your drift when indicator fishing. 
    • Check out our Steelhead Indicator Combo Kit
  • Floating Fly Line
  • 9 Foot 1x or 0 X Tapered Mono Leader
  • Blackbird Phantom Float (+)
  • Split Shot
  • Blackbird Micro swivels (+)
  • 10 lb and 8lb Fluorocarbon

Swinging streamers for steelhead is actually a very simple method, but for those just starting the terminology can be overwhelming. shooting line, skagit heads, grain weights, etc. But don't let this stop you, we are here to help. Stop by the shop or give us a call and we will be happy to make sure you get the right lines to match your rod. Here is a list of the essential equipment

  • Two handed switch rod for smaller streams, or a full spey for larger rivers
    • Check out our two hand rods 
    • And our swing starter combo
  • From backing to tippet we recommend:
  • Swing Flies

Chuck n' Duck is best used for fishing deep spots and can be particularly effective during the winter when water is cold and fish are lethargic. Here is what you'll need. 

PDF - Indicator Fly Fishing Set Up - PRINTABLE LINK
PDF - Chuck and Duck Set Up - PRINTABLE LINK