United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island, Inc.

November Madness (Steelhead Fly)

Tied by Dave Porecca

Hook: Size 10 – 12 – 14 Steelhead Hook #2441
Thread: Pink UNI 6/0
Tail: Black Goose Biot
Body: Purple 4 strand floss
Rib: Pink UNI 6/0
Thorax: Ice Blue Angle Hair Dubbing
Wing Case: Ice Blue Bill Bodi Braid

Many anglers from around southern New England make the fall and early winter trek to upstate New York to chase big silver steelhead. In September the Salmon River fills with Chinook & Coho Salmon. As these anadromous fish enter the river sporadic runs of adult steelhead and brown trout will follow in effort to gorge themselves on endless amounts of eggs benedict. Salmon eggs that is. As these adult salmon make their final run into the river flocks of anglers from around the country crowd the banks seeking the fight of a 20 or 30 plus pound salmon. These fish are tackle busters, especially the early fresh fish. If you do not like crowds stay far away through early November. As fall passes on continuous runs of steelhead make their way into the river. These fish make several runs year after year and usually reside in the river through spring. Although the winters around the great lake region can be brutal the fishing action can be phenomenal. As the Salmon die off by late October the steelhead that remain need to switch to alternate food sources. Much of their diet consist small mayfly nymphs, caddis larvae, and most predominantly small winter stone flies. As winter progresses and the water gets colder the steelhead become much more lethargic and smaller mayfly nymphs and lighter tippets are the rule.

One of my favorite patterns has been the purple stone I call November Madness. This pattern has continuously produced excellent steelhead action throughout November and December. In February I will be tying this pattern for steelhead enthusiast.