Being a fly guy, I am a gear junkie...heck it probably has to do with being male. I like gear. I like good gear. I like stuff to work the way it should, when it should. So safe to say, I am taking as much gear steelheading as I can. Maybe I grew up with the mentality that "It's better to have it and not need it than it is to need it and not have it". Now there are plenty of articles out there explaining what you need for steelheading; so rather than tell you what you need to take, I will just show you what I am taking.
From Left To Right, Top to Bottom
- Smith Dolen Chromapop Sunglasses
- Simms Freestone Wading Boots
- Simms G4 Pro Stockingfoot Waders
- Thermos Stainless King 40-Ounce Beverage Bottle (full of coffee)
- Steelhead flies. Tied by your's truly.
- Redington RS4 8wt with Redington Rise 7/8 reel and Rio 8wt WF-F line
- Rio Avid 300g 24 ft sink tip line.
- Sage Z-Axis 7136 Spey Rod
- Rising Bob's De-barb Plier
- Rio Freshwater Tippet and Leaders
- Various Sink Tips, Shooting Heads, and Leaders
- Ross Momentum LT 5 spooled up with Rio Skagit fly line
- Nautilus 12 spooled up with Rio Windcutter 7/8/9 and a floating head (an old line, but it works well; although a new scandi line would be a good alternative)
- Scott S4S 9' 6wt
- Engler 5/6 Fly Reel With WF-F 6wt line (this reel was built by Duranglers Guide Mark Engler and is truly one of a kind).
I am also bringing along a Switch Redington Dually 11' 5wt loaded with Rio Skagit Max and Rio Mow Tips (seen above next to the Z-axis spey). This rod is not ideal for the sea run steelhead of the PNW; however the Rogue River has a large population of what is known as "half-pounders". Half-pounders are resident steelhead that have not yet made their journey to the ocean. These fish eat more like trout and usually run from 16-20 inches. Better to be prepared for everything.
Other than that, the packing list includes rain and cold weather gear (even though the forecast calls for sunny and 80's), trout flies (just in case), headlamp for dawn patrol, Oregon fishing licence, digital camera, a few good books, and a spirit of adventure.
Previous A Beginner’s Journey Into Steelheading installments: