So the water on your favorite Steelhead river is high, Here are so tips on how to make a high water event more successful.
Go Fishing - Nobody ever caught a steelhead sitting at home on their couch. Don't give up just because you don't have 3 feet of viability. The fish are still there, just in different places.
Fish At Your Feet - When the river’s low, the best holding water for steelhead is often out in the middle of the river in the main current. When the river is high, they still prefer the same kind of water – only now, that water is often right up against the bank. Fish won't going to fight heavy flows in the middle of the runs when the water is up, so keep your line short and cover the holding water that’s now often 2 to 30 feet in front of you.
Fish Lighter Tips - Contrary to what you may think, you, you generally don't need to be too deep when the water is up. With less clarity and higher flows, steelhead feel safer in shallower, softer water. That means that dredging may put your fly beneath the fish. On the end of that short line that you're casting, fish a lighter sinktip. You may be surprised at what you find in not very much water.
Fish Big Flies - Here’s your chance to break out the Big Intruders you have been tying. Those big profile flies were designed for conditions in which it takes a big fly to get the attention of the fish. Remember darker colors tend to be more visible in dirty water.
Look For Soft Water - You already know that you should mostly be fishing a in close to stay out of the really heavy current. Steelhead like softer water when the level is up, so you should be on the lookout for it at all times. Maybe it’s right up against the bank.