It’s a little tough this year to get excited about steelhead season here in Idaho—if there’s a season at all, thanks to what could be the smallest return of ocean-going rainbow trout to the Clearwater and Salmon rivers in 40 years.
Nevertheless, steelhead flies are some of the most enjoyable to tie, and there are other places where the annual return of big chromers is more encouraging. If you’re a die-hard, you’ll find those places and you’ll need flies to go after them.
Above is Matt McKenna’s Freestyle Fall Favorite, a fresh take on a steelhead classic. It’s easy to tie, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. If you’re dead-set on find steelhead this fall, don’t leave home without a handfull in your box.
— Chris Hunt