A multitude of methods are used for steelhead although fly-fishing is rapidly become the preferred method.
Fly-fishing maybe less effective than ‘metal-wear’ fishing except in shallow water, tail-outs and riffles. The fish tend to take either on the surface or near the bottom, but unlike atlantic salmon fishing the mid-water is rather un-productive.
Wet-fly fishing is ideally with sink tip lines, ( Teeny ) casting at right angles, so as to allow the fly to rapidly sink and fish close to the river bed. Cast are initially short and then progressively increased to cover all the water. An alternative method is using a floating line with a heavily weighted fly, but this does not fish so well. The leader should be 10-15lb. Popular fly patterns are large maribou and leech patterns, in black, purple and pink on barbless hooks. Steelhead often take very subtly, so any resistance should be met with a tightening on the line.