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Dean River Steelhead Flies – Our Favorites (Updated)

Posted on July 06 2018

dean river steelhead flies - our favorites (updated)
Kara chose the right fly. Photo: BC West staff.

Our steelhead season is in full force at BC West, our home on the banks of the Dean River in British Columbia, and we’re happy to report that our guests are experiencing some impressive numbers of fish!

Known for some of the hottest and hardest fighting steelhead around, the Dean has earned a reputation amongst the steelheading community as one of the most famed steelhead rivers in the world.

However, before you can fight a Dean River steelhead, you first have to hook a Dean River steelhead, and the first step to hooking a Dean River steelhead is selecting the right fly. So with that in mind, we thought we’d share a few of our staff’s favorite Dean River steelhead patterns with accompanying links on how to tie them.


Dean River Steelhead Flies – Our Favorites

1. Hoh Bo Spey. One of the most versatile steelhead patterns available, the Hoh Bo Spey presents a great all around profile for the majority of conditions we experience on the Dean. They can be tied in virtually any color combination available and when tied on a tube, two can be stacked to increase profile.

Hoh bo spey steelhead fly
Photo: Stuart Foxall.

2. Hickman’s Fish Taco. Developed by Deneki alum, Jeff Hickman, the Fish Taco exhibits a similar profile in the water as the Hoh Bo Spey, with slightly more flash and movement. Black, pink, and purple are some of our favorite colors.

Fish taco steelhead fly
Photo: Stuart Foxall.

3. Intruders. Although not a specific fly pattern, ‘intruder-style’ flies were originally built off of the premise of creating a maximum profile with minimal materials. We like smaller intruders on the Dean in any combinations of black, blue, pink, and orange.

Intruder fly pattern
Photo: Stuart Foxall.

4. Bunny Leeches. No steelhead box would be complete without a few leech patterns. Egg sucking leeches, loop leeches, tube leeches, or the Miles Davis leech all work well on the Dean in any combination of black, blue, and/or pink.

Tube leech
Photo: Stuart Foxall.

5. Skaters (Dry Flies). We’re lucky to have good opportunities to target steelhead on the surface during certain times of our season at BC West. Therefore, if you’re heading to the Dean, do yourself a favor and bring along some surface patterns. Some of our favorites include the Bulkley Bee (shown below), Pom Skater, Grantham Sedge, and the Bulkley Bomber to name a few.

The bulkley bee steelhead fly
Photo: Stuart Foxall.

More on Steelhead Flies

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