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Scott Baker-McGarva’s Steelhead Rig

Posted on July 02 2010

He can drive a boat too!
He can drive a boat too!

Scott Baker-McGarva is our head guide at BC West.  He’s got a whole bunch of years under his belt chasing steelhead with two-handed rods.  He’s an incredible caster and one fishy dude.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see what gear he uses and how he rigs it when he fishes for steelhead on the Dean River?  Well, you’ve come to the right place.

The Summary

  • Sage 8136-4 – a traditional action stick
  • Tibor Riptide
  • Rio 650 Grain Skagit Shooting Head

The Detail

  • 30 pound hi-vis dacron backing, attached to the reel with a Duncan loop
  • 50 pound Rio SlickShooter for running line, attached to the backing with sliding Uni knots
  • Loop created in the front end of the SlickShooter with a spider hitch and attached to the back end of the Skagit head with a loop to loop connection
  • Type 3 8 weight 15 foot sinktip
  • 15 pound Maxima leader attached to the sinktip using a loop to loop connection, with a spider hitch in the back of the leader and a spider hitch tied in a butt section that’s nail knotted to the front of the sinktip
  • Dean River Pink Dynk tied to the leader with a non-slip mono loop

The Commentary

  • “When steelhead first enter the lower Dean they are rowdy and aggressive, particularly to bright flies. They also don’t mind a little current and routinely hold in strong breaks and edges. The don’t really care about the tip, but I find it helps anchor the fly when I send it out into the whitewater, or into standing waves beyond where I want to swing the bug. The tip allows the fly to get down just enough to have an action of its own and not be affected by the surface waves.  In some waters I will fish floating lines and poly leaders for the same effect, particularly on big flats where a bomber cast is required.”
  • “I don’t drop a loop on the grab, and I don’t let it pull line from my reel either.  I set my drag to ‘stun’ and give the fish the rod a bit before pulling straight back and then lifting into him. “
  • “Sharp short shank hooks on tubes, Intruders, trailers and the like all go in well.  99% of the time the grab involves a turn away and the fly is ‘in the scissors’ anyway.”

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