A common question I get this time of year both working in a fly shop and guiding are what some of my favorite winter steelhead flies are? That's a tough one to answer in a shop since most of the flies I fish in the winter are not commercial tied. That being said, there are a lot of great flies on the market that I highly recommend and even fish at times myself. These are in no specific order and are all great patterns that have produced fish in the past.
Silvey's Tandem Tube/Tube Snake: Two different patterns but somewhat similar. Two of my favorite winter patterns to fish. They are easy to tie, have a lot of movement, and flat out work. I guide and fish these flies myself quite a bit. Kudos to Brian Silvey for coming up with a couple of great patterns.
Morrish's Trailer Trash: This pattern works well on both chinook and steelhead. A large profile makes this a great pattern in off color water.
Howell's Prom Dress: Another one of Scott Howell's great creations. This fly sports a large profile, good movement, and plenty of fish. Stay tuned for more info on this fly in a future post.
St. Pierre's Hobo Spey: This is a small and very sparse marabou fly that works well in low, clear water. It has proved to be effective in summer, fall, and winter and comes in a variety of colors.
These are just a few of the many great winter steelhead patterns on the market. All these flies come in different color schemes that all work. Some of the most commonly used colors would be blacks, blues, pinks, purples, and oranges for winter steelhead.