Get the Skinny
In frigid water, you can pretty much forget about a pummeling hit on a swinging streamer. Low and slow wins now, and this means drifting egg flies, fleas, and nymphs (and lots of split shot) right in a steelhead's face. In many regards, the old chuck-and-duck method already takes the sexy out of flyfishing, so rather than try to look like Lefty Kreh in the Arctic, do yourself a favor and respool with a flat running line, such as Cortland's Precision Zip Polypro. Because running line is thin and slick, it holds less water than fly line. That means your guides will ice up less frequently, so you won't have to clear them as often. Between that and the fact that you'll never have to mend or strip, your hands will stay drier. Running line is also much more sensitive than fly line, so you can keep your gloves on and still feel the take. Yes, using running line may be off-putting to a fly purist, but if you're going to be out in the cold just making 20-foot lobs—not 50-foot casts—all day anyway, I say give yourself every advantage.