Nobody really understands why steelhead take flies. Like salmon, once steelhead enter fresh water they stop actively feeding and also simply rely upon fat storage to make it up the stream, spawn, then return to the sea where they will gorge themselves and balance the long fast in the fresh water. So it's sort of frustrating that we fish using replicas of bugs and bait fish that they don't even eat in the ocean yet are prolific to the rivers.
Perhaps it's an escape, an excuse for not catching more fish, but I type of like the secret of steelhead. Yeah, sometimes it's most definitely frustrating getting skunked (over as well as over again), however it offers the fish a rather mystic quality. And it is this top quality that makes the infrequencies of the payoff worth all the time I invest attracting attention in a frigid stream, in bad weather condition, unable to feel my fingers.