What that leaves me tying, is a fly on a "real" hook. To make the fly sink fast, you need weight. I'm thumbing my nose at barbell eyes and coneheads, so that leaves steel. Iron to be exact. Big Iron. That means a 5/0-6/0 salmon hook. A big profile is a must for me and my late winter flies, so a big platform to tie on is great.
Next I need materials that will help the fly stay down but still give great movement and silhouette. That means long spey hackle, slim bodies, and hackle wings. For colors, the sky is the limit, but I will be using a lot of flourescent UV reactive colors. Black is always good too.
If I get lucky I'll hit some of those days where the river is dropping and is that perfect "steelhead green". Every steelhead fisherman knows what I'm talking about. Those are the days that keep me tying flies and filling the winter boxes.