2010 Fall STeelhead

The week started so so for us, but would have been a great day for some guys. We landed 3 out of 7 which, for the river we fished is a pretty good percentage considering all of the timber in the stream. The river was very low and the clearest I have ever seen it. It looked a lot like our spring fed streams here in Missouri in late August. Not a good thing for steelhead fishing. The low water restricted the salmon run, which means the steelhead are still hanging out in the lake. The next day we floated the river and went 4 for 8, which again is a great percentage, but we were hoping for more hook ups. We decided to float a different section of the river, hoping to find some salmon on the gravel with the steelhead hanging out behind them.  It turned out to be our worst day of the week for catching steelhead. We caught a ton of trout and some of them were excellent brown trout, but we didn't land a single steelhead and only had 4 hook ups.

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        Nice big male brown                                                           Fresh run chrome                                                                              Big male with river colors
 The good news was it had been raining for the past day and half and we were seeing some fresh salmon on the move up the river. We expected the steelhead to be right behind them and they were the next day. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was a phenomenal day with 40 hook ups and 20 fish landed. We think that some of the fish we hooked and landed may have been a fish we landed earlier in the day. The weather was terrible with the wind blowing 30 mph with gusts up to 60 and vertical rain. It wasn't surprising that we didn't see another fisherman all day, and that is how we wanted it to stay... mums the word when you have a day like this, and besides who is going to believe you anyway. The following day I fished alone and played with the center pin rod and reel I took up there. The rod I enjoyed, the reel is not for me. Too much playing around with the line falling off the spool and besides it is a single action reel and if you get an extra long float it takes all day to reel the line back on to the spool. I will be selling the center pin reel on eBay if you want to try your luck with one. I had a very good day going 5 for 13.. low landing percentage but plenty of hook ups. The apricot and green estaz egg was the ticket for that dirty water. I think the green got their attention and they took the apricot fly. I fished a double rig just experimenting and it was two to one on the green and apricot.

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           Peach estaz worked well                                                     Green and Peach worked better                                                 This is a true Trophy Steelhead

The next day was the best day of the trip and will probably be the best day I will ever see for a steelhead day. The water was dirty, there were fresh salmon on gravel and two fresh runs of steelhead had moved up to where we were fishing. These were real screamers and 4 foot jumpers, it was a ball. Between the two of us we hooked 46 and landed 27. It didn't seem to matter too much what size or color as long as it looked like salmon eggs they were taking it. We caught them in two feet of water and we caught them in 6 feet of water... it didn't seem to matter as long as there were salmon on gravel up stream. The last day of the trip the river dropped and started clearing. The steelhead we were catching must have moved up river because the fishing slowed down a lot overnight. We only managed 10 for 16 the last day... which is a great day any day, number wise and the landing percentage was excellent. This trip we lucked out by being in the right place at the right time... it doesn't always happen that way, but I'm glad it did.