On Friday we had to pass up the first four holding holes we came to because there were already boats in them. We had taken fish in all of those holes that week and it limited the water we had to fish. Once you get downstream and you don’t have a motor, there is no way to row back up to fish a spot after someone leaves. The average CFS is about 600. Barry didn’t hookup at all on Friday and I brought two up to the boat that probably went about 7 or 8 pounds each, and both were long releases
I just returned from a Steelhead trip to Michigan last week. Had the gear ready and waiting on the call, “they are here”. Well they were there, but the weather didn’t pan out and they stayed low in the system all week. The river was low and clear and the chromes were reluctant to come up river. We were forced to fish the lower end where the water was slower and fewer ideal places for them to stay. The Salmon run wasn’t very good this year and as a result there wasn’t much of a steelhead run either. This condition concentrated too many fishermen in a smaller section. The first morning there were 9 drift boat trailers at the take out parking lot. Usually we don’t see any or maybe one or two.
On Monday, my Michigan fishing partner, Barry, hooked 4 and landed 3. He lost a big one that he couldn’t turn before it went into a downed tree. He also had two smaller ones and a nice hen that probably would have gone about 6 or7 pounds. I hooked 2 and landed 1 small one that would have gone about 4 pounds.
Tuesday Barry hooked 1 and lost it. I hooked 4 and landed 3. Largest one was about 7 pounds. We fished the same water we did on Monday. Four out of the five we hooked were in the same places we hooked up on Monday.
Wednesday was cool rainy day, just a slow drizzle, not the hard rain we had hoped for. Barry hooked 2 and landed one. It was a long lean chrome. It may have been a summer run Skamania. I hooked a large one but broke it off on an unexpected run. It was coming in fairly easy and just as I was getting ready to loosen the drag a little, it bolted and broke me off. We were using 8lb tippet, so the break off was unexpected and I was, to say the least, very upset because it was a big steelhead.
I stopped off at Stealthcraft Boat Works and found out that no one was catching steelhead. The guides I talked to were catching trout and salmon. So we actually felt a lot better since we were actually hooking some steelhead and no one else was getting them.
On Thursday It was a cold windy day with slush on the ground. Temps about 30 and wind gusts in the 20s. There were limbs breaking and some trees falling all day. Barry hooked 6 and landed 4. The largest was a nice 9lb male. He also brought one to the boat that would have gone about 7 or so. The other two were smaller chromes in the 4-5lb range. I hooked two and put two in the boat. The largest was about 9 pounds and the other one was a small male. An unexpected fish landed was a Pike. We hardly ever fish the lower section where they live, so this was a first.
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