February 26, 2010
Here’s a quick update on several of the steelhead trips that I have taken over the last couple of months. All were productive with great end results! By monopolizing on the windows of opportunity during the winter, I was able to pick & choose which days to be on the water. Warming trends after a cold period were observed along with the water levels to ensure multiple hookups. Winter tends to have the fish in a lethargic state most of the time and by concentrating on the slowest of water, we were able to increase our hookup percentage. Couple this with a precise drift by using a center pin float rig and quality roe and you increase your odds even more. Although these fish are migratory and spring spawning has them travelling great distances to their preferred bedding areas, winter has them holding in some of the deadest water around. This is not to say that they don’t move at all, just that a higher percentage of them reside in deep pools and softer water along current seams. Trout beads were used in the not so dead areas to imitate single eggs and any active steelhead fell victim to these offerings, while covering water. With milder weather ahead, this will surely bring out more people to the better know areas of the rivers inhabiting these chrome beasts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different presentations such as jigs or even flies below the rig when pressure has the fish turned off. This has accounted for extra hookups on several occasions when nobody was doing anything. You can also try moving around and fishing places with less pressure close by where some of the fish may have moved. Although my steelhead fishing hasn’t come to an end quite yet, the thoughts of dropping the boat in the water have me excited for open water fishing. March will have me moving around on multiple rivers in search of the mother load entering for the spring spawn. I know there will be plenty more chrome caught & released before the fly rods come out and the niche season begins and can’t wait to get back out again. There’s just too many fish and too little time!!!!