I got my first steelhead today

Luck was with me this morning. I landed my first steelhead ever on the Cowlitz. She was a 24 inch hatchery fish that took a black reverse spider on the swing.

Here is the reader's digest version of the story. I was fishing with Mike Etgen. We got on the river at about 7:30 this morning. After putting in at Blue Creek we paddled his canoe to a nice run just below the clay banks. I tied on a reverse spider and started prospecting for Cutties. While I wasn't necessarily targeting Steelhead I was hoping that lightning would strike and it did. After about 10 casts, I felt a strike and set up. I thought it was a SRC for a minute but then it happened, she came completely out of the water and stripped some line. Mike saw what was hapening and came to help me (thanks Mike :thumb: ). She made a few more leaps and one or two short runs and came to hand. While she wasn't chrome bright or wild, it does mark a milestone in my fishing experiences. The best part was that I was able to share it with a good fishing buddy.

After landing the fish, Mike continued to fish the run and land 2 very nice SRCs one of which was close to 18 inches. Later in the day and further down river Mike landed another cuttie.

The weather was ideal. It was overcast all day with a slight breeze and no rain.

By the way, I was fishing with my St Croix Pro Graphite 6 weight and a pfluger medalist reel.


Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
Every word of this is true. Especially the part about enjoying this with a great fishing companion. I enjoyed the moment ALMOST as much as if it had been MY fish.

Okay, so that part is just SORT OF true... ;)

BTW...just my second time on the Cowlitz - she sure is a sweet river. Thanks to Warren for setting it all up.


Congrats on the steelie, Buddy. Sure wish we could have joined you guys on the Cowlitz, but duty called elsewhere. Pictures? I am in bad need of some fish porn.

I'm gonna head to the tank crossing Friday afternoon and swing a few flies there, just to see if there are any fish I can scare. I'll toss that Spey DVD into the truck in case I see you there. If not, we'll have to make arrangements for you to get it.

Congrats again,


Angler 77

AKA Scott Jones

Congratulations on the milestone!!! Wild or not, bright or beautifully colored I'm sure it's one fish you'll remember for a long time.

By the way did you have much company on the river?

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Way to go, Warren! :thumb: I've been hoping to bust away from here and get over there and do the same thing! Gotta try out my newly aquired used mini-drifter in a river asap, and I've been wanting to do that float in it.
Got some work this morning, then an afternoon-til-dark session for tidewater Kings and Coho in a friends boat on the Willapa. He trolls gear (spinners), but I'm also taking my 8wt. I've already got it rigged with a flash fly on for the Coho.

Say, how was negotiating that corner at the Blue Creek combat zone in a canoe?

Way to go Warren. I wondered where your were. I floated the Cowlitz on Wednesday and got into a few SRC's and a nice SH across from the log cabin with the green roof.
You will never forget the first SH. :beer1: They frequently enter your dreams!!

Angler 77 said:
By the way did you have much company on the river?
Not really, we went on Thursday so it was definately less than the weekend crowd. There were 5 or 6 fly anglers near the boat launch and 4 guide boats working the runs. Then there was an occaisional private boat.

There were only 2 bank fishers below blue creek.