Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by BDD, Jan 22, 2008.
Rainbow or Steelhead, either way I would love to catch a 24" fish on the Yakima.
22.5 inch upper yak fish. This is a grey area fish - steel or resident bow? I can't tell.
first off thats 18-20 inches and not 22.5 :rofl: second its a resident note the spots under the lateral line.
The first picture below is of the fish BDD and I came across the other day. It was a beautiful O. mykiss (I'm sticking to resident life history strategy), and an awesome experience when you consider it truely was one of those last cast of the day type moments. It was getting dark and it was my last cast for the day. BDD was walking upstream and out of the corner of my eye I saw my bobber go down, and in the middle of saying something like, "what a spot", wham I set the hook. That fish fought pretty good and had that darned stonefly nymph right in the bottom jaw. I got to thinking after seeing this post, how did it look in comarison to the morphometric traits shown in my other top 3 personal Yakima River rainbows. The last pic is just for fun.
Do you have pics of other Yakima River rainbow hoggs, let's see em. This is a good discussion, as yes I guide the Yakima River, but wan't to insure we're doing all we can for fisheries conservation.
Tight Lines, and C & R,
a few years ago fishing the yak in march i landed a fish that was 22" on a skwala dry. the fish had what looked like a perfect hole punch on its gill plate. the pictures are back home so i cant post them but do you think it was just an injury or deformation or a way to identify a steelhead.
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that's a steelie. That fish is just too clean to be a resident. Good job.
Also, the 22.5" fish above. Looks 22.5" to me. That's a real nice fish, too.
As for spots below the lateral line, and if they have them it's not a steelhead? I really don't know about that. . .
Perhaps a better question would have been of all the 24 inch O. mykiss swimming above Roza right now, are there more anadromous or resident forms?
Thanks for the great responses guys. I think this is a cool subject and a carry over of a previous thread on large O. mykiss in the Yakima where several pictures were posted and one could guess the life history.
Curt, your insight is always a welcomed bonus to any topic.
In my opinion, Joe's two fish appear to be different forms (big bellied fish looks like a bow to me but the buck looks like a steelhead). Lex's fish is tougher to differentiate.
Daryle, you should know better as you never caught any rainbows off Alava but you caught plenty of steelhead.
AKPM-spot location is not always a dead give away either.
David, I'm glad you tuned in as I didn't want to post without your permission. Acutally, the pic where you are smiling is much better
My guesses are: first pic is a steelhead, next two are trout (and there is no way the last one is 22...If it was that big, you shouldn't have been one-handing it...that's probably what you told your client to make him feel better.
Pomb-if you caught a fish with a perc-punch then surely it was a steelhead unless a resident form showed up at the hatchery and got punched...that scenario is pretty doubtful. My follow up question is where was it punched before arriving to the Yakima? The wanderings of summer steel always amaze me.
No way to say for certain from pictures, but I would agree 100%
I'm with everyone else. The top fish appears in my opinion to be a steelhead. The coloration, and the firmness of the body suggest steelhead in my opinion. The other two are very trouty. They've got big old guts and they're profusely spotted below the lateral line. Did you catch it near the mouth of a potential spawning trib?
I would like to see more emphasis on steelhead restoration on the Yak. I think the potential is there for a much larger component of anadromous O.mykiss in that population. Some of the best runs of wild steelhead in that area are in tribs of the lower yak, but for a number of reasons the upper river steelhead (above Roza) are basically at background levels. I've talked to a prominent bio who think the Yakima should be producing a couple of orders of magnitude more steelhead than it is, that would probably involve better passage facilities and some compromises in terms of the hydrograph.
And you thought the wenatchee was zoo when it opened, imagine how many people would be on the yak if it had a descent steelhead run. it would be a frickin zoo!
Dave- I think that the top is a chromer and agree with bdd that the bottom one is not 22 :rofl:
Steel, Res, Res, gross :thumb:
Close enough I'd bet 90% accurate, its kinda like trying to tell dolly varden from arctic char.
Plus if you catch a hog you can call a res rainbow, call it a res rainbow it sounds much cooler...
Jergens, at least if there was a steelhead run on the Yak it would spread the fishing pressure out between Yak, Wenatchee and Methow. Regardless of our fishing interests though, there should be more steelhead in the Yakima. I wonder what the feasibility of fish passage over some of those dams is? The upper cle elum river and some of those tribs are pretty pristine.
"David, I'm glad you tuned in as I didn't want to post without your permission. Acutally, the pic where you are smiling is much better
My guesses are: first pic is a steelhead, next two are trout (and there is no way the last one is 22...If it was that big, you shouldn't have been one-handing it...that's probably what you told your client to make him feel better."
BDD, I think you landed/netted that 22 incher for me and snapped the photo. That's that big olle streamer eater from the Upper River a few years ago. We measured it at 22 inches. The picture must be at a funny angle, and I can't help that I have huge massive hands, ha, ha.
Nonetheless, what a great fishery.
Maybe if you would of just said that it was a 24" Rainbow. You could of stayed out of any arguement about what kind of fish it was. They are all rainbows. It's just that some are bigger than others.
And not to change the subject. There are resident rainbows in the N/F Stilly that also get on the bigger side.
So I would say nice fish.
I'm surprised only one person mentioned scale samples...
I've heard from many different fisheries biologists that the only really 100% accurate way to tell if a fish has been to the salt or not, is by looking at scale samples which is similar to looking at the rings of a tree to figure out it's past history.
I would guess that a very bright fish would probably be a steelhead but they darken and take on their 'resident' coloration the longer they're in the river in addition to reverting back to their feeding habits...
at any rate, I'm just surprised that the scale samples haven't really been talked about...
prediction: 4 page article in Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine with real sized centerfold of the controversial 22 inch fish
Player hater. I have big hands and was wearing gloves. That said, I drive a small car So size doesn't matter, does it?
Powder monkey, this is a 19 inch bow taken from the exact same spot during spring time on the upper Yak.
This spot seems to hold a lot of big fish. I hooked in to one the previous day that appeared to exceed the size of 22 inches but lost it as it jumped out of the water. All the other guys in the family have at one time or another caught a big fish out of that hole. The sopt is in a residential area so it doesn't get pounded by walk-in FFers is the only thing I can guess..