Useless steelhead report

I started steelhead fishing this past winter and since I have yet to catch a fish I decided to hit the Sky every day this long weekend to catch my first fish and learn the river. Here Is my report in point form.

Caught zero fish.
Fell hard on my back (thought I broke my arm) bush waking down a steep bank
Fell forward in the river filled up my waters as I dog paddled trying to get upright.
Had zero bites
Never really thought I would catch a fish as I never trusted the spots I was fishing.
Still have not even come close to learning the river (Although I did learn that the new southern chicken breakfast sandwich at Mcdonalds is bad ass).
Spent a lot on gas

In short, I guess I learned that summer steelhead fishing is not easy as the dudes at the fly shop told me, and now I know why no one in there right mind would ever give up a steelhead honey hole on an internet forum. At my pace it feels like five years of steelhead fishing is like one weekend on the Naches in terms of learning "the river".
I have yet to catch one yet. But me and a friend hired a guide to take us out for two days and show us the ways. We didnt catch anything cause it was just to early in run. BUT, we did learn how to actually cast on a river and what to look for somewhat. Im not gonna lie but the amount of information he gave us was to much for my mind to remember it all :) I do feel as if i have a standing chance now though. My friend caught first steelhead after two weekends of trying out in forks. Steven just put it up in gallery.

Save alotttt of gas and just go out with a guide for day and jump way ahead in the game. They also cut the gear you think you needed in half.



My name is Mark Oberg
Isn't it a blast. Just wait till it drops to frozen temperature's. Your going to love it. Seriously thats when you'll get one.

Jon Brengan

flyfishing addict
Hey I was out on the river today; I saw something big hit the surface and after some investigation and a walk past the local bridgedwellers camp and their barking dogs, I think a machette may be the ticket next time for more up river access. I managed to get several shakers to hit the line, but nothing with any size. Mainly I tried to put my friend in position to catch the surface breaker but to no avail. Sorry to hear about your misfortunes, we've all had days like that. When everything seems to go wrong, no sleep the night before and too little coffee the morning of...yeah been there. It all seems to go on by when there's steel on your line, just keep flogging the water and one of these times it'll happen. My first season I moved 13 steelies before I actually hooked one, then it was atleast another 5+ fish before I actually brought one to the beach. Keep up the good work, it'll all pay off sooner or later.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Here Is my report in point form.
Although I did learn that the new southern chicken breakfast sandwich at Mcdonalds is bad ass.
Spent a lot on gas
Good reading your useless report. Sorry to hear about your back and arm, I hope you suffered no structural damage and can quickly return to update your report. I have found the above portions of your quote quite useful. The sandwich is going to pay dividends as this fat kid loves to eat. The gas angle is better today than a month or three ago, so that is a point of variable perspective.

What is a steelhead? Just kidding. I have caught three. One purely by accident when targeting silvers on the hatchery return. Two after catching that one forced me to take a guided trip. I learned a lot on that trip, but as of yet that education has not yeided any results on my fly on my own. I'm still young, I've only retired once. I'll get that elusive slime bandit eventually.


Active Member
You may want to consider taking MasterAnglerTaylor's advice and go steelhead fishing with someone who knows how, if you can. I did...and learned more in a day than I'd learned in three years of doing it on my own. I did not have to pay, as it was a new friend who offered to take me. Hopefully you will find a similar opportunity. Good luck to you.


Well-Known Member

Sounds like you had an excellent weekend learning to prepare to be a steelheader. A steelheader should be able to navigate "rufftrain" (rough terrain) and not fall on his ass too often as that can lead to a significant loss of fishing time. A steelheader should also be an intrepid and effective wader and not fall forward and dog paddle, which messes up the run and puts down the fish - if there are any there - and leads to loss of fishing time. A few more lessons like the ones you're learning and you just may be ready to fish for steelhead. Congratulations!



Ignored Member
Still have not even come close to learning the river (Although I did learn that the new southern chicken breakfast sandwich at Mcdonalds is bad ass).
Get rid of the McDonalds. There is nothing there that is "bad ass" and you don't have time to eat there. A well rounded steelheader eats day old pre-packaged bear claws with luke warm black coffee from the thermos left over from the day before. Eating breakfast at McDonalds doomed you right out of the gate. You are lucky that the worst thing that happened to you was a little swim.


Well-Known Member
Good catch Kerry. I failed to point out that a dedicated steelheader doesn't waste time getting meals at restaurants, even the fast food type, during the fishing day. That's what mini-marts are for. You get junk food and get going, and eat it as you drive between fishing spots. No one ever hooked a steelhead while waiting for their food order or while sitting in a booth eating it.

Based on my own experience, if you just want to catch a steelhead and don't mind wether or not it's a native or a hatchery fish, than concentrate your efforts on the mile below Reiter Ponds (assuming that you will be fishing the Skykomish River). If you don't like the crowds at Reiter, than fish the highway 2 side of the cable hole (the first hole below Reiter). Between the cable hole and the high bridge, there is plenty of good water to explore. Good luck!

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Glad to hear that somebody is taking off where I left it all. I have gotten three Steelhead for all the years that I have flyfished for them. But none of them were what one would brag about. The biggest was from a stream I talked about a few months back and it was a summer run fish. And on a 4wt rod. Yes.Yes.

And by all means keep the usless repots coming.

And as Matt Burke would say, the only thing to eat on a fishing trip like that is Beef Jerky and old fashioned dognuts(doughnuts). Along with three triple shot latte's.


Matt Burke

Active Member
And as Matt Burke would say, the only thing to eat on a fishing trip like that is Beef Jerky and old fashioned dognuts(doughnuts). Along with three triple shot latte's.
Exactly! Cept it's a quad latte now and I don't stop for that unless I'm fishing with someone and they stop. No more than one stop per fishing event. Gas, old fashioned's and Jerky.


still an authority on nothing
Hey cj,
you left out the part about spending bucketfuls of money on tackle, hours obsessing about lines and presentation and tying flies, but I think someone got the fatigue and hypothermia covered already. And I thought you knew tumbling facefirst down cliffs was part of the gig, holding a very long and expensive rod in your hand...:hmmm:

oh, I forgot to ask-
you actually think you're going to catch FISH?:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
Oh, God, I can't breathe...

welcome to the Brotherhood, man, you're getting the hang of it now.
PS the trick is to cast, pull the cup out of the front of your waders, and sip your coffee during the swing, but remember to take the cigar out of your mouth first...