Pics of a Steelhead Jack

Steve Buckner

Mother Nature's Son
Awhile back, I recall somebody wondering what fish they had caught and it had been speculated that it might be a Steelhead Jack. Yesterday we managed to catch one so I thought I'd post a picture. Though it isn't big by steelhead standards, it was approximately 2 pounds and reacted in typical steelhead fashion.

This fish was extremely aggressive and made a big swirl on his first attempt at striking the fly. A few casts later we finally made the hook-up. The fish took a bead headed yellow reverse spider.
Thanks Skinny,
I was asking about it and thought i had caught a jack steelhead, though I had not of heard of them being around. That looks like what I caught!

Brad Niemeyer

Old School Member
I asked the same question back in December when I caught a 17" mystery trout in the Pilchuck river...

Mine looked alot like that visible cutthroat slashes and pink /blue /purple gill covers. Silver body with fine small black spots. No red /pink rainbow stripe on my fish...

Must have been a jack... huh?:dunno



Active Member
I've landed some rather large resident rainbows (18-24") in north sound steelhead rivers. One was really chrome like in the pic above, but most have been spotted with a distinctive rainbow stripe. The fish above looks clipped as well. Is it from the Stilly? I had a few "mystery fish" boiling at my surface fly last week- I could see them underwater- looked like small steelie 20" or so. Rainbow can have a varied life history so not surpised to see a fish of that size. Nice photo!
what do i know, im just a rabid apache

i got one just like that on the snohomish while fishing for chums 3 years ago. fought like a demon and jumped all over the place. it was one hot fish!

By no means an authority, I would say that fish is a pefect example of a steelhead jack. Notice the shape of the head. A definite male. He is also surely from the salt. This fish is often erroneously referred to as a resident trout.
The role of the jack is not well understood. They are always small and they usually precede a run of larger fish.
They are important because it is believed that by coming in ahead of the year class to which they belong, they might help if the real run somehow meets a disaster of some sort.
Bob, the One Who Loves Jacks (not you, Jack, the fish!).
:rolleyes :rolleyes :rolleyes :rolleyes