A Doomsday Book of Giant Steelhead ?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Hal Eckert, Nov 16, 2007.

  1. Hal Eckert Member

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    West GLs
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    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2007/11/15/bobul111.xml

    fyi

    We need, fought and lost. Unfortunatley the list for me is short and so was the period of the time of my encounters. None of mine were more than mabe 5-10 minutes, and some just said see ya and they were heading downstream as fast as possible.

    Anyone have any epic tales to share with us like the english have for the giant salmon.


    :beer2:
  2. HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Bellingham
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    I have hooked salmon and steelhead that ran downstream like a freight train with no chance of stopping them. They weren't even that big necessarily, just strong and smart. If any fish of around ten pounds or more ran full speed down the Skagit in the fastest part of the river, there would be little chance of stopping it.

    I like those fish actually, they leave me feeling good for some reason. Nothing like some adrenaline with an LDR at the end. I would rather lose them like that than right in front me in the shallows.

    No 10 hour battles though. Maybe if I was fishing salmon and steelhead with 4 pound test which I suspect those English fishermen were doing. How else could it take 10 hours to land a 60 pounder?
  3. Hal Eckert Member

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    Some of these english tales must be hyperbole and folklore concerning the length of time
    of these encounters. Perhaps they had too much scotch during the encounters ?

    :confused:

    Beleived they used some heavy gut leaders back then too in the 20-30 lb ranges. These are just fish stories and perhaps fictional.

    Someone please check with the UK salmon boards, where is Mr. Evans when you need him?

    :beer2:
  4. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,116
    White City, Oregon, USA.
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    Right here Hal. And I agree, a well played fish, assuming he doesn't want to turn tail on you, shouldn't take anywhere that much time ... regardless of how big he/she is. But, like any rule, there are exceptions. Zillion years ago I was fishing on the Green River up in Washington (drift rod/reel) and was using 15 or 17 pound Maxima and at least a 12# Maxima leader. Plunk goes my casting lead, and down goes the rod tip within a couple of seconds.

    Fish just continued up stream like 'it' didn't even know I was there ...... 150'ish yards of line, even with my drag cranked down to 'full stop,' just slowly spooled off the reel.........
  5. Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Posts: 3,891
    East Wenatchee, WA
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    I caught a 25 lb. chinook buck in the Little Nustucka (sorry about the spelling) river on 10 lb Strean.
    I chased this fish down through three different pools and he stopped with only 1/2 mile to the salt.
    I don't have the exact time but I would say 45 min to an hour.
    It was my world record for the biggest fish on the lightest tackle.
    I know why I won and he lost, it was the Fenwick and Damn Quick (spin gear) that turned the tide.
    I only use the best to beat the beast.
  6. Hal Eckert Member

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    The strongest fish I ever personally encountered was a big musky up in wisconsin in 2004 on 40 lb braid. Chased it around by myself in a 16 foot lund boat for what seemed like an hour but was probably shorter. Very strong fish probably in 40s or 50 lb range as where I hooked it is known for record musky. The world record was caught about a mile from where I was fishing on Petes Bar on the Chippewa Flowage. At first I thought I was snagged on a tree, then the tree started moving slowly, and eventually very fast on its final run going away I watched it pop the line like nothing. It was just playing with me I figured. A year or so later they found the skull of a monster musky close to the area I was fishing. I ofter wonder if it was the same fish. I will never know but one can always dream it was the one.

    :beer2:
  7. Will Atlas Guest

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    If I was fighting a steelhead (at least a wild one) for more than maybe 20 minute and it didnt show many signs of tiring, I would seriously consider intentionally breaking it off. Fight a fish much longer than that and you are doing it a serious injustice.
  8. Hal Eckert Member

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    Agree but what if it is perhaps the mythical 20 lber I have been pursuing for 27 years now ?

    :beathead::confused:
  9. fredaevans Active Member

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    White City, Oregon, USA.
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    Bad news .... you've probably got it 'foul hooked.'bawling: Or pray someone comes by in a boat and offers you a lift (happened to me with my biggest King on a spey rod).
  10. HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Bellingham
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    It is no surprise that fish size is often exaggerated but I find that fight times are HUGELY exaggerated.
  11. Rob Zelk I swing, therefore i am.

    Posts: 605
    Steelhead Central
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    I've hooked a steelhead last year that was my biggest ever. Sometimes, when a fish takes, it headshakes before anything else. A headshake is a good way to make a judgement of the size of fish which is taking, not always, but obviously, a bigger fish will have a bigger range of movement in its shake. And these head shakes were huge and drawn out. Then the fish boiled and shot down river. About 75 yards down it stopped and cartwheeled, and right away, started back up to me. When it approached 20 feet of me it turned in to shore, so I changed the rod angle back out into the main river. I'm guessing the fish's belly touched the rocks, because about 5 feet from shore, the fish made one last cartwheel and flung the poorly lodged hook from its mouth. A huge, very deep, chrome bright toad... I was shaking to say the least.
  12. John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

    Posts: 2,130
    Olympia
    Ratings: +180 / 1
    I was fishing for atlantics in Quebec with James Mello a couple years ago when he hooks a "once in a lifetime" fish. He fought the magnificent fish for at least 15 minutes and I actually touched its massive back before it broke the 6lb maxima. James and I both think it was pushing 30lbs and we are backed up by the guy that owns the lodge near the place we were fishing. He came over when he saw me running up and down the bank. In his best french canadian broken english he was chearing us on.
  13. Salmon Chaser Wannabe Spey God

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    East Coast Salmon Rivers
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    Mike Crosby landed a 60'ish pound Atlantic salmon on the Restigouche River in Quebec about 7 or 8 years ago and it was only in the vicinity of an hour. 10 hour fights should end with the angler getting his ass kicked,,, seriously!!! Most Salmon anglers adhere to the pound a minute rule and most of the time that is the upper level of this rule. Either that story is a lie or they should have been taken down a peg!!
    Salmon Chaser
  14. mjyp New Member

    Posts: 16
    corn country illinois
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    Most of the epic battles are greatly exaggerated; there are a few well documented battles. one from the 80's come to mind, think it was the Kenai, some guy had a huge salmon on and fought it for hours (12+) they had camera crews there and everything. Rumor at the time was that it was a new world record king; we will never know fish was lost at the boat.

    Epic battles in the past are most likely not true; they have a tendency to stretch the truth at time. Anyone believe in the loch ness monster????
  15. HauntedByWaters Active Member

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    Bellingham
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    Well if a fight longer than 25 minutes is realistic on a fly rod than I still haven't had an epic battle but I have sure landed some epic fish.

    I usually dig in with 10 or 12 pound Maxima UG and have no problem leading those big fish onto the bank with some side pressure, after they have made their 4 or 5 initial blistering runs.

    Don't try and get a fish in the shallows right in front of you, it will spook. Use side pressure, and swing it into the bank downstream of you and it will end up sitting in the shallows a little confused. This is where you need a buddy who knows how to cradle a fish properly so it doesn't freak out and tell him to sneak up to the fish from behind, put a hand under its belly and one softly gripping its tail, don't tackle it!

    With the right tactics, you should be able to lead those big hot fish into the shallows and have a buddy cradle it for you to get a closeup view before a good release.

    This has worked like a charm for me for YEARS and it only fails when I am alone. I lose a lot more fish when alone for obvious reasons but I usually get a beautiful view before I pop the tippet.

    I think a good point to remember is that it wouldn't be too difficult to put very little pressure on a fish or use too little pound test line and create an epic battle.....I feel this is what many of these epic battles are a result of.