Annual Bonneville passage thread/thoughts

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Klickrolf, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. docstash

    docstash Member

    The same Hatchery Steelhead that are planted in the Klickitat have been booming in the Great Lakes since their introduction. If you took all the calls from back east that I do you would be shocked to hear the daily average number of steelhead caught. A gentleman that I talked to last week and have for a couple of years been supplying two handed rods to for both himself and his wife, says a mediocre fisherman like his wife can catch over 20 a day. He takes two weeks and fishes NY state every year.

    The Habitat on the upper Klickitat has to be quite an improvement to the spawning habitat of the Great Lakes, the difference is the food chain and predation where they grow to adult size for the spawning journey.

    Are there commercial nets in the Columbia that should have been stopped years ago, yes. Are the Native Tribes over fishing, yes. Is the Klickitat full of non native Salmon, yes.

    Not being a scientist I have no proof or studies, just word of mouth.

  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    Most GL tributaries are poorly suited to the natural reproduction of steelhead. The ones that are well suited are very productive. There are at least two factors favoring GL SAR. They are the lack of mortality associated with freshwater to saltwater transition and back again, and the far lower abundance of estuarine and marine predators.

    In order to catch over 20 steelhead a day, there first must be more than 20 steelhead present in the section of river being fished. We have a fish abundance problem here in the PNW.

  3. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

    I have to disagree. I believe that you can catch 20 a day with only about 13 present, as long as you release at least 7.
  4. docstash

    docstash Member

    Even better in that 20 a day steelhead, the non native brown trout to 15 pounds are incidental.

    stilly stalker likes this.
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

    touche' Jim! What was I thinkin'?!!
  6. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

    The counts have doubled in the last 5 days. 2039 went over yesterday. The bad news is the river temperature, now at 65, is within a few degrees of thermal barrier levels.
  7. golfman44

    golfman44 Coho Queen

    Why do people care about adfluvial great Lakes Rainbows do much? I catch my fix of those up at pass lake every now and then when I get bored.
  8. Probably because those GL fish originated from the very same hatcheries as fisheries that are currently in the shitter. Seems pretty normal for people to wonder "what the hell"? Might wanna check out the definition of adfluvial, I'd be surprised to find any of those in pass lake.
  9. golfman44

    golfman44 Coho Queen

    That clearly went over your head, nevermind.
  10. Indeed, could be the numerous bourbons that went into my head this evening.
    golfman44 likes this.
  11. Klickrolf

    Klickrolf Active Member

    Keep looking...
    Go down to "Options" and click on the 10 Year Averages box.

    Check out the wild steelhead numbers compared to the 10yravg, more of us might actually hook a wild steelhead this year.

    Silverfly, warm Columbia temps make cold water tribs attractive... I like strays and always appreciate visitors.

    Edit: Strays are usually visitors of the scaled variety...people are welcome too.
    SilverFly likes this.
  12. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    I'll be giving you a long overdue visit this year, Rolf. Taking some out of town guests down that way for a nice float. Fishing is going to be the bonus of being there.
  13. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

    I like strays too, and may make it up your way later in the season. I especially like strays before they have a chance to stray. There are some spots where clear intermediate lines can be very useful fishery management tools for that purpose. I also like to use circle hooks since they make it easier on the 2 or 3 wild fish sorted through for every brat that ends up in the cooler. Looks like it might be a "bad" year for that.
  14. Dustin Bootz

    Dustin Bootz Team Nate

    Are those sockeye or steelhead i can't tell them apart
  15. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

    It's hard to tell sometimes, but you can usually see the forked tails of the sockeye vs. the square tails of the steelhead. Also, the caudal peduncles ("tail wrist") of the socks are much more slender. And lastly, while these are all very bright fish, the line between the dark back and chrome sides is more sharply defined on the steelhead - as I see anyway. Just like the one in your avatar.

    Not that confusing them will be a problem much longer with the sockeye counts dropping off. Give it a month and the next ID problem will be telling some of the B-run steelhead from the chinook.
  16. jwg

    jwg Active Member

    Circle hooks.
    I have used circle hooks for trout, especially trolling with kids that don't have a good sense of setting the hook or maintaining tension yet, and bass.
    I have not swung for steelhead but plan to.
    As I have heard others speak of waiting for the fish to turn before setting the hook, I think I can see how circle hooks would work.
    feel free to elaborate.
  17. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

    Haven't tried them on the swing yet. I'm using them mostly for intermediate line fishing in stillwater trib mouth areas. I started using them after I had a couple fish actually inhale flies past the gill rakers and come in bleeding (fortunately both were clipped but could have easily been nates.) They also help immensely with avoiding foul-hooking in areas where fish are concentrated - which they can be at times.

    You are correct in that NOT setting the hook is the key, but is hard to do sometimes. Especially if you've been stripping line for hours with no takes, you're day dreaming, and then you get a grab that almost rips the rod out of your hand. If I'm paying attention, I let the fish take the fly and come tight by themselves as they turn. Once I feel the weight of the fish, I might lift the rod and give it a little snug, but generally they hook themselves. And really well, which is surprising since I'm only using sizes 6 -10. It still amazes me to see a trout sized hook consistently buried in the corner of the mouth of a fish that can weigh 15lbs or more.

    If I were using them on the swing, I'm not sure I'd do anything other than dropping a loop on the grab to give the fish time to turn. Maybe a bigger loop than normal, but basically just coming tight to the fish beyond that. No need to "set". Once the hook finds the corner of the mouth these hooks seem to seat themselves normal fighting tension. Very secure hookup if done right, and easy on the fish.
    jwg likes this.
  18. Slipstream

    Slipstream Active Member

    Take one of your circle hooks on a leader and put the hook in your hand. Close your hand around the circle hook (making a fist) With your other hand slowly pull the leader straight up. When the hook is near the top of your hand pull the leader downward causing the hook to turn and catch the point in your finger. The same thing happens when the fish turns after the take. Tom
    jwg likes this.
  19. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

    So, how many fisherman think that after limiting the stocking numbers of steelhead that there would still be great numbers over the dam? I really don't think we will ever see numbers of the 90's and early 2000's over the dam again, but I do hope I'm wrong! It would be nice to get an average of 400,000 to 600,000 wild (not native) fish over the dam a year. Cross your fingers!!!

    So 1.2 million Chinook went over last year and expecting a bigger return this year. I know what I will be fishing for most this summer. Although I will play with a bunch of stillwater steel this August I will switch to Chinook first week of September and not look back! 70 Degrees is the magic number to stack steelhead and salmon in these coldwater (stillwaters) above the dam. I have friends hooking 10 a day on average right now in the Columbia right above the dam, but not fly fishing.

    A Mild spring always means a little later turn into coldwater fisheries for that year!
  20. sk8r

    sk8r Member

    I think not only that, but if we limited the stocking numbers of hatchery steelhead, then much fewer wild fish would get eaten by predators like cormorants, pike minnows etc.