Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Evan Virnoche, Jun 8, 2014.
lol im like the tmz of fly fishing news
Congrats on a very nice fish! Which with its adipose fin a wild one.
The fish in question is not a half-pounder. The center of the half pounder steelhead life history is the Klamath river basin with them common in northern California and southern Oregon. A half pounder is a steelhead that after smolting spends 2 to 4 months rearing in the estuary or near shore areas only to return as immature fish to over winter in freshwater before returning to the salt for additional growth before returning as an adult steelhead. This behavior is very similar to what we see here on the larger north sound rivers with sea-run cutthroat and bull trout; that is immature sub-adult fish after a short period of marine residency return to freshwater (may or may not be their natal system) to over winter. While half-pounder have been seen in Puget Sound such fish are exceedingly rare.
Daniel's fish clearly is in a post spawn condition indicating that it is an adult thus not a half-pounder. There are 3 life histories that might account for an O. mykiss adult of that size that would be found in a north Sound river. The first would be a 1 salt summer steelhead. Such fish are usually 24/25 inches long though they can vary from as little as 19 inches to more than 30 inches long. Some years quite a few of those one-salt fish in our local rivers are in the 19 to 21 inch range. This time of year a fresh run fish would be chrome bright; the spawning of the wild summer fish is from March to about mid-May so encountering an post spawn adult this time of year is not very likely.
The second life history would be winter fish that returned as a "jack". A male fish that matures a year early returning typically at a size of 15 to 17 inches. These fish are capable spawners and occasionally will survive to return to spawn a second time. Such fish would often be in the size range of Daniel's fish and would expect a small handful of such fish to be found in a health wild population of significant abundances.
The third life history as all ready referred to is the resident form/rainbow. Resident rainbows are becoming more common on some of our north Sound rivers and such fish can reach the size of the one pictured more often than some would think. Our resident rainbows in our steelhead rivers typically mature at age 4 at a length of 14 or 15 inches. They experience much higher post spawn survival than their anadromous cousins (repeat spawner rates at 50% or so). They will often grow 2 to 3 inches between spawning and may survive to spawn 6 or more times achieving lengths of more than 24 inches in the process.
It is most likely the fish in question is a resident rainbow but without a scale sample it would be impossible to say with certainty.
Sucks it's not your first steel, but if it was me I'd be even more stoked to land an awesome wild rainbow like that out of the Sky than a cookie cutter Reiter hatch brat any day!
A 'bow like that in that system is pretty damn sweet. And on the swing!
Back to the drawing board. ..
Nice trout fish, was it on your same fly? If so, I would be fishing with even more confidence next time.
Yes same fly.
Appreciate the kind words everyone. Cant help but be really dissapointed though.
The fact that this was not actually a steelhead is some great interweb news. Not only does Evan look like the fox news of WFF but the Daniel Ocean saga continues. It's been great fodder for hilarity.
Now, I know some of you are thinking that I'm being cold, but this is the internet afterall and no one here is a real person. Since my personal steelhead season won't start up until July at the earliest, I'm looking forward to seeing who can catch a fish first, Danial while steelhead fishing or me, while parenting and salmon fishing (aka fixing the boat motor).
To be fair, the belief that these 18-22" inch rainbows in the Sky system are half pounders is very widespread among anglers, guides, shops, etc. The fishing Fox "news" has done its propagandist duty.
I believe in you!
Buddha. I appreciate the rod sock you gave me. Not only does it fit my rod perfectly but it looks so well built like a bullet proof vest from Tactical Tailor. Wow man.
So the saga continues, Close but no cigar ! Keep us posted on this epic quest for steel....
I missed the pic, Daniel, post it back up. Resi or not, we all love fish pics.
Por que photo removed?
As embarrassed as I am I will post the pic back up tonight when I get home.
Why embarassed? You caught a toad of a resident rainbow. I don't know anyone who'd be ashamed of that.
In an attempt at not throwing this info into the people faces who are calling it a half pounder, I have this to say as politely as i possibly can.
Half Pounders in my experience from Oregon and California are the chromest of the chrome. It is not uncommon for them to have mostly clear fins. The reason I was taught for them being so chrome is simply that they leave and enter the river all season, to feed wherever it is easiest to eat.
I am not saying you guys are wrong and it is completely possible that was/is one, but my vote from my personal experience would lean towards calling that a resident rainbow based on it's appearance.
yah if anything i was the idiot who posted the thread prematuerly before seeing the fish, so it is my fault i jumped the gun for that i apologize.
Seriously look at a year ago when we first linked up, you had no idea about spey rods, you had no fucking idea what holding water looked like, you had no boat and really no clue.
1 year later in the first week of the season you have hooked two fish, that first one was absolute pig fucking steelhead not to mention two outings both resulting in fish (thats a hell of alot more than last year), you now have an idea what water to fish and what holding water is, you can chuck a spey rod pretty darn good for only 10 months of casting, you have a boat that you can take with you now accessing water that most people cant. you have definetly come along way brohamski not to mention your not a tightwad asshole fly fisherman.
So in a nutshell what im saying is your doing things right. continue sticking to your guns of swinging up a steely because it will happen soon, while my faggy ass is tying on a yarnie and bead