First Steelhead outing

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jason Rolfe, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,176
    the beach
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    Well, got out for the first time after steelhead today. I wasn't expecting much, as I've read over and over again how challenging it is, but it was fun nonetheless.
    My brother and I went up on the Skykomish. Some spots were very off color, some not so bad. It's definitely tough finding water when you're limited to wading, but I think we found some spots that could have been good steelhead water. Medium depth, walking speed, etc. We tried egg sucking leeches, big stones, marabous, skunks. And, of course, not even the hint of a bite.
    We had a lot of fun, either way. Got nice and wet, too. After being so used to casting 4 and 5 weights, the new 7/8 weight rod gave me quite the workout. I think I'm going to be heading to the park for a little practice during the week.
    So, the journey has begun. Hopefully later on this winter I might get the chance to post a report about my first steelhead caught. I can only dream...
  2. Will Atlas Guest

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    Jason stick with it. All it takes is one steelhead and you're hooked. Find a couple nice runs you like and fish them religiously. Ron at all about the fly is a good man to talk to, he can usually get you started in the right direction. This time of year is slow. The water is cold, hatchery fish dont bite great and they move through really fast. Keep after it, it will pay off. Good luck, and welcome to the journey.
  3. fishkisser99 Member

    Posts: 96
    Eastsound, WA
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    Keep it up! Lose flies! Sooner or later, one of those rocks will shake its head!
  4. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,813
    Bozeman, MT
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    If ya get bored, try stripping some pink/chartreuse leech patterns deep, because there has to be some chums and possibly silvers left. People targeting salmon do sometimes luck into a steelhead, just like people targeting steelhead sometimes luck into a...steelhead.
  5. frankrutledge Guest

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    I too went out for my first real run at some steelhead and... no steelheads. But, we did get into a mess of chums, two got landed and probably got 4 hooked, plus at least 20 bites. The average was probably 13-14 lbs. which made for something to tighten a line. They where in spawning phase but that's fine, it was a blast. It's
    Tuesday and I went and fished all day on Saturday and my arm still is sore. It's my first time too with a 8 wt. rod, I'm used to a fast action 5 wt., also. On the new 8 wt rod I have two spools, one with a 12' type III sinking tip and a 24' type V sink tip line, it was perfect. I was able to get deep when it was called for and like wise with the 12' not too deep for the shallower ripples. I'm glad to see that someone else is trying a larger rod and feeling a bit sore as a result of it.
    Best regards,
  6. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,176
    the beach
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    Yeah, that 8 wt. is tough. But fun. My brother and I didn't really see any other anglers for most of the day. Which I suppose either means we were really in the wrong spot for fish, or else we were the only ones willing to brave the weird weather and uncertain flows.
    I loved it up there in the hills on sunday though.

  7. Will Atlas Guest

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    not all gear fishermen lack respect. I would say just as many fly fishermen lack respect for the resource. Plus we have an obnoxious tendancy to stand on a soap box and tell everyone we're the best. If the chums you were catching were spawning while you were doing something just as unethical as any gear guy.
  8. KerryS Ignored Member

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    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
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    :hmmm: what was that about a soap box?
  9. frankrutledge Guest

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    Good luck with the steelheading, let me know when you get one, i'd like to hear about it. I will keep you informed if I am able to get one this season too.
    Good luck.
  10. PT Physhicist

    Posts: 3,495
    Edmonds, WA
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  11. frankrutledge Guest

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    I was fishing for what I wanted "steelheads," and what I got where chums, which are legal to catch and keep but I did throw back, of course.
  12. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,884
    Federal Way
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    I think folks are infering that you were catching chum that were on their reds trying to spawn, which typically is considered a no-no.
  13. frankrutledge Guest

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    I certainly didn't come to debate and cause waves, I was simply replying to a thread about ones first experience steelheading. Nothing more.
  14. SeaRun1 New Member

    Posts: 25
    Tacoma, WA
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    As a long time flyfisherman and more recent gear guy from the last few years I can tell you it goes both ways. Alot of gear guys are very respectable guys and you might be surprised how many of them flyfish. However, the amount of know-it-all, holier-then-thou types goes up exponentially once you start grouping by type and I hate to break it to you but these types are more well represented by flyfishing.

    It kills me actually to see this as it's just fishing in the end but whatever. The one thing I disliked about being a flyfishing guide was some of the "purer" flyfisherman. Chase fish according to your own rules but leave the judging and stereotyping for the uneducated shallow ones. It's really just about personal satisfaction in the end isn't it?

    Try having a conversation with some of those gear guys sometime and you might surprise yourself. You may end up meeting someone that knows more about fishing then you and you can learn a little.

    Oh yeah... Usually steelies don't always hang near spawning salmon like AK bows looking for food. The salmon take instinctual offense to that and chase them away. So if your catching Chums while steelheading your in the wrong spot (usually.)

  15. James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Good point! In general look to the (slightly) faster outside seams of where the chums are. Dollies will hang out there and gobble eggs. Also the steelhead chased out need to go somewhere, and that's as a good a spot as any. When swinging near chums like that, just stop the wing as the fly gets close to the froggy water, and you won't accidentally hook as many chums :) A little tip from Matt Burke that I learned!
  16. Will Atlas Guest

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    one more point as well. fishing the mouth of the tolt you are almost gauraunteed to find gear guys. Sometimes a little hike or some exploring is all it takes to get away from that (if it bugs you)
  17. frankrutledge Guest

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    Edited and didn't mean to offend anyone,
    Have a nice day!
  18. Steelie L Member

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    "Try having a conversation with some of those gear guys sometime and you might surprise yourself. You may end up meeting someone that knows more about fishing then you and you can learn a little."


    The best angler I know is a jig fisherman. His ability to read water and know where steelhead are is amazing. Last summer alone, he landed 42 summer runs on the Sky. Needless to say, I fish with the guy anytime he invites me, because I always learn something.
  19. Citori Piscatorial Engineer

    Posts: 1,187
    Federal Way, WA
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    I put in hundreds of hours, literally, before I caught my first steelhead on a fly. I can still count my fly caught steelhead on one hand. But after 40 or so years, I still get the same rush wading into a steelhead run and rolling out the first cast. Keep after it. These are great times, steep learning curves, and some of the best memories you will create.

    Don't let anyone kill your buzz. Keep after it, keep asking, keep learning. Someday, you will have opportunity to help out a new fly fisher. Someday, you will be the experienced one.