Milestone steelies

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Sean Beauchamp, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. After seeing the Thompson thread I thought to myself how someday I would like to shake hands with a Thompson steelie. I've heard the tales and the combination of the setting and the genetics of the fish make them sound special and therefore something id like to experience in my lifetime. All wild fish are special in my book and I'm thankful for every one of them regardless of location but I guess in my mind I have a few special fish on my to do list...

    I never fish the stilly for steelhead and to me a deer creek summer fish is at the top of my list. The history of the river makes those tough little survivors something worth cherishing. Maybe next year I can break outta the routine and try to rise one of those special fish.

    Right on the heels of that would be a wild skagit winter fish. Our season at this point is very limiting but the opportunity is there. That's another river that gets little effort from me maybe once a year, but every time I step into the flow I reminded why that river has captivated so many anglers over the years. Amazing river system! I'd love to hold one of those fish.

    Enough of me, curious what some of y'all have to say. What special fish do you wish to cross paths with someday? Whether its the location, or the technique or maybe just your first. Lets hear it!
    Pat Lat likes this.
  2. My highest on the list was a wild Skagit winter fish, which I achieved last season. It was everything I hoped for. I even ran the full Skagit-born system with a Skagit head, T-14, and an Intruder.

    The Deer Creek fish belong at the top of the list as well, but like you, it's a tough thing to put in the routine to pull off.

    Now, I finally need to actually land a fish over the 20lb mark. Hooked a few, and they all schooled me.
  3. Being fairly new to the steelhead game, every one is still special to me :)
    PfleugerPhister likes this.
  4. Any steelhead on a waked/popped/dead drifted dry fly.

    A Dean chinook on the fly.

    A springer on a swung fly.
  5. They never stop being special
  6. hmmmmmmm, winter run topping 20 lbs on the swing would cause me to nut, right then and there.
    troutpounder and David Dalan like this.
  7. likewise
  8. Milestones?

    How about catching a steelhead every month of the year?

    Or maybe a sweep, like on to a dead drift dry fly, waked/skated dry, a damp fly swung, and a deep sunk wet fly swung? All on the same day, or same river, or same month, or season, or some other boundary?

    I think a fish weight, like the 20 pound mark, is less meaningful than many fishermen seem to assign it. First, a steelhead can't help how large or small it is. And different stocks of fish have different mean weights and weight ranges. For instance, I think a 20 pound steelhead from a CA river is more meaningful in terms of its rarity than a 20 pound steelhead from the Babine, Kispiox, etc. So ya' caught a 20 from the Kispiox, whoop dee doo. There are lots of 20s in that river. A 20 from the Trinity, now that would be a big deal.

    If I were to add a steelhead milestone to my resume', I think it would be a fish from Kamchatka. And maybe CA, since I've never fished there.

    JS likes this.
  9. I have been fortunate enough to catch way more than my share of north Puget Sound wild steelhead including a number of exceptional fish from several rivers. That said when I picture a wild steelhead in my mind or dream of my next fish it is always the region's most prefect steelhead - A Deer Creek wild summer taken on a skated dry. That fish is always chrome fish with just the tinest blush of pink on its cheek.

    If I were ever to break down and have a replicate made it would be a 24.5 inch Deer Creek wild summer. All I would have to do would be look upon it to picture all that a steelhead can be!

    KerryS, Sean Beauchamp and Jeff Dodd like this.
  10. 1,000 Pound Club-In High School, we had a 1,000 pound club, the combined weight lifted in the bench, squat and deadlift. I'd like to modify it to steelhead fishing.

    10 fish a day for 10 days, averaging 10 lbs each.

    As a member of the former, I'd prefer to be a member of the latter.

    An absolute chrome teener Skagit fish is pretty hard to beat for local fish. Be pretty cool to catch a Dean fish. And Kamchatka would be special too.

  11. I think its cool to set Steelhead goals and in those goals rivers an angler wishes to fish. Steelhead live in such cool places, its so fun to visit and hook into a fish in those wonderful settings. I look at it more of time mile stones - If I could set a time mile stone, it would be on the Skagit. That great river is so fun to fish in February, March and April - the change of late winter to full on spring - the smells of grasses, the trees and even shedding off a couple of layers of clothes through those three months is so nice being a Steelheader. The fish are powerful, hard to catch but live where they should and that system gives an angler such water options to fish. Long bars, rock gardens and many "stops" that are hard to find - giving an angler a great sense of adventure.

    In 2012 the Skagit got back approximately 6,185 fish returning to its system - a good start and my hope is I am able to fish a few more springs in my life on that system. I would just take a February or two.

    Good posts and good idea topic Sean
    Charles Sullivan likes this.
  12. a skagit wild winter would be at the top of my list too. had some opportunities back in the 90's but never got the grab. even before this thread i have thought of making a trip back over there just to soak in the river and experience the history.

    the best part is when a milestone gets met. for me it was a summer run river that i had always known about but never fished. i had heard stories and it had always been on my list. first trip i hooked 4 and landed 2 in about 2 hours of fishing. next trip nothing, and then the last trip topped it all with a beautiful native on a dry fly where i couldn't get the take out of my head for the rest of the day. it is now becoming a yearly trip that never grows old.

    keep reaching for those milestones.
  13. A winter Run on a dry fly. However, I could settle on a 40 inch Babine steelhead on a dry.
  14. Coastal winter steelhead on a surface fly behind the gauntlet. core points = number of boats fished through x 2. Sound fair sean?
    Evan Burck and constructeur like this.
  15. I would like to move past that magical 40" mark, either with a Washington winter fish, a wild B-Run from the Clearwater, or a Skeena system fish. I got one on the Kispiox that was close, and I have tailed two well over that mark, but I've yet to pass it myself. A 40" Skagit or Sauk winter buck would be about the most incredible thing that could happen to a guy who swings flies for steelhead.
  16. I'd like to qualify that I am not incredibly proud of my near 40" Kispiox fish....I would much rather land a fish of that size in WA.
  17. I don't generally make fishing goals regarding fish caught. My goals are generally to fish certain amounts or to fish certain rivers. I have goals this year but I can't give up what they are as they are the names of rivers.

    Size and numbers defeat the purpose of steelheading. As Curt said I feel as though I'm fishing for the fish that exhibits the charecteristics that make steelhead the last thing I think about at night (assuming all other fires have been put out).

    It's that fish that's willing...that fish that doesn't require being punched in the face by a lure under the influence of a chunk of lead. That's the goal. The goal takes us to the places we love. So if there is a goal it's to take them in new places. I'm gonna take them while flyfishing assuring that they are the fish I think of as special.

    It is the next fish that I crave. It will be taken on a swung fly, or possibly a deadrifted dry (if so likely by accident). No matter where it's from it will please me. If it's on this years list of new rivers it may please me more. Either way, I'll take out my ladies to celebrate and order the wine for good measure.

    One other thing I search for is to be satiated. Until very recently I had never been truly satiated, steelhead wise. This fall, one day I truly felt like I had hooked enough fish for the day. I suspect I had hooked less fish than many of you have hooked in one day, especially you SOB's w/o kids or who have those eastside streams dialed. Given the location, amount of action and company, I actually felt satiated. It was quite peaceful. I hope to get there again.

    That one day I got to watch my fishing partner fool around with a player. Oh, what a joy to watch a steelhead be at it's best with no pressure to hook it. Hell, I had no chance to hook it. I was nothing more than an interested third party.

    So when I think of goals, I suppose it is to be there in that place again, satiated...observing a steelhead behave in the manner that makes it great.

    Go Sox,
  18. How about the one I lost last Saturday! Fish took on my first cast on a current seam, I had about 1/2 my skagit flight head out and a pile of running line at my feet. That fish first came right at me, then turned and headed for Puget Sound. I burned my finger on the line trying to keep it from wadding up in the guides. The thing jumped and somersaulted a couple of times and then continued on down the river. Backing was running off my reel and there was no way I could follow because of the deep pools below. I tried to palm my reel and the handle smashed into my finger tip causing it to turn purple overnight. That fish broke off shortly after and all I ever saw of it was the slightly olive spotted back as it came toward me and then the bright chrome side as it turned away.

    I've had my share of Deer Creek fish off the NF Stilly. I would love just one more on a skated deer hair fly though. Or maybe 2 more.
    stilly stalker and JesseCFowl like this.
  19. Interesting thread. I have been lucky enough to have reach most of the milestones talked about here. One might be the same as Salmo's, catch a Kamchatka steelhead. I have caught steelhead in CA, OR, ID, WA, AK, and BC. I have caught the mythical 40 incher and many Deer Creek fish. One thing I was after a few years ago that still eludes me is a Skagit slam; steelhead, bull trout, and searun cutthroat in the same day. The pairing of steelhead and cutthroat seems to be difficult.

    What I am interested in doing now is to photo document steelheading on the Skagit. I have lost interest in catching steelhead but seem to have gained an interest in photographing fly fishing for steelhead and the people that participate. Over the past couple of years I have almost completely stopped fishing for steelhead in the Skagit River and thinking about last year I don't think the sled was in the Skagit chasing steelhead one time. With the shortened season I am planning on being out as much as possible shooting those that fish the Skagit. May be the last time I will be able to do it.
    Dan Cuomo and JesseCFowl like this.
  20. Sauk river 20#er (I have so few steelhead per hour spent fishing this river, its become kind of an obsession) I really want it to come out of the hole where the Whitehorse dumps in so I can see it all happen
    N. Umpqua steelface on a skater
    Nooksack 20#er (lost a few MONSTER STEELHEAD on the Nook in my time, never landed a Nooksack fish over 36") Maybe the hardest hitting steelhead Ive ever hooked
    Ive got over 200 Deer creek fish to my name, but Id love to take one on a true dry fly dead drifted. Never done that
    North of the border steelhead- Never been north to catch one, on my bucket list
    Samish river high stick nymping steelhead-no indicator.

    I have a few Stilly slam days under my belt - steelhead, bull trout, cuttie, and chinook/coho/chum in the same day
    I want a Pitt river slam or a Dean river slam though
    TD likes this.

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