Steelhead or RB?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Brett Angel, Jun 19, 2008.

  1. Brett Angel

    Brett Angel Member

    The other night my buddy and I made a run over to the Upper Yakima. Around 8:30 or 9 I noticed what looked like a riseform in some really fast water in the middle of the river. I didn't pay much attention because it was out of casting range and dismissed it as a figment of my imagination, probably just a bird feeding off of the surface or a rogue splash. About a half hour later I just happened to look in that general direction again and from the spot were I had originally saw the riseform a fish jumped a good 3 feet out of the water. Not just any fish, but a 25-30 inch (guesstimated) rainbow (I think). I immediately started measuring my cast to determine if I could get to the fish, but the wind, drag on fly, and experience limited me to wondering WTF! I've seen some big ass fish in the Yakima, but never that big. My buddy said it was a steelhead because of its size. Fair enough, but this fish had very bright and vivid rainbow coloring.

    I thought steelhead turned a silver/chrome color? Is coloring alone enough to differentiate between a steelhead and a RB?

    For the record, I am completely ignorant when it comes to steelhead and was 4 deep into a 6-pack of tall cans.

  2. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

    Did it look like this?

    Attached Files:

  3. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

    Beer vision!!!!
    Yak is a big river and there are big fish living there. Could have been steel head or RB they are the same only different.
    Sea run or not sea run.
    We all know that there have been some really big RB's caught and released in the Yak.
    Have another tall cool one and dream about hooking that monster.
  4. Todd Baxter

    Todd Baxter Member

    There are also some Chinooks in the Yakima now.
  5. Brett Angel

    Brett Angel Member

    Kerry, I couldn't tell if it had a hooked jaw, but it was darker and the colors seemed to be more vivid, for a lack of a better word. My friend and I did agree it had RB markings.

    Gary, I'll skip the beer vision reports, but let you know if I hook into the big one. Oh yeah, I'll post if I catch that big fish, too.
  6. SteelieD

    SteelieD Non Member

  7. Northlake27

    Northlake27 Member

    The Yak could have Megatrout like the Methow does.
  8. zmays

    zmays New Member

    Fair enough, but this fish had very bright and vivid rainbow coloring.

    I thought steelhead turned a silver/chrome color? Is coloring alone enough to differentiate between a steelhead and a RB?

    Nope. You can't tell the difference. Other than the colors you saw I would put my money on a chinook. Maybe that sun just got to you a little. They like to surface/porpoise in that middle of the water. No one really knows why.
  9. salt dog

    salt dog card shark

    Steelhead are chrome in the ocean, and revert back to their rainbow trout coloration in fresh water. If it had a salmon-like thickness to it, as opposed to a slender trout profile, probably a chinnook. Summer run Steelie's will rise to dry fly's, and porpoise.
  10. Copper Jon

    Copper Jon What a Jim!

    I'm throwing a vote out there for chinook, too. Spring chinook are pushing their way up the Yakima right now and will be there until fall. By fall, they'll look beat (referred to by many as boots) but will still appear somewhat fresh-looking right now. I've seen it many times where a trout fisherman on trout water doesn't really know there are chinook present, they see a big splash or porpoise, and feverishly start casting trout dry flies to the "monster trout"/chinook. "Did you see that?" is usually the most common response.
  11. speyforsteel

    speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    In rivers with both I personally think that if there's spots below the lateral line it's a resident
    I've caught steelhead in the Yakima and I've also caught the big resident hen's there also.
    to me they were very distinct though very similar in sizes:ray1:
  12. Jim Speaker

    Jim Speaker Active Member

    Hm, going back to the original post, I'll vote steelhead or bigass rainbow... I mean, he said he saw distinct rainbow coloration when it jumped out of the water. I'm voting with the assumption that Brett's eyes are working okay and he had not ingested hallucinogens- correct me if I'm wrong Brett :)
  13. Copper Jon

    Copper Jon What a Jim!

    Fish out of the water for 1 second and Brett 4 deep into a 6-pack of tall cansptyd = no idea about the color. Maybe more like "What the %$#@ was that?":clown:

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