Steelhead w/salmon in the river

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Diehard, Oct 5, 2007.

  1. Diehard

    Diehard aka Justin

    Just wondering what everyone's experiences are on this. Do salmon push steelhead out of runs they would normally lie in? If so, does the type of salmon matter? I imagine a larger king would pretty much sit wherever it wants.
    If you are seeing or hooking up with salmon in a run, does that mean you're not likely to find a steelhead or will they hang with the salmon and still hit a fly? I would think that if they are in there, they might be more aggressive since they are constantly fighting for position.

    I was fishing a good run for steelhead this morning and caught a few salmon (a pink & a small king) and lost a large fish that was either a king or steelhead. There were a bunch of salmon down below the run in the shallow faster water and I could see a few others rolling in the run. I kept thinking if I should be looking for other good looking water with fewer salmon in it or if it really matters.

  2. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Yeah, the push them into less than desirable water. Pinks less so, kings definately. You'll usually find the steelhead in faster thinner water, or even pushed into froggy pools. Usually when their that distrubed, it's really hard to get them to bite..... The ones in the shallow water are somewhat receptive, the deep water fish, fagettaboutit...
  3. Capt. Awesome

    Capt. Awesome Member

    I've only witnessed this phenonenon twice- both times on the Kalama under low water conditions October of '06.

    I observed both chinooks and cohos in singles and groups moving through a group of three or four summers. The cohos appeared to initiate contact deliberately with the steelhead causing them to scatter. Whenever a chinook would come through, they seemed to just "know" what was in store and got out of the way.

    It's hard to desribe, but the steelhead just seemed to looked "stressed". I can't explain how- it was the way they held in the water, I guess. It was really quite exhilerating to see 30"+ salmon push around steelhead that were in of themselves quite large as well.

    It's true what they say: "There's always a bigger fish."
  4. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member


    Where I fish, you'll get steelhead every day up until the first chinook come in, then you have to give up dead drifting and swing the skinny fast water to get them. Once the nookies start spawn though, you'll get steelhead going all trouty and catch them on egg patterns behind the spawning pools.
  5. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

    I took a float on the Klick in November and saw the kings really pushing the steelhead into 'non-typical' lies. It was cool to see 20 pound kings in some of the skinnier water.
  6. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    I have actually observed steelhead coming up from behind and bumping chinook in an effort to get them to release eggs. I have found it difficult to swing a fly in behind the chinook without foul hooking them. My method is to use flies tied with light wire trailing hooks so that, should I hook a chinook, I can straighten out the hook and get my fly back. Replace the hook and I'm back in business.
  7. Rob Zelk

    Rob Zelk I swing, therefore i am.

    I agree with the salmon pushing steel into nontypical water. Though that does not mean you should skip the typical water. Just concentrate more on the typical non typical water. haha ;^) ie the less desirable, sometimes faster and shallower water, heads and tailouts, but cover it all none the less. When the salmon are in I really don't fish differently, just expect a steel in the water types mentioned above.
  8. ak_powder_monkey

    ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    I thought steelhead utalized different types of water than salmon, as in steelies like runs and salmon like pools? For what its worth salmon definately move steelhead sized rainbows into skinnier water.
  9. jokes on the salmon since they die
  10. xafisher

    xafisher JBrown

    The only times I've seen chinook force fish out, including steelhead is when they are spawning. for the most part, i think they typically hang out in differnet types of water...ak_powder_monkey...

    I've done a number of snorkel surveys on the NF Stillaguamish and usually see salmon in deep pools w/ an eddy and steelhead in a little faster current usually associated with some structure...large wood. There is definite overlap between the two and the habitats they prefer.

    my 2 cents