20 lb. class fly caught steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Steve Buckner, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

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    The day started off just like any other, waking up early, grabbing a cheap cup of coffee, and driving like a mad man to to one of my favorite Olympic Peninsula rivers. Given the tide series, the time of year, and the recent rain, fishing conditions and opportunities would hopefully be about as good as it gets.

    After jumping in the drift boat and floating about 100 yards, we start to notice a couple of pockets that looked promising. The three of us pick our runs, I take what is left and head upstream and fish a small seam with my Sage 7141 and begin to swing my fly. As I fish through, I keep getting small tugs, most are very "smoltish". After about a half an hour, I get the solid grab from a steelhead and watch as the fish begins it's turbo propulsion up river. I watch the end of my fly line go through the tip-top as my fly line cuts through the water. A few more moments pass and I yell down river to my mates, "I've got a good one"!

    I'm at least 150 feet into my backing now and the fish is rocketing up river and crossing to the other side. I begin moving upstream as quickly as I can, making sure not to step too deeply into the river and being sure not to trip. My rod is bent to the maximum and I'm wondering if I'll ever have the chance to see this beauty up close. I've had a few fish throw the hook when they cross to the other side and I was definitely afraid it may happen at any moment.

    As my arm begins to burn, I finally turn the fish and begin to make progress in bringing him back to the same side of the river I'm on. Finally, after a good battle, we were able to tail this fish. I was extremely careful to not drag this fish onto the beach and to get these shots as quickly as possible. We were careful to not remove this fish from the water, I just lifted enough to get a facial shot.

    We estimated this fish to be somewhere near 40 inches in length. I was so anxious to get this fish back in the water that we did not take any formal measurements, but the 3 of us estimated this fish to be somewhere around 20 lbs.. It is a fish I'll always remember!

    About an hour later, I had the fantastic fortune of hooking another steelhead, another buck, in the 15 lb. class. The second photo is of my fish being held Jerry and Jay.

    Some days just work out better than others... ptyd
     

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  2. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones flytosser

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    Nice job! That's a beauty. Thanks for the story and the picture.
     
  3. Brent Comer

    Brent Comer Member

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    Wow! Awesome, Steve. Great story, nice picture! :thumb:
     
  4. Ron Eagle Elk

    Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

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    Steve,

    Great story and extra great pic.

    REE
     
  5. mike doughty

    mike doughty Honorary Member

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    That's frickin awesome steve, outstanding fish.
     
  6. Big K1

    Big K1 Large Member

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    Nice!!!!!!!!!
     
  7. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

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    Great job, Steve. But it does not surprise me because of the way you fish.
    What a beautiful, Nate. I just wish other guides in the area would release fish as you do. We need that baby in the river. When he charged upstream, I knew you had him. Had he gone down, well, we just might have heard another "fish story."

    What fly were you using? Do you think the taps were not smolts but the big fella?

    Bob, the Wish I had been there to see it all. :thumb:
     
  8. Lostinwater80

    Lostinwater80 New Member

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    What a beaut! Thanks for sharing. :beer2:
     
  9. Luv2flyfish

    Luv2flyfish Another Flyfisherman

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    Again, Congrats Steve! That was a great fish and very, VERY worthy of the toast of "Spey Side Highland." Lets hope he makes his way on up river and drops a little seed if you will. Good Genetics! :beer2:

    Jay
     
  10. willieboat

    willieboat Member

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    Way to go Steve!
    Come on now, no location. But fly, line, how you were holding your mouth, that sort of thing.

    Don
     
  11. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

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    Bob/Willieboat,
    The fly I was using was a #4 orange/black general practioner tied spey style. I just love throwing long casts with my spey rod and swinging flies for steelhead. Both of these fish were caught on a 7 weight, 14 foot rod - Sage 7141. I was using 12 lb. maxima, I'm not a fan of flourocarbon for a number or reasons. I was able to land these fish in short order, something I'm not sure I would have been able to do if using flourocarbon.

    As for the other bumps, some were definitely smolts, but I'm somewhat certain that I had been tapped a time or two by a steelhead. It's going to be a long time that I have a day like that again.
     
  12. weekend warrior

    weekend warrior Member

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    wishin i was there right now
     
  13. Steelie Mike

    Steelie Mike Active Member

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    Awesome job Steve! It is good to hear that the teacher of fly fishing can get out and school the steelhead for us. :beer2:
     
  14. Jay Allyn

    Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

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    That second one sure is a beuty!

    Oh and which river was that again? :p
     
  15. doublespey

    doublespey Steelhead-a-holic

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    Bravo!

    Not only for the fish but for maintaining that magnificent fish's health as your priority.

    It's easy to get a little :eek: crazy :eek: around big steelhead - i've seen some pretty sad/comic episodes on the river.

    So a well deserved congrats - thanks for sharing the pic and story.

    Doublespey