Steelhead Success!


Just call me Jon
After two unsuccessful trips to the Skykomish earlier in the year, my efforts had yet to be rewarded. I was getting a bit disheartened. The time had now come for me and my father's second annual trip to the OP with Jim Kerr...

With steelhead set as the goal, we met at the Thriftway in Forks at 5AM, on what promised to be a great day for sunbathing, but less than ideal for fish catching. By 7:10AM we had swung a few flies down the Bogachiel, and the sun was in full effect. Water was low and clear, and the fish spookie. At around 11AM, we found ourselves facing a few fish, and we hit them hard.

Cast after cast we watched them give my fly a good look, only to turn away in disdain. Cast, swing, switch fly, repeat. After trying a variety of flies, Jim says "I found this fly upriver an hour ago. I'm not big on orange coneheads, but flies you find on the river are always good luck." With that he tied it on...Cast, swing, BAYUM!!!

Within a split second, my first steelhead was hooked and 50 yards upriver. After bringing him back down, he spied the boat and took off, this time downriver. With a huge leap out of the water, he turned, and proceeded to line me 150 yards downriver past the tailout. With Jim rowing like mad, and me reeling like crazy, we finally caught him up, and I hopped out of the boat. After a few more runs, Mr. Steelie had sewn himself up, and was getting tired. I hopped out of the boat, and after a couple more runs, began to walk him up on shore. A few minutes later, I was rewarded with my first steelhead, a mighty fine hatchery buck estimated between 11 and 13 pounds, and still covered in sea lice!


I've caught big tuna, halibut, all 5 species of salmon and more, but this was the coolest 15 minutes I've ever experienced with rod and reel. I still can't get the grin off my face. Thank you Jim Kerr for putting me on this beautiful fish!
Sweet! Also, I have to agree about flies that you find on the river. Seems like the ones that I find that are still in a fishable condition always turn out to be fish magnets.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
Congratulations. Beautiful fish and excellent write up. How did your dad do? Jim Kerr hooks another steelheader for life!


Just call me Jon
Maybe our chemically dyed flies just need some time in the water to rid themselves of all them stinky chemicals? The fly was definitely not pretty, I'll say that. Thanks for the congrats...I'm definitely screwed. The lady and I have already altered our October backpacking plans to head up the Sol Duc instead. :)

My father is still having nightmares about the blistering run that snapped his line. Zinged him upstream, and he got a little anxious. Awesome for his second time fly fishing though! Tons of trout, and enough of a tease to have him still talking about it, and yearning for more. Maybe I can get him out for some winter action.

Definitely addicted.