First Steelhead on a fly

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#1
Here's a picture of me doing a rather poor job of C&R on my first steelhead on a fly last Sunday on the Klickitat in the dark cold hours of the morning, an approximately 9 lb wild hen. Right out of the truck that morning I stumbled in the dark and fell in, so it was a very cold morning. The fly was suggested to me by Gary's Flyshop: my tie of the Aleutian Prince color of the hareball.

Friday, September 20, I had tried to catch a steelhead in the area around the upper bridge and hooked up a chinook on this same pattern. I was so disappointed, like Homer Simpson searching under his couch cushions for a peanut and disapointed to find a twenty dollar bill. She looked in such bad shape to me. I saw a big white tail and black skin, and I just wanted my fly back. But she eventually went through my 10 lb. leader. I didn't realize until later that the gear guys and the plunkers, perched forlornly on a rock at The Flats, were all hungerly targeting the chinook.

The Gorge Fly shop told me I was a knuckle head for fishing 10 lb.. They advised my to go 12 lb or more because of the possibility of hooking up a king, and that the steelhead weren't that leader shy. I put on a 16 lb. leader and went out and caught this hen. I've fly fished for steelhead for about a total of 12 hours before catching my first one. Seems easier than carp. Now I just want to do it again. I'll probably be forevermore useless as an employee and a husband.

 

pwoens

Active Member
#2
Congratulations!!! I am on my second season starting this weekend and have yet to catch one myself. I hope it does not take 12 years though :EEK . Any hints now that you have finally caught one. How where you fishing the fly, ect...

~Patrick
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#3
Help me Jebus, that's a big jpg! I cropped it and resampled it down to reduce the file size with Fireworks, but the frame size is still so big.

The fly's lead eyes should tell you it's no skater. Goes deep. Mine weigh 2.6 g. and run about 3.5 inch long. The purple mirror flash looks so cool in the water on the retrieve. The Klickitat was running with a slight milkiness, but still 8 ft. of visibility, so you'd thing this fly is too big and flashy for that kind of clarity.

I just picked out a slot where I could cast up and across so it would sink deep, then swing into slower water below me.
 

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
#8
congrats!

But seriously, fishing 16#? I fish 3x for sinking in the winter, and 4x near the surface, and 8 to 12 pound in the winter. 16 sounds like way overkill in my opinion.

Rob
---------
Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#9
You're right, except breaking off one of those 25 lb. chinook has me going heavy. Same fly as the steelhead, so as long as a chinook is a possibility..... And, boy oh boy, that 16 lb. really turns over that
big bushy hareball. However, I did pick up some flouro plus 12.5 lb tippet tonight to go a little more sneaky tomorrow if it keeps clearing.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#10
What do I know---I'm just an old man

I met his dog. And I don't think that he would run from anything. He's one big dog. And Chris where do you get those icons at? I think the one about the drinking is cute.

Jim :THUMBSUP
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#11
An addendum to this story: I was wandering unproductively on the Soda Springs Road along the Klickitat yesterday and finally concluded I couldn't find a easy way to the river along there. So I went farther upstream to where I was fishing last Friday. And there on the bank was my Aleutian Prince hareball that I lost in a chinook two pools up. This really is my lucky fly, I was thinking.

Could have been a good fish story, except on closer inspection, I can see it's not my tie. They used purple marabou in the collar.