Your First Steelhead Experience


Proud to Be Alaskan
it was memorial day weekend one of my dad's 60 year old friends picked me up from school half way through the day and we began a 5 hour drive down to the anchor river for some king fishing. Waiting for the opener we see fish rolling all over the place, kings, dollies and steelhead are rolling everywhere and we were salivating. We fished from midnight untill like 2 the first night when a few people were hooking things one guy had hooked 4 steelies but no kings were to be had, I managed to hook one steelhead or dolly on an everglow fly. We were back out on the water at 10 am the next day, the fishing was pretty hot I was fishing a polar shrimp and a wooly worm the fish hit and quickly wrapped me around a remenent of the last winters giant flood. Me 0 Steelhead 2 finally I started fishing some pocket water where I saw some kings flashing at the bottom so I started fishing it, hooked one king but it got off, kept fishing and hooked into a nice steely on the polar shrimp and brought it to hand. It was a 28 inch fish with beautiful spring colors. Fast foward 6 hours and i have a king on and it like the first steely wraps me around a dead tree, this was a blessing in disguise tough because half an hour later i hooked and landed a 32 inch steelhead in resident rainbow colors, I finally did get my king but after my first 2 steelhead salmon just seem to be important anymmore :D

How bout you guys

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Well, I have two. My first, and my first on the fly.

My first is an easy one to remember, the exact date in fact. Was Xmas morning, and my Dad let me go on his yearly "ritual" to his winterruns on the Puyallup. Hit a very nice 19# hen Xmas morning 1976.

My first fly caught steelhead was about 4 years later on the upper Hoh. Was on a fishing vacation with my Dad, and was allowed to use my deceased uncles beloved Fenwick FF858 with old pflueger work horse. I know I was fishing one ugly fly (was one of my first flies I ever tied on an octopus hook). But it caught the fish.
It was late November several years back, as I was targeting a very late run of fresh silvers on the Buskin on Kodiak. The only other fishermen on the river were a pair of dippers stotting amongst the rocks just below me. It was evening, and the sun was about to retire. It was clear and quiet. A fresh snow had fallen the night before, and it was the kind of cold that is crisp, calm and comfortable. Cold enough for a wool sweater and hat, but not frigid enough to need gloves- like what you see portrayed on a Hallmark Christmas card. I was in the "Canyon" just above bridge 2, below the road, and I saw a pair in the gin clear water sitting below the bunch of silvers I was dealing with. I used an egg pattern that I was carrying just for steelhead, as that's about all they'll take when they're sitting like that behind salmon. Several passes through and a good follow each time, and then finally it took. I was using an 8, so it was a short fight, as Kodiak steelhead aren't known for their size, but nonetheless there he was. Wild and in full splendor.

Take care all,


Only 3 more years until I can think like a fish.
My first fly caught was a couple years before the Cedar closed and was fishing a 6 weight just before dusk on a dry what I thought was a huge bow took my fly, when I landed her to my suprise was a nice 22" steelie. I know that's is pretty small but she got my blood pumpin.

Hal Eckert

Active Member
First on the fly - April 1980 - Pere Marquette River, Michigan - 10 lb wild hen, fly fishing only section, First Clay Banks - on a chartreuse spring wiggler nymph, river was on the rise from heavy afternoon freshet and the fish were a moving. The passion has not abated yet, 24 years later.

First steelie was in 1977 - was fishing with a friend of mine on a small creek in Shelton (Goldsborough creek). I was using a small trout rod. I got lucky and hooked and landed a small buck about 4lbs.

First flycaught steelie was last month on the Klickitat using a small weighted nymph that I generally use in the Yakima for trout. Again was a small hen about 5 to 6 lbs.