That's a great pic demonstrating summer "river maturing" vs winter "ocean maturing' fish- the summer buck is skinny and the bright hen is plump. what is the river/return scenario of the fish you hooked?
Man I have to say that is one of the coolest steelheading pictures I have seen. The buck isn't really that skinny, it looks like it has been gutted as compared to the winter run that hasn't. What river was this feat accomplished in?
Thanks for the comments guys. I caught the dark fish while Halycon caught the bright one. I am not sure about the return scenario for fish. However I have been told there are about 40k plants o summer to about 80k plants of winter. The location is in SWW.
I ended up giving the dark fish away. It was brighter when still alive as seen in the other pic. However if I have taken it home it probably would have ended up as fertilizer. I hate killing hatchery fish, but I feel it is a moral obligation to remove them from the ecosystem. It fought great for a dark fish.