For Noob steelheaders

Charles Sullivan

Active Member
Thank god for archery hunting, or I would have chucked myself off of a bridge last year.
I've taken up hunting too. In my case, elk hunting. I miss steelheading though, especially those wild summers.
The re-intro into hunting has had a rather steep learning curve. I'm more hopeful this year than last though and I was closer last year than the first.
There are lots of similarities in the 2 activities. The search for positive feedback is possibly the most difficult thing to find with both. Last year I had more positive feedback than year one.
Like @doublespey , I truly miss certain places/ times/ rituals etc. The smell of fall brings it all back every year. It truly is a grieving process.

Go Sox,
cds
 

the_grube

Active Member
I got into fly fishing for steelhead 'too late' to experience anything but scarcity. I don't regret a single trip, cast or mend I've made. Hard to think that I might have caught my last North Umpqua summer run fish.

My problems are trivial compared to bigger picture problems, but they sadden me nonetheless.

Carly Simon had a song titled 'These are the Good Old Days'. Its hard to imagine now, but someday in the future people could be pining for the 2010s and 20s as the time when you could still fish for steelhead with a non zero chance of catching.
 

longputt

Active Member
I now have a pointing dog...except for a few holes in the backyard I have no regrets steelheading a lot less. I have a few go to spots at very specific times that produce but the general "put in your hours you'll get fish" days are behind me.

There are more chukars that regret this than steelhead!
 

longputt

Active Member
BTW this thread started in 2014 is it any better anywhere today? Certainly not in my usual haunts.

Fewer fish, smaller fish, reduced seasons/opportunities and a lot more fisherman.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
is it any better anywhere today?
All west coast steelhead migrate to the same north Pacific Ocean. While they all don't migrate to the same parts of the ocean, no part is supporting the higher survival rates that produced good hatchery and wild steelhead runs of the 80s, or even 90s - which we thought was a significant down turn. And oh how we would like to see those "low" marine survival rates of the 90s again.
 

longputt

Active Member
All west coast steelhead migrate to the same north Pacific Ocean. While they all don't migrate to the same parts of the ocean, no part is supporting the higher survival rates that produced good hatchery and wild steelhead runs of the 80s, or even 90s - which we thought was a significant down turn. And oh how we would like to see those "low" marine survival rates of the 90s again.
Is there any correlation to reduction in use of the Skamania hatchery fish? I was always under the impression they were more compatible with our change freshwater conditions.
 

Salmo_g

WFF Premium
Is there any correlation to reduction in use of the Skamania hatchery fish? I was always under the impression they were more compatible with our change freshwater conditions.
Here we have two things going on. First we have reduced ocean survival rates of smolts, say dropping from 5% to less than 1%. That's more than an 80% reduction in adult returns right there. Then we have reduced stocking of hatchery steelhead, Skamania or Ringold Mid-C stock. So now we get 80% fewer of a lower number of stocked hatchery fish, resulting in adult returns that are little more than 10% of what we observed not that many years ago.

Yes, there is a correlation to reduction in stocking Skamania hatchery steelhead, but I don't think that is the causation. The main differences between Skamania and Ringold hatchery stocks is that Skamania fish return primarily as 2-salt adults, and Ringold (along with most Snake River steelhead) return primarily as 1-salt adults, being A-run type fish. Any significant difference in marine survival rates between Skamania and Ringold fish is most likely attributable to length of smolt migration (predation rates may be higher for Ringold) and losses due to passing through more hydropower projects (minimum of 4, maximum of 9 for Ringold smolts).
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top