Skaters, i was too lazy to type surface instead on dry. It's a bit late to think of those days as good or bad. It's just the way it was.Rob, are you talking straight-up dead-drifted dries? or skaters. I got a few skater fish back then, but never really tried floating a bomber or october caddis. Apparently I missed the boat if that was a thing.
But yeah, the "good-ol' days" are done. I remember seeing a school of at least 200 at the steel bridge hole in the late 70's. Basically a giant whirl-pool of steelhead swimming in a daisy-chain circle like tarpon do. Probably far more steelhead than were ever in the river prior to massive hatchery plants, so maybe they were the not-so-good-days after all.