My first saltwater steelhead

All this time I thought it was just a local myth, but they really will hit a fly in the salt.

Today at high tide at lagoon point a beautifull wild fish about 8 to 10 pounds made my day. Quickly released, I forgot to check the sex but boy was it bright. It hit a red and yellow Saulk River Shrimp patttern about 50 feet out on the first strip.

Having about five witnesses made things better but I snapped my rod just below the ferule as I lifted the fish up to the point that I could check for a fin and release it. I always carry a spare now.

The wind was not too bad on the north side of the point. Now that I have learned the island a little better, I know there is always a place to hide from the wind.

Now I'm hooked
Congratulations! Now you'll soon be like the rest of us salt addicts that chase silvers and steelhead from Ft Casey to Lagoon to Bush. There is nothing more "chrome" than a saltwater steelhead.


Active Member
Congrats...still have not caught a salt SH. Don't really want to tell you how long I wished to catch one in the Salt.

What kind of rod did you break on this catch?
It was my backup rod. An old Cortland Saltwater 6/7. It wasn't the rod. I was just lifting too hard to get the fish up on the beach. If I had it to do over again, I would have looked closer at the fish to see if it had the fin or not. I guess it was just the heat of the moment. It must have been a hen.

Anyway Cortland will replace my backup for a small fee.
Can't wait to get my first in the salt. Broke my Winston this year on an eight pound silver. Sharp contact with a bow rail, not good. Small fee new rod. Congrats.

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
What a treasure, saltwater steelhead on the fly! I go somewhat regularly and have not yet landed one. Glad you did, only wish I would have been there for it.

Wolverine: Tell us about beach fishing for flatsiders :)

OK I'll play. I've been beach fishing for 30 years. I'm not married to any style of fishing from the beach. I'm one of the guys who goes fishing to catch fish, and will give the fish what they want when they want to play. I'll often have 2 rods with me. An 8 wt fly rod for tossing clouser style streamers, and a long drift rod rigged for drifting a hoochie and spin & glo. Someone once said that beach steelhead are the fish of a thousand casts. True statement as I average a fish every 4 trips. I've prowled the beaches from Ebey's landing, down to Ft Casey, to both sides of Lagoon Pt, to Bush Pt. Most of the time I leave the beach without touching a fish, yet last Christmas Eve day I caught two 8 lb hatchery bucks in 5 casts on a bunny/maribou streamer. This winter season I've landed 7 fly caught steelhead from the beach. 3 hatchery kept and 4 with the extra fin released. I've also caught 6 on gear. My winter season on the beach is from thanksgiving to New Years as thats when most of the hatchery fish move thru. After the 1st of the year the mix is nearly 100% nates. Not a lot of fish moving thru between now and March, but they are a lot bigger than the hatchery dinks.

Thanks for the great information. Not too many people post data on saltwater steelhead here or any place else. It sounds like this season has been kind to you.

I see you toss a baitfish pattern when using your fly rod. Do you get more hookups fly fishing or on gear? Do you fish one more than the other?

My fish hit a shrimp pattern. I always thought that steelhead feed on shrimp more that baitfish. In fact I have never heard of one caught on a herring. Do you have any thoughts on this?

As far as you personal season goes, does this mean that you do not target summer runs? I have heard of one person that fishes a pink? maribou jig under a float into July. If that is true, he can only be fishing for summer runs.