Rainbow: Keep up the good work. Keep sharing the pics and keep posting.
Yesterday I drove down to Seaview and visited Rainbow. In fact he caught this fish right after I left his place. We swapped some fly rods. He is a good guy, and should be praised for getting into the sport and for sharing with us his pictures and experiences.
Now to everyone on this site who feels it is their moral duty to virtually destroy the love and passion of those who don't do things exactly as they do: If you really can't sleep at night because you have burning venomous words that need release then write them down and throw them away. Or better yet, why don't you send them to me. I will collect them and put them to print. The book will be found in the fault-finding, soap box standing, self destructive, ignoramus section of the library or bookstore near you. I know few people who are not hypocrites. So you don't have to call me one because I know I am one.
However, I believe your fish is definitely O. kisutch. Here's why:
+ Both pelvic and anal fins show a white-edge. This is diagnostic of spawning coho.
+ No [observable] spots on dorsal or tail fin. Granted the fish is dark (like a well-seasoned salmon ought to be), but a careful examination of the photo with a magnifier reveals spots along the back, but no spots on the dorsal or caudal fins.
+ White gums (i.e., not a chinook)
+ Possesses a salmon-style kype (i.e., a hooked upper jaw). A kype in which the lower jaw is more predominently hooked is characteristic of steelhead.
My first thought was a spawning silver. But by the way it ran and a close look I do think that it is a spawning steely. There were spots on the tail and fins. It was not as dark as it looks. I mean just Look at that beautiful face! caught him in a low level river been there all summer in a hole. witch steel head will do before making there run upstream.
I have to throw in a few thoughts. First, I think this site is a lot of fun and enjoy most everything that is said, even stuff that probably shouldn't be said. It's all fun and good times so let us all lighten up a bit and let everybody just be. Personally, I feel nothing is off limits, which includes criticism, and we can all take it or leave it,
I really enjoyed the identification discussion, even the snide remarks about the fish being so black.
But to weigh in: that fish is a steelhead. I'm not certain from the photo the the mouth has some black parts which would, of course, rule out a steelhead.
I'm going on the shape and look of the face. Silvers just seem to look somehow like silvers. Sounds stupid but it is true. That, my boys, is the face of a steelhead. The general shape of the body, long and skinny as it is, connotes a steelie. The red gill plates also tell me this. If I can be proven wrong, it will shake me up and I'll have rethink all that I know. And while only a short time would be required, it would still shake me up. BOBLAWLESS ROFESSOR
I concur with everything ROBERT B LAWLESS says, except the steelhead ID. Without seeing it in person, I gotta vote Coho. The shape looks like a steelie, but not unlike a Coho, especially a hen that has been slow to enter the river. The pink/red gill plate could be either. I have never ever seen a steelie that black. Except for the hump, where is the hump? The fin tips say Coho. And the white nostrils. Is it fin clipped? That would be one big summer run hatchery steelie. Here is a Cascade River hatchery Coho, doesn't this look like a sililar fish, color wise? And the more I think about it, the more I remember landing hen Coho that looked almost identical to the fish in question, yet maybe a bit smaller. The photo is of a male.
I'm going to withdraw my identification of the fish as a steelhead. The mouth does bother me. There may be some black in there but it is hard to tell. So a Coho might be what it is. I'd sure like to make an upclose inspection since I consider myself as no light weight when it comes to fish I.D. I can tell most salmon by feel with my eyes blindfolded because there is a difference in the tail and the feel of the mouth. ROFESSOR