24 inch Yak rainbow?

Jergens

AKA Joe Willauer
#31
I'm with everyone else. The top fish appears in my opinion to be a steelhead. The coloration, and the firmness of the body suggest steelhead in my opinion. The other two are very trouty. They've got big old guts and they're profusely spotted below the lateral line. Did you catch it near the mouth of a potential spawning trib?

I would like to see more emphasis on steelhead restoration on the Yak. I think the potential is there for a much larger component of anadromous O.mykiss in that population. Some of the best runs of wild steelhead in that area are in tribs of the lower yak, but for a number of reasons the upper river steelhead (above Roza) are basically at background levels. I've talked to a prominent bio who think the Yakima should be producing a couple of orders of magnitude more steelhead than it is, that would probably involve better passage facilities and some compromises in terms of the hydrograph.

Will
And you thought the wenatchee was zoo when it opened, imagine how many people would be on the yak if it had a descent steelhead run. it would be a frickin zoo!

Dave- I think that the top is a chromer and agree with bdd that the bottom one is not 22 :rofl:
 

ak_powder_monkey

Proud to Be Alaskan
#32
Hi,
The first picture below is of the fish BDD and I came across the other day. It was a beautiful O. mykiss (I'm sticking to resident life history strategy), and an awesome experience when you consider it truely was one of those last cast of the day type moments. It was getting dark and it was my last cast for the day. BDD was walking upstream and out of the corner of my eye I saw my bobber go down, and in the middle of saying something like, "what a spot", wham I set the hook. That fish fought pretty good and had that darned stonefly nymph right in the bottom jaw. I got to thinking after seeing this post, how did it look in comarison to the morphometric traits shown in my other top 3 personal Yakima River rainbows. The last pic is just for fun.

http://www.dreamflyfishing.com/24IncherYAKHOGGForMe-2.JPG
http://www.dreamflyfishing.com/MyUpperYAKSummerHOGGWOWSER.jpg
http://www.dreamflyfishing.com/22inchYAKHogg.jpg
http://www.dreamflyfishing.com/25inchsucker4me.JPG

Do you have pics of other Yakima River rainbow hoggs, let's see em. This is a good discussion, as yes I guide the Yakima River, but wan't to insure we're doing all we can for fisheries conservation.
Tight Lines, and C & R,
David
Steel, Res, Res, gross :thumb:
 
W

Will Atlas

Guest
#34
Jergens, at least if there was a steelhead run on the Yak it would spread the fishing pressure out between Yak, Wenatchee and Methow. Regardless of our fishing interests though, there should be more steelhead in the Yakima. I wonder what the feasibility of fish passage over some of those dams is? The upper cle elum river and some of those tribs are pretty pristine.
 

Yakfish

Dad, Angler, Guide
#35
"David, I'm glad you tuned in as I didn't want to post without your permission. Acutally, the pic where you are smiling is much better:)

My guesses are: first pic is a steelhead, next two are trout (and there is no way the last one is 22...If it was that big, you shouldn't have been one-handing it:)...that's probably what you told your client to make him feel better:)."

BDD, I think you landed/netted that 22 incher for me and snapped the photo. That's that big olle streamer eater from the Upper River a few years ago. We measured it at 22 inches. The picture must be at a funny angle, and I can't help that I have huge massive hands, ha, ha.

Nonetheless, what a great fishery.
 

Old Man

Just an Old Man
#36
Maybe if you would of just said that it was a 24" Rainbow. You could of stayed out of any arguement about what kind of fish it was. They are all rainbows. It's just that some are bigger than others.

And not to change the subject. There are resident rainbows in the N/F Stilly that also get on the bigger side.

So I would say nice fish.

Jim
 
#37
I'm surprised only one person mentioned scale samples...

I've heard from many different fisheries biologists that the only really 100% accurate way to tell if a fish has been to the salt or not, is by looking at scale samples which is similar to looking at the rings of a tree to figure out it's past history.

I would guess that a very bright fish would probably be a steelhead but they darken and take on their 'resident' coloration the longer they're in the river in addition to reverting back to their feeding habits...

at any rate, I'm just surprised that the scale samples haven't really been talked about...

~Randy
 

Chris Puma

hates waking up early
#38
And you thought the wenatchee was zoo when it opened, imagine how many people would be on the yak if it had a descent steelhead run. it would be a frickin zoo!

Dave- I think that the top is a chromer and agree with bdd that the bottom one is not 22 :rofl:
prediction: 4 page article in Northwest Fly Fishing Magazine with real sized centerfold of the controversial 22 inch fish
 

Lex

Active Member
#39
first off thats 18-20 inches and not 22.5 :rofl: second its a resident note the spots under the lateral line.
Player hater. I have big hands and was wearing gloves. That said, I drive a small car ;) So size doesn't matter, does it?

Powder monkey, this is a 19 inch bow taken from the exact same spot during spring time on the upper Yak.

http://www.washingtonflyfishing.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=15780&ppuser=6158

This spot seems to hold a lot of big fish. I hooked in to one the previous day that appeared to exceed the size of 22 inches but lost it as it jumped out of the water. All the other guys in the family have at one time or another caught a big fish out of that hole. The sopt is in a residential area so it doesn't get pounded by walk-in FFers is the only thing I can guess..
 
W

Will Atlas

Guest
#41
I've heard from many different fisheries biologists that the only really 100% accurate way to tell if a fish has been to the salt or not, is by looking at scale samples which is similar to looking at the rings of a tree to figure out it's past history.
Scale samples are really useful, mostly for aging fish. We can then infer if they've been anadromous because obviously an anadromous fish will have a greater length/age ratio given the more productive foraging conditions in the ocean. Another way of determining the past migratory history of a fish is called Otolith microchemistry. The otolith is the ear bone of the fish and when a steelhead or other salmonid spends time in the ocean it accumulates a certain strontium ion at much higher levels. Only problem with otoliths is you have to cut the fishes skull open to get them, so its not so good on depressed or endangered populations.

If you ever catch a fish around that size take a couple scales. seriously. you have to take them from just a little ways behind the dorsal fin and around the lateral line. These are the oldest scales on the fish and consequently will show record of its entire growth history.

Will
 

chadk

Be the guide...
#42
If you ever catch a fish around that size take a couple scales. seriously. you have to take them from just a little ways behind the dorsal fin and around the lateral line. These are the oldest scales on the fish and consequently will show record of its entire growth history.

Will

Not something we really want the average joe fisherman doing... especially if the fish is an EAS listed steelhead - heck, even if it's just a nice big wild yakima bow. Good C&R (or even CPR) should not include amatures trying to take a scale sample. It was nice fish - leave it at that, handle as little as possible and let it swim. Let the bios do the river surveys and samplings....
 

Dave Hartman

Strip'n Flywear
#45
If you ever catch a fish around that size take a couple scales. seriously. you have to take them from just a little ways behind the dorsal fin and around the lateral line. These are the oldest scales on the fish and consequently will show record of its entire growth history.

Will
While I'd agree that we probably don't want to be flaking scales off our fish, it's still an interesting topic. Will, what does someone do with the scales once they've got 'em? Who do you take them to to find out more?