Hitting Paydirt in SW Washington

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Out with my buddy Nate today. Lots of guys on the river but we had a very productive run to ourselves and Nate struck gold.

Nice native winter buck. Any guesses on weight? We didn't tape him or measure him. I'd estimate 32"-34" but a tank!

We took a few good pictures (with breaks to fully immerse the fish in water every few seconds) but never completely removed its' head from the water. He took off quickly (and even nutmeg-ed me for good measure).

I hope the pictures are in good taste!

I personally still haven't gotten a winter fish but with the way I was casting today, I don't deserve one. Anybody know of any decent spey casting instructors around Portland/Vancouver? I know of one but would love more options... perhaps I should just take a guided trip to accelerate the learning process and quicken the learning curve.

It sure helped with my trout fishing...
I can recommend Steve Buckner, He's down your way, 503-939-5819 and www.northwestflyfisherman.com
Steve is an FFF Certified Two handed (Spey) casting instructor. He's also a hell of a fly fisherman and guide.


You guys Scored! Awesome fish! I personally got instruction from Brian Chou a few years back. He is a great caster, instructor, and steelhead maniac. He is down here in Portland and you can find him in here and the gallery under k2flyfisher. He took me out on a run or two and watched me and then from there gave me instruction on what to improve upon with fishing in mind. With other instructors, they seemed to want to start from the very basics and go from there. That just wasn't my style. With Brian, my casting went from mediocre, at best, to zip zap Boom! I'll pm you his number.


Inept Steelheader
Thanks for the heads up. Two of our CCA Banquets are that weekend and I will be out of town at those functions. I'll still shoot Brian an email and try to get a private lesson or two. Thanks guys!


Inglorious Twohander
That fish is over 12lbs ..He's a mule with shoulders on him for sure.

This one was 10 1/2#'s.. Not as big Tylers fish!!


Not to be confused with Freestone
+1 on Steve Buckner. He's a good instructor and a physicist...so he can explain why things work and why they don't. Pass on his homemade chili though, I was tasting that stuff for 3 days.


Inept Steelheader
So many good recommendations. Thanks again all!

With my crazy upcoming travel schedule as the Assistant Director of CCA Washington (you should totally join btw...) I'm going to have book this lesson soon.

The great part of my job will be seeing new water all over our state. I've never been to the OP and I can't wait to visit our chapter in Sequim. I'm sure I'll meet some of our CCA/WFF members in the near future too... and I'll hopefully fish with them!


Oregon Member
I'd guess that you're pretty close on the weight in that 12 to 14 pounds range. The wrist of the tail seems to pull toward the low end of your range, but that deep girth pushes toward the upper. Regardless, it's a beautiful fish and a whole lot nicer than anything I've caught in a while.


Inept Steelheader
Yeah. I was really confused by this fish. It had, to be frank, a small tail. I've caught 7 lb Hatchery Steelhead with bigger tails on em.

This guy had some scarring (high seas gill net or seal?) near the base of his tail (a few inches forward) and I wonder if that stunted the development of it's tail? Who knows... At first I thought it was a hatchery but that's a big adipose and no other fins/maxillary were clipped.

It was caught pretty low on this river (below the hatchery that the hatchery fish stop at) and from what I know, most wild fish are passed above the hatchery... I figured that a fish that a wild fish would jet upstream a ways further before coloring up to that degree?

Let's just say that the rear on this fish sure didn't match its shoulders!