Introduction & First Summer of 2013


Have camera, will travel...
Greetings! I live in Portland, Oregon and mostly, I just fish for steelhead. Every year about this time look forward to the arrive of the 1st summer steelhead of the year. Grabby, glowing bright and hard fighting, IMO spring run summers are the best fly rod fish around.

Last week on April 4th I landed my 1st one this year, beating last year’s mark by a two full weeks. I couldn’t be happier if I was stranded on a tropical island with Cindy Crawford.

My day started off with a good omen. After launching and running upstream, I pulled over to this spot where a buddy got a nice winter run last month. While netting his fish, I lost a new pair of sunglasses (cheap ones, mercifully). Well, get this; a full 10 days later I pulled the boat over, dropped anchor, hopped out into the shallows, looked down and right in front of my boots was my lost pair of shades. Score!

Here’s AJ’s steelhead from last week. It really made his Hardy reel scream long and loud!

We fished this run, then another, then ran up to a favorite run of mine that everyone else seems to like too. Luck was with us, and it was open.
There were three of us fishing today. Steve & Dave H went downstream & I hung out upstream. After a few minutes, Steve said he saw one roll not far away. We all swung through the run—nada. The place felt fishy so we decided to make another pass. This time I decided to rig up the speydicator nymph-a-bomber setup because earlier this week I drew a blank while a couple of my gear fishing buddies SLAYED THEM on beads under floats “out in the deeper water.” About halfway down the bobber went under and I landed a nice winter run about 8lbs that put up a strong battle. It was a hatchery fish and we were going to keep it, but between pulling the hook out and trying to get it in the boat the slimy bugger fell back in the water and was gone in a flash. Still, we got one. High fives were exchanged.

Dave working the top end:

Feeling satisfied, I sat in the boat, ate a snack and asked myself “why didn’t I bring any damn beer???” while watching my buddies pound the water.

After a while, I saw a slashing rise towards the top of the run. I pointed it out to Dave H but he waved me off and kept working downstream. Taking the cue, I grabbed my spey rod, the proper model with a Skagit head & small leech fly, and started swinging the top of the run. I didn’t get too far. On about the 10th cast, the fly came round and was a few degrees shy of the hang down when a steelhead slammed it and took off. While it didn’t jump much, that summer fish was strong as hell and ran like crazy, making a couple good long runs and in general refused to give up.

Here it is. 1st summer run. Hope more are coming soon!


Have camera, will travel...
I fished the Clackamas River again after work last night. Water was up a bit, looked perfect for swinging the fly but no grabs from Steelhead. There were a ton of 9" long smolts inthe river that bumped the heart rate up for a few seconds though. That's steelhead fishing. All in all a good time as long as you don't expect to catch one every time out.

Only On a Fly, I'm going to Islamorada next month to fish for Tarpon for the 1st time. Going with a buddy who's done this before & while I'm not sure how we're fishing, it's probably with gear. The only plan details I'm truly grasping at this time is that we have a cheap motel within walking distance and Woody's and that basically, we're just going to fish really hard for 5 days.

Huffman, didn't know who Jenaveve Jolie was so I googled her. I'm guessing I'm a bit older than you and that your PPV bill is much higher than mine. Much higher ;)


Active Member
Great post! Teach me something.. how did you know it was a summer run? What are the tell tale characteristics?



Have camera, will travel...
Hey Lex, here's a picture of three summer runs and a winter run. This time of year Summer Runs are so bright they kinda jump out at you. Sorry it's a gear shot, but it is recent (taken yesterday).


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