I had a trip planned for a long time and finally made it. Even took a long a couple newbies and got them into their first steelhead. This time of year you either fish up river for older spawning salmon or downriver for fresh steelhead that act like they are a cross between a false albacore x smallmouth x tarpon. Or at least that's how I like to think of them. Nothing prettier than a fresh, silver rainbow from the lake and nothing more explosive on the end of your line either. These fish fight better in mid to late October than they do any other time of the year.
By fishing downriver we also avoided all the people that give this place horror stories around that time of year. We also managed to find some seculsion up river amongst all the spawning salmon and even a few trout eating some salmon eggs but for the most part we'd accidentially snag half dead salmon which isn't my cup of tea. Maybe when I was 12 but not anymore... so, we concentrated our efforts down river with fewer fish but fewer people.
Anway... I'll let the pictures tell the story. We need to work on photography some. Getting a little too much light in the shots.
The drive up. Snow in OCTOBER???!!!! That wasn't fun. I love it along the stream sometimes but on the roads, no thanks. Not when I'm trying to make record time to get in as much fishing. It makes the trip a "white knuckle" journey.
This is one way to take a picture of a 20 something inch brown trout when you are on your own. She spit up a few salmon eggs when I landed her. Plus her eggs were probably still a few weeks away from releasing. Beads under strike indicators, Alaskan style is what we used up river behind all the spawning salmon.
My best man Diego with his first ever steelhead. I got to be the net man. He did quite well that day too.
My friend par who just started fly fishing this past year. He took a header into the 48 degree river while fighing this fish but somehow managed to hold on. It was strange seeing just a forearm attached to a bent rod against the morning fog.
Diego and Par left a day early because the fishing was kind of slow so my good friend John, (sleepy weesle) and I got to finally put in some real fishing together. We found the mother load of fresh fish down low and played with them for two days before driving home after dark on the final day. 7 hours drive after 12 hours standing on the water is not recommended but wow was it worth it. Here's some of the bounty. Holding onto fresh, slimy steelhead is not an easy task, especially while standing in the middle of the river or using an old dead tree as your perching point.
What a perfect way to finish the day. It was still light enough to make our way back without too much trouble.
Sunrise, no people and eager steel. That ten minutes before legal fishing time can be the longest ten minutes of your life.
John with one of the biggest fish of the trip. Of course we each got smoked by this fish's mother but that's the fish that lives in my dreams and will be waiting for me this winter or next year sometime.