Friday, May 6, 2011

Summer Steelhead Time is Here!

Steelhead numbers have recently been increasing for the Willamette Valley rivers like the Middle Fork of the Willamette, McKenzie, North Santiam, and the South Santiam. Also the Clackamas River should be kicking into high gear with the arrival of fresh summer run steelhead. The early summer steelhead can really make your fly reel scream as your fly line empties out into fly line backing many times when you hookup.

Clackamas River Steelhead with Dry Fly

The early summer steelhead are super vigorous, as they arrive into the rivers very sexually immature. The omega three fatty acids convert into egg mass and sperm sack mass in both the males and the females as they mature while being in fresh water. Due to this, these steelhead are very aggressive and somewhat predictable in their habits. Also they are in the fresh water rivers for about 9 months versus winter steelhead which enter fresh water on a mission to spawn and return to saltwater as soon as possible.

A Chrome Bright Willamette River Hatchery Summer Steelhead

These summer steelhead will move far for a fly, and sometimes they will literally swim 10 feet to destroy your swung wet fly. After they are hooked, many aerials will happen, and your fly line will scream out of your fly reel so fast; that you will have to clear your knuckles in order to prevent bruising them or breaking the fish off. Fly Fishing for summer steelhead is a total addiction, and it can be done with a spey rod, a single handed rod, swinging flies, nymphing flies, etc.

Willamette River Steelhead Caught in the "Town Run"

Fly Fishing for summer steelhead in the Willamette Valley can be everything from a traditional style wet fly swing on a floating line to spey fishing with Skagit Heads and large intruder like patterns. The moal leeches in black/blue or purple/pink are two of my go to colors, and also a fly called a motion prawn in purple with a pink butt is a wonderful out there. A Silver Hilton is a great traditional pattern that works very well on the Willamette River steelhead. The McKenzie River and the North Santiam tend to have colder temperatures; so the fish tend to be more oriented with sinking tips and larger weighted flies. Nymph fishing also works very well on the McKenzie steelhead, and the fishing tends to be a more swing oriented style on the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers.

High Water McKenzie Steelhead

Fly fishing the Clackamas River for steelhead is the trip for you; if you are looking to book a guided trip while visiting Portland, Oregon! If you would like to try the McKenzie River for steelhead while swinging flies, nymphing, or sight fishing, then contact me to get a date booked before they fill up. If swinging a spey rod is what you love, then the Middle Fork of the Willamette is what you are looking for; so get a hold of me to book a guided fly fishing trip for summer steelhead.

Tight Lines!!

No comments:

Post a Comment