Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Coast Winter Steelhead Rivers Are Getting Low.......

With not much precipitation, the coast rivers have been dropping and getting low and clear. With that, you can start putting your focus on the larger systems that take a long time to finally get into fishing shape. Smaller systems will become low and clear and the fish start to really feel the angling pressure much more easily. Recently, on my last guided trip, we faced these tough low water conditions where it was hard to not spook fish while walking down to the pools, and harder to land them once they got in the rapids and rock gardens. Between the two anglers, they battled with 5 fish, but all of them with the exception of 1 freed themselves on rocks, with headshakes, or areal acrobatics.
Fishing to several steelhead holding in a pool.......
  One fish was a large bright wild male that blasted a huge air right after the hookup, tore right between Dale and I, where I got a great glimpse of this specimen. Then it catapulted a huge air right on the leader where the impact broke the tippet, and it was back off to his early premature freedom. Right after that, Jenn struck to a Thingamabobber dunk with a bright chomer on, that released itself after a few big headshakes levered the hook from its jaws. With redemption from the steelhead gods, Jenn cast back out into the mysterious green flowing slot near the bushes with confidence from the brief chrome encounter, and the very next cast went tight! Fish on again! Yeah!!!
Fish On Tight - Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing In Oregon
It was a crazy battle with the fish, which luckily never ended as the fish "winning", by breaking the line off under the tree that was halfway across the pool. Eventually after many reel zipping runs, the fish yielded and Jenn pulled it in towards the rubber net. I scooped under it and lifted the hoop of the net around this wild beauty, but kept her in the water like an aquarium so we could check her out. 
First steelhead successfully landed! - Oregon North Coast River
We admired this acrobatic female wild winter fish, snapped a couple of pictures of Jenn's first steelhead that she has landed, and let her swim off to continue upstream. I was super stoked that her first steelhead was a wild winter steelhead. That makes it even better! We all gave each other high five's and were stoked! What a day to be out in the warm winter sunshine (oxymoron-but it was nice out for winter), and hooking up with winter steelhead!
Getting the hook out so this wild Oregon winter steelhead can swim on her way
An innocent bystander of the winter steelhead fishing
Dale on tight to a fish!

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