Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Short Summer Steelhead Video - Fall PDX Steelheading 2015

I attempt to make the blog educational when possible, and this video is a great example of a method of how to possibly work a steelhead spot. In this case it is the fall and the water was as low as it gets, but cold and nice for a probable steelhead bite. Fall is the time of the year around the Pacific Northwest when steelhead really like to play. Anywhere you have summer steelhead, and holding water like tailouts, heads of pools, or run that are a few feet deep or less, you can try this method out.

The first thing I like to do in the example of the river in this video is to skate a dry fly, and I do it because the fish may come up and eat it, and often they boil after it even if they don't chomp it. On other rivers I skate dries, but it may be more "spot" specific, and much of that is my confidence in the "specific spot" I am fishing. I tell people when they are choosing steelhead flies, "You can't get steelhead on surface skaters, unless you fish with a surface skaters." Reality is that some rivers are better for steelhead dry fly fishing than others.

In this video I have a cast that lands near the right bank far into the tailout, and when it lands a steelhead boils and then splashes water at the fly. I cast several more enticing presentations into the same area of the spot, but the fish never commits to the fly, nor does it even show itself after the first time it gave its location up.

The next thing I do is reel up the line to short again, and I put on a subsurface purple wet fly. A few swings into the spot, and the line tightens up with a feisty small steelhead on which the click and pawl reel screams with some radical line peeling runs. After the fish was landed I went back out to the same exact rock and stood there stripping line exactly where that first fish ate my fly. I then started working through the tailout like the first fish never even touched my fly. I knew the fish that boiled on the dry fly was farther back in the tailout, and the first fish was likely a "bonus fish". As I worked my swings farther down the into the tailout, my fly landed near the bank where the fish boiled and splashed my dry earlier. As the fly swung off the bank, my line tightened up with a head shaking life to it. There was a fish right where it revealed itself with the dry fly earlier.

The fish tore me up, and make some serious runs all over the shallow wide pool. It was a real hoot fighting this fish, and seeing it light up my reel several times. Woo Hoo!

Two fish in one tailout is not bad; especially considering the summer steelhead run of 2015 is the lowest count on record. What I also noticed were the fish counts at Willamette falls went from approximately 30-90 fish per day for a few weeks, and that meant fish were coming into several rivers. Even though the fish counts were not high, if you take several weeks of fish adding up, with little angling pressure, the equation starts to add up to enough fish around to have fun with. It just shows what steelheading can be like when nobody is pressuring the fish, and it is fall. A low fish run with light fishing pressure can offer some good sessions. Fall is in the air; so get out there and go fishing!!

Click on Video to Watch
(Suggestion - viewing is much better on full HD and full screen mode)

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