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Winter Steel Thread

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  • Winter Steel Thread

    I think we had a running Winter Steel thread last year so I'll start one.

    Mid December I hit the Wilson with a buddy and we explored the bigger water down low with the spey. It poured so hard a few times I could barely see my buddy upriver. River had to be rising but the clarity remained fine. I kept at it all day totally believing. I had to adjust my thinking that I could easily move around to cover water because the area we were in was ledgy and moving around a lot when the surface was textured with rain was a bad idea. I actually went in up to my neck in one of the holes but I had cinched the hell out of my jacket and unbelievably I stayed dry. So I parked myself in one spot for who knows how long enjoying the long casts when it happened. My line came tight and I didn't Bassmaster, I just let the reel start zinging before I slowly raised the tip. I'm 45 soon to be 46 having fished since I was ten years old. I've had my share of Big Ones so it takes a lot for me to freak out nowadays. When the biggest brightest chromer I've ever seen breached in the tail out just a few feet from a crazy chute, I started screaming. I played it well and didn't force anything and coached my buddy into tailing it perfectly. I thought for sure it was a wild fish but it was a hatchery beast. I dropped my rod in the water and I cradled it to shore. Once on shore my buddy and I both let go at the same moment shouting expletives in total awe. Then it flopped and slid between my legs back into the water breaking my rod and my line in the process! It makes for a memorable story but daaaaaaaamn it would been good to get a Grip and Grin with that thing and invite friends over for a BBQ! I can't say exactly how big but there were huge dead salmon around still and it was salmon size. It dwarfed anything that I have caught previously.

    This past weekend I did a 30 hour roadie to recon foil surfing potential inside estuaries when the waves are huge on the open ocean. I wet a line in 5 different rivers during that time: Wilson, Salmon, Necanicum and two rivers that I shall not name. I saw nothing, had no bumps, and every person I talked to hadn't touched a thing. That's steelheading for ya!

    Anyone having any success out there?

  • #2
    I've hooked a couple, and even have seen a few more....we're talking about winter steelhead here, right?

    just none landed.....yet.



    • #3
      I floated Barton to Carver Monday on the Clackamas. Air temp in the high thirties to low forties, no wind, some sun, river on the low side and very clear. No other fishing boats. Not one. Every run to myself. Really nice day. Of course, there were no fish either, so win-some-lose-some. Still, a pleasant first day of winter fishing. I think next time I'll go to the Deschutes, which might actually have some fish (trout).
      aka Scott Richmond


      • FinLuver
        FinLuver commented
        Editing a comment
        "stupid steelhead"...

    • #4
      Thanks Ryan,

      Awesome story. Hope to contribute soon. I guess in order to contribute I need to actually get out there.....So a new rod has been purchased or do you have a backup?


      • #5
        I'm gonna ease into it this season. With all the cold weather, probably nymph for them until March then swing thru April.


        • #6
          DonT...Terry is trying to fix my rod. Funny how I rarely broke rods before I met a rod builder. Hah! It's a Rainshadow 7wt and my only Spey rod that a buddy wrapped for me almost ten years ago. That was the 3rd time I broke that tip. Once ticking it with lead and then shattering it on a casting stroke on a branch overhead. At least this time it was on a fish.

          Luckily when I took my Bro N Law fly fishing 16 years ago I created a monster. He has more rods and fly tying stuff than me so when I was back visiting in Chicago for Xmas, I mentioned my misfortune and he dug up a 7wt Sage One Spey from his gear closet for me to borrow. Score!!

          UF...after this past weekend I've been thinking trout too. Stand in the rain fishing for fish that aren't there with dozens of other people doing the same thing, or head East to no rain, an awesome canyon, and a few bends in the rod from trout. Thing that keeps me heading West this time of year is a chance at surf and it's been swell after swell pounding the coast.
          Last edited by Mr. Chin; 01-08-2019, 04:16 PM.


          • #7
            Nice story Ryan. Bummer about the rod though. If I know I'm going to keep a hatcher fish it's index finger in the gills and thumb in the mouth immediately. Those things are slippery!

            Didn't start searching till late this year as I tried to cut my leg off with a circular saw so I needed that to heal before I could wader up. Thus far I haven't seen or touched anything though, no surprises. Hell, I'm just happy I can still cast the telephone poll after not touching it for 8 months...


            • #8
              Dude, I felt like I was there! Great story!


              • #9
                I've been pretty fortunate so far this winter on my local ditch. Seven hooked, 5 landed all wild except one, all on the swing. Good to see the local ditch booting out some chrome especially since it's only a 10 minute drive for me. Not sure how long this will hold up but I'm happy so far.