Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Steelheading and other things

Mid to end of October saw me out fishing the SF above Lorenzo bridge. There were some tremendous BWO hatches in the afternoon and the fish were looking up. Tons of fish for both outings but nothing huge. Lots of medium cutts with some twink browns thrown into the mix. Nice and easy access. 2 minute walk after a 5 minute drive from my house.

Went once with Jon and once with Chad. If you look close at Jon you can see him talking on his cell phone while fishing. He is never without that phone ;)

Took a quick jaunt up to Salmon the weekend before Halloween and chased some chrome. Weather was nice only rained towards the end of the day (good conditions for steelheading). The number of returning steelhead this year is huge. A new 30 year record. Needless to say the fish are back in sufficient numbers that even a complete newb like me can catch a fish. This first trip I fished a couple of miles downstream of Salmon.

These trips are lightining trips. Get up at 0 dark 30 in the morning and drive the 2.5 hours to Salmon and maybe another hour or more downstream. fish like a berzerker for 8 hours with breaks only to fuel and pee. Drive home when it is too dark to see. Watch for deer on the drive home as that stretch of hi-way between Salmon and Gilmore is full of the darn road hazards. I love the colors of the Lemhi range as the sun first lights up the valley. Wild, wild country that makes me think of the rugged men and women it took to homestead that country 130 years or so ago. Also interesting to think that the populations of places like Gilmore and Leadore were once much greater than they are now,

I fished a likely drift in the morning with no one else in it. I worked it from top to bottom, casting a few times and then taking two steps down, swinging wet flies on a sinking line. After fishing the run I got out and walked the bak back to the top to try again. As I did a drift boat with a guy, his father and father's buddy came drifting through. We bantered a bit as they went by, I expressing that I was going to be bummed if they caught fish out of the run that had produced nothing for me. They picked up 4 nice fish. ;) With a strengthened resolve I again fished the drift..... and caught a large bronze sucker fish.

River a bit downstream from salmon

Moved downstream and fished the crook of a riffle. "Resting water" instead of traditional holding water. Here I did manage to hook and land a nice steelhead. Fished for about 10 hours for 1 steelhead and 1 sucker. Still not bad for a newb steelheader on a fly rod.

Confluence of Main and MF Salmon

Picking up the sinking line with the 9' 8wt was tough so when I saw a 10' 8wt G Loomis GLX for sale used at a decent price I picked it up. Went again last weekend with Jacob. this time we drove way down all the way past the MF confluence, almost to Corn Creek as the numbers being reported by IF&G were indicating that Corn Creek and below was producing the best. The river was lined with RVs, trucks and fishermen. Being one of the few guys using a fly rod in this stretch I again headed to a less traditional spot. A slow resting pool right on top of a rapid. I had three hookups in a short period and managed to land one. A nice hen of about 25 inches. I let Jacob fish the hole after that, and then we moved up and tried a couple of more locations.

The 10" rod does make a bit of difference and I am now contemplating a 15' or so spey rod. Maybe for next year. I managed to pick up a sucker fish again so my record for the two outings is a sucker fish and a steelhead per trip. I saw the guys using tackle pick up a lot of fish. They are able to cover more water than I am, but the spey rodders seem to be able to cover the same amount of water.

I am having fun steelheading and am tying up more flies. The fish from this last trip were all on my own creations. Will try 1 -2 more time depending on the weather and kitchen passes. Hopefully as I get better at this my ratio of steelhead to sucker fish will improve.

Hard to tell, but this is a 25" fish

1 comment:

Kevana said...

I love my fisherman... and that fish it was delicious, thanks!
Love You Babe!