Wild Steelhead

steelheadunited

Join Wild Steelheaders United

At about this time last year I traveled to the Pacific Northwest, to chase after wild and native Steelhead.  Steelhead are nothing new to me, except I’ve been catching descendants of these West Coast creatures that naturalized and are have flourished in the Great Lakes for over a century.  I had never before caught a Rainbow Trout that has spent part of it’s life in salt water.

Thankfully, I had a wild and native left coast steelheader to help me out when I arrived at the Portland airport.  The previous fall,  I paid it forward on some good fly fishing Juju by putting Tay’s first musky in his hands by way of the long rod and a steamer.

QUEETSTAY2

Rockin’ the fiberglass switch rod

QUEETSTAY

Tay and his first wild Olympic Peninsula Steelhead

It took me a couple of days to get into a good fishy rhythm with the 13′ seven weight.  But once I did, what an awesomely methodical way to not only effectively cover water but also put an enjoyable pace to fishing when compared to the work it takes to musky fish 10 and 11 weights all day.

QUEETSDOLLY

“by-catch” Dolly Varden were thick and very willing to take steelhead flies

After fishing the Olympic Peninsula for a few days, we headed up the gorge and hit a few tributaries to the Columbia River.

PYRAMIDHOLE

BOGANS

Apparently the fish were running, but on a set schedule…  😉

FIRST

I like my girls big, and she was my first

 

A Trip to the Arkansas Ozarks

These wild stream dwellers are often overlooked by most fly fisherman when they travel to Arkansas, as they’re focused on the more famous tail water trout fisheries in the “natural” state.  At low water the limestone and sandstone streams clear up so much I’d liken it to fishing in an aquarium.

My wife, then fiance, was less than impressed with me when I decided to inquire about going out for a half day fishing trip on our way to Eureka Springs.  Walleye, yet another overlooked (and delicious!) Ozark fish

walter1

But yes, they do have Brown Trout in Arkansas, if that is your thing!

brown.jpg