Went on my first Steelhead outing of the season on Friday, and the second on Sunday. Friday, we came up to find very low and clear conditions. There were fish present, but there wasn't enough moving water to even find any type of drift. Still though, my buddy and I were persistent enough to find a few willing participants to take a well presented fly. All in all, we only ended up bringing one fish to hand a piece. Regardless, a September Steelhead is always a good thing. The best part about these early fish are that the water is still warm as compared to the Winter months. This gives them more energy for battle, and it is a battle for sure. Some of these fish are clearing 3 and 4+ feet of water when they jump, and they are as fast and strong as a speeding train when they're ripping drag from your line (love that sound!)
So, after some much needed rain up North on Friday night and Saturday, another buddy and I decided to try our luck on Sunday. It would be my buddy's first Steelhead adventure as he just recently started fly-fishing. The water conditions were way better, good flows, and nice green tint. So we started on a middle section of a creek I fish a lot, and found fish immediately. There were fish on near us right off the bat, and I lost 2 within the first 20 minutes. We walked around and found fish in just about every piece of holding water. I hooked a few and landed a couple before we moved on. We then went to a smaller stream closeby that I know very well, to try and put him on some willing fish. We got to the first run, and I could see at least 20 fish in it. So, we started drifting, and I got one to hand and released her quickly after a picture. My buddy hooked a fish here, and played it until it got pretty close and snapped his line with one quick burst. I told him at least he was able to experience the speed and power of this great fish. I ended up hooking a bunch of fish following this, and landed one here and there.
After this, we checked out 2 other spots. One of which we fished for 5 minutes and left due to the wind and rain.
We then went to try one last spot. The parking area wasn't empty, but it wasn't full either, so I was optimistic. We walked uptstream and I found a nice run after about a quarter mile walk. I threw my first drift and hooked a crazy fish. She wasn't huge, but was fresh and tough as ever. She made about 4 jumps, tailwalking along the surface of the water. I finally landed her, took a pic, and released her. I then let my buddy alone to try this run which I was pretty sure held a good bit more fish. I proceeded to walk at least a mile upstream, to find barely any fish holding. I fished a few spots, and then the rain and wind really started to get bad. I walked back and found my buddy, and we got the hell outta dodge. I told him the weather we had was a pretty normal thing to expect when Steelhead fishing and that he'd better get used to it haha! Enjoy the smudged pictures! It rained on us all day pretty much and I couldn't keep my glasses, or the camera lens clean.