Finally got a chance to put the long rods back to use this week, let me tell you it sure felt good to cast again! A friend of mine and I spent the morning in search of spring Steelhead, and we weren’t disappointed! The morning started off a bit frustrating, as the 17° temperatures caused our lines to freeze up in an instant! As the sun came up, this gradually decreased, which allowed us to focus on finding the fish rather than de-icing our lines after every cast!
After coming up empty in the first two spots, I had a hunch about a third spot, so we headed there next. On my third cast in this spot, I was hooked up! A beautiful hen Steelhead took my spawn sac and gave us a really cool aerial show before eventually wrapping herself under some branches and nearly getting off! Luckily my friend was able to untangle the line before the fish took a big run and then landed this fish! This was a 27 ½” hen Steelhead full of eggs, so I decided to keep her as I could use some fresh spawn for this spring.
After taking a few pictures and getting this fish on the stringer, it was back to fishing. Within a few more minutes, I was once again hooked up! This time I had a nice buck Steelhead, with full spawning colors. This fish put up a nice fight in the heavy current as well, and was eventually landed. We decided to release this fish, as it had heavy spawning colors, and we already had one for dinner.
It was now my friend’s turn to get in on the action. I showed him exactly where to toss his offering and within minutes he was fighting a fish! Unfortunately the fish made a run and somehow broke his line, this appeared to be another chrome hen. The bad luck bug bit me next, as I briefly hooked up with another Steelhead until it rolled on the surface and sent my spawn sac flying right back at me!
We ended up landing 2 more Steelhead in the next hour before the sun crept higher into the sky and shut the bite down completely. Despite a relatively short feeding window, it was a successful beginning to the 2013 open water fishing season!