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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Steelhead Fishing 1/20/11

This past Thursday, my friend Brian and I decided to hit up the river after the major deluge that we had hit our Northern Oregon area. Many of the rivers went above flood stage by several feet and many systems faced effects like landslides and things like that. Water clarity and new stream structures were the concerns going into the day.

The first change we noticed was a spot that we called the "Stump Hole". It was now the "Stumpless Hole"; while the next riffle down became the "Stump Riffle". Kind of a bummer, but you have to roll with changes, and somewhere is probably better now. We did not get anything probing in either of those two spots, but with steelhead fishing, you just increase your odds with the more pieces of water that you decide to fish.

We were fishing some spots with two handed rods and Skagit heads, and other spots we fished with Thingamabobbers and egg patterns. The river was at the highest levels for what I would want to fish it at, but it looked very promising, and we had high confidence between swinging and nymphing.

We fished hard and presented our flies to many promising holding lies. As we fished and fished; we realized this day was not going to be a giveaway. We were going to have to work really hard for "maybe a fish". Starkly contrasting to our feeling on the drive over; where I envisioned a several fish day due to the falling water levels and numbers of fish around. It seemed that the water clarity and level was a bit off, but not enough to make for a fishless day. We were just going to keep on trying....

We fished a variety of spots and nothing was panning out. Just the 1000 casts that these fish are know for and that was about it so far. My friend Brian was fishing a spot and suddenly a fish flashed through the water. We both noticed the chrome bumper under the water, but very close to his fishing position. He carefully presented the fly to the nearby fish and suddenly he was shouting fish on!

A nice battle and the fish was in. We were stoked for this chromer, and the day's effort was well worth it now. Another fine fish and another fine day out on the river!

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