I have to admit it while I was slow to catch on, I have been seriously bitten by the steelhead bug. Everything about steelheading calls to me, beautiful fish, especially the remaining natives, beautiful and truly wild country and if you are willing to look for it solitude. So not to long ago I introduced my friend Colton to the addicting form of fly fishing. For our destination we headed to one of my favorite smaller rivers on the coast. One of my traditions with this river is to always fish at least one new stretch every time that I come so that I am always expanding my knowledge on the watershed. So after covering one of my favorite holes in the morning and only spotting a kelt and seeing another fish surface but no strikes we decided to do some serious exploring. We decided to put a little leg work in and check out the upper watershed and by doing so avoided seeing anyone else through out the day.
The upper river
The upper river had ton of beautiful water and within the first couple of corners we had spotted a couple of steelhead redds, but were amazed to not run into any fish.
Colton fishing a prime spot
With steelheading just because you are on great water, that doesn't mean you are always going to get a fish. However after the first few vacant holes I found great looking run and right behind a boulder where I would expect a steelhead to sit, the was one that seemed that to want to play and after a quick yet still heated battle I managed land a fish and did my duty to remove another hatchery steelhead from the gene pool.
Not far downstream I also found a beautiful little coastal cutthroat that proved to be a sucker for egg imitations and proved to have all of the spunk that I have come to expect from wild native fish.
Egg eating cutthroat
After covering 3-4 miles of new water, we found one of those spots that any steelhead in its right mind going to stop at. The only problem was the best spot was on the other side of the river and required a knarly ford. However no risk no reward and first cast into the hole I hooked into a nice native steelhead that absolutely went nuts before tossing the fly and giving me a good note to end the day on.
A great spot to end the day