It was a cold and icy November morning and thoughts of steelhead were on my mind. I re-rigged all the hardware and floats and found a good set up with using a 1 oz. teardrop weight on a snap swivel below the 1 oz. Beau Mac torpedo float.
Only problem would be my used roe, which was completely frozen. I grabbed it anyhow and attempted to thaw it in the heater vents for the 45 minute drive up. By the time I arrived on the water the bait was thawed but not in good condition. Probably too much forced heat and not enough time gave way to exploded eggs and not many solid skeins.
Oh well, it was a beautiful day and a day on the water was better than sitting in the office. There was 1 other truck parked and a couple of guys getting ready. I quickly assembled my gear and headed down hoping they wouldn’t be at my spot. I was glad to find both areas open and nobody fishing. A couple of coho could be seen spawning in a side channel, the river was up a little from the previous outing but still running clear. I was optimistic on finding some early steelhead but to no avail. I did have a few take downs and landed a colored up male coho but that was it. It was cold that I didn’t want to de-glove to take any photos as the fish wasn’t worth shooting and opted to release and return another day.
Rod: Shimano Clarus
Reel: Okuma Raw 2
My experience with this type of fishing is new with just two years under the wading belt and a few steelhead o show for the efforts. I had acquired a new reel to replace the Aventa VT 1000 that I originally used. I wanted something with better bearings and spun more effortlessly. Enter the Okuma Raw 1002. I had also purchased a used Shimano Clarus CP rod and together with the reel made for a well balanced set up.
I am still trying to figure out the best set up with bobber and weight as I ended up breaking one off and snagging up with the second to call my day short. I also need to figure out how to best attach the eggs to the egg loop as the duration of keeping them on is 5-7 drifts.
I hooked a small Dolly and and nice 8-9 lb coho hen that I was hoping to be a steelhead. Oh well, at least the new equipment jinx didn’t ruin the day. For 2 hours of fishing it was good to get out. Another day Mr. Steelhead, well done eluding Felt Seoul again…
Had the opportunity to get out and try the Chum run at Chico Creek. It had been 2 weeks since I fished and was itching to get out and feel a tug since the last outing resulted in nothing hooked. Jeff H and I met up at 9:30 and drove down to arrive just after 10:30. Three fishermen were on the water, one in a LIvingston, 1 fly guy and 1 other fisher lady tossing lures. The schools of chum were around as they tasted the fresh water of Chico Creek. The water levels in the creek are still very low and we need some serious rain to get the creek up to speed so that the chum can run up to spawn.
I tied up a black over chartreuse bead chain clouser and started with that as the schools were in casting range. It was typical lockjawed Chico chum however, No amount of retrieval speed or pause would result in a hit. Only when I waded out very far in to the bay I saw a school near shore and my backcast turned into the forward as the size 4 fly found its way within striking distance. I stripped and the line stopped and a nice hen about 8 – 9 lbs came to the net shortly after. I am amazed at the strength of these fish and impressed to see their numbers strong in the south sound.
The weather was partly cloudly but the time that we were on the water I was cold as I forgot my rainjacket in the van. Only having a short sleeved T-shirt and my light down jacket, it was cool to say the least. I probably burned through 1000 calories trying to stay warm in the 50 something degree waters. The sting of the cold went away with the constant casting and when I did hook fish, it was adrenaline keeping things warm. The best pattern that I found after switching flies a few times was the orange bucktail with copper bead head, which resulted the other 3 hooked fish.
I didn’t have a chance to take photos since I was cold and feared dropping my phone into the water, but fair hooked and landed 4 chums and snagged 1 on the caudal fin. Even if it was 1 fish, it would have been worth it to spend some time on the water to decompress from a stressful 2 weeks.
Rod: Redington Predator 9′ 8 wt 4-piece
Reel: Galvan Torque 8
Line: Cortland full clear intermediate Camo