Reports of decent steelhead fishing surfaced up and down the coast in early January. As the early rains of 2013 diminished and gave way to a short cold snap, the bite layed down a tad. Recent rains over the last few days should now provide a welcome jump start and packs of new fish should be pushing through soon.
Jamie Lowe, his son Dylan and I got a quick afternoon drift in last Friday on the Siuslaw. Dylan who is 9 years old landed his very first winter steelhead! Dylan and his older brother Wyatt are quickly becoming seasoned salmon and steelhead fishermen. With Spring Chinook, Summer Steelhead, and Elk River Fall Chinook already notched under their belts, a Chrome Winter Steelhead sure helps round out the resume'. Next Stop - Sturgeon City.
The Fall-Winter Chinook Season on the Elk & Sixes Rivers required patience and diligence. Plagued by seemingly continuous high water and "blown out" conditions, those who stuck it out, eventually scored Silver.
When our river finally dropped into fishable shape, the fish responded nicely. The problem was, too much water most of our late Fall Season.
A hard fought battle with a big Elk River Winter Steelhead results in Chrome to the Beach
For the few anglers working the Elk and Sixes, steelhead are far out-numbering Chinook in the creel census for the last week of 2012 and the first week of 2013. We have been fortunate to be the only boat with salmon for the ODFW checkers at the Ironhead landing for several days. We have been especially pleased that the fish have been in gorgeous condition, bright and shiny.