Have any of you ever caught Steel in the salt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Alexander, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 711
    WA
    Ratings: +165 / 0
    Please tell me your story...it seems rare that people do and I wonder how rare it really is and why? Can you target them of the beaches? Or would it be pure luck?
  2. plaegreid Saved by the buoyancy of citrus

    Posts: 350
    Renton, WA
    Ratings: +264 / 0
    I've heard tales of a beach where targeting steel heads is common practice by gear chuckers, but haven't verified the claims yet.
  3. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,734
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +617 / 0
    Not I.

    It's not that rare, though I do not know many fly anglers taking a stab at it. But from what I have read, and after some conversations with those who have/do do this, I think a person could swing for them in the salt. Problem might be finding a swingable area without a high density of other fishermen (not flyfishing). The swinger would probably get in the way and piss everyone else off.

    Search this forum or google for "whidbey steelhead" and enjoy :)
    Alexander likes this.
  4. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,527
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +322 / 0
    A guy i know here on Whidbey landed 8 steelhead on the fly rod last season. He fishes a popper on a full sink line.

    I had one on and lost it fishing a casting rod one windy day.

    Now is the time to start fishing for them. Bring a coat!
  5. Patrick Allen Active Member

    Posts: 359
    Bothell,WA
    Ratings: +136 / 0
    Squidro off Whidbey island. Closest thing to what gear fisherman cast and retrieve and catch them. Strike is usually at your feet
    David Dalan likes this.
  6. Nick Clayton Active Member

    Posts: 2,735
    Ratings: +948 / 4
    Hmm I have always wanted to try this myself. Sounds like a good excuse to be on a beach if nothing else. Alexander, if you ever want to carpool up there hit me up
    Alexander likes this.
  7. DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

    Posts: 811
    Marine Area 9
    Ratings: +258 / 0
    I had a nice summer run steelhead buck track my fly right to my knees at Meadowdale beach one summer day. It came so close to eating the fly. Most saltwater steelhead are caught on the west side of Whidbey from mid-November through February. They swim in small schools and enter the shallows very close to the beach. Not easy to catch these days due to depressed steelhead runs, but it can be done.

  8. psycho Active Member

    Posts: 265
    B.C. Canada
    Ratings: +94 / 0
    I use to fish out at Fort Casey in the salt, caught a lot of salmon and more than a few steelhead at that spot. Was virtually unknown until Amato published an article on it in his magazine. Complete with a map of which rock to stand on to cast from. Sorry I did a exaggerate a bit about the rock.:D I was told about it back in the late sixties with the rule that I was to keep it to myself, but someone broke the rule.:eek:
  9. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 711
    WA
    Ratings: +165 / 0
    I wonder if Nymphing a yarnie for them would be effective! :D. Hehehe!! J/k

    Nick, I'm going to do a little digging see what info I can find on the whole matter, but yeah I'd be game!
    BASS_TURDS likes this.
  10. Greg Armstrong Active Member

    Posts: 906
    Pugetropolis
    Ratings: +246 / 0
    It's been a tradition (with gear) on the west side of Whidbey Isle for many decades.
  11. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 711
    WA
    Ratings: +165 / 0
    I wonder what the general gear set up is and what would be a good fly selection to have "to get some"...
  12. doublebluff Go Beavs

    Posts: 109
    Corvallis, OR
    Ratings: +29 / 0
    The gear setup is a crazy combo of pink hootchie and spin and glo. Slow swing and retrieve. I had one on a couple years ago with that gear, west side of whidbey. On the same trip, I had one swim right past my feet in about 18 inches of water. I spent a bunch of time trying to swing big gaudy pink steelhead flies, but nothing happened. I think it's doable though. Others probably have much more experience with this.
  13. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,415
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +287 / 1
    Had the pleasure of listening to Steve Raymond this past week at our club's meeting. He spoke to the exact question and related that while difficult, it's not impossible. It's much harder now to the dwindling stocks but is still available in estuaries from time to time. His book. -TheYear of the Angler, I think, might have some information. It's very cheap at Amazon.
    Jeff Dodd likes this.
  14. Jason Rolfe Wanderer

    Posts: 1,176
    the beach
    Ratings: +371 / 0
    Somewhere there's a bunch of gear fishermen on another board talking about how those guys over at WFF.com are blowing up their steelhead spot.
    Irafly and Pat Lat like this.
  15. Preston Active Member

    Posts: 2,405
    .
    Ratings: +356 / 0
    Steve Raymond discusses fishing for saltwater steelhead in his book The Estuary Flyfisher. He pretty well limits it to estuaries. Small numbers of steelhead and the fact that they don't seem to be as shoreline-oriented as some salmon species means that they are not as frequently encountered along most beach venues. As mentioned above, several well-known beaches along the west shore of Whidbey Island are exceptions to this rule.
  16. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,280
    .
    Ratings: +137 / 0
    Raymond's Steelhead Country also includes a very interesting chapter on fishing for steelhead in the salt.
    Tom Bowden and dryflylarry like this.
  17. Alexander Fishon

    Posts: 711
    WA
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    It would be interesting to see a study on WA Steelhead behavior/habits, their travels/destinations, eating habits, at what depths they travel etc
  18. Mingo the Menehune stole my beer

    Posts: 2,619
    Happy Hour, WA
    Ratings: +348 / 1
    Yes, 2, while searun/bull trout fishing up at Spi-Bi-Dah past the Tulalip rez many years ago. I believe they hit small clousers. A most delightful surprise they were.
  19. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,072
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +533 / 0
    Ever since I saw a half dozen steelhead in a TINY creek in the Hood Canal a number of years back, I have been aware of their presence. That was December 1st after a good rain. I think many of the streams in the Canal support runs in December, so They are always in my mind while fishing for cutthroat along the beaches there. I had a friend hook and lose one about 5 years ago. Back in the day, peak steelhead runs In the Canal were in December and January.
  20. David Dalan 69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E

    Posts: 1,734
    Walla Walla, WA
    Ratings: +617 / 0

    Nah, it's well documented on the gear portion of the Internet. Comes up every couple of years or so.

    If I get the chance there is a spot that really fishy dude (Dec Hogan actually) told me he wanted to try but never got to, and that is not really fished for metal heads (was not at the time). I will not con myself that people are not fishing there, but every once in a while I search the interwebs and there is still no mention of salt water fishing for steel at that location.

    Maybe this winter on my way to B.C. :)