Heading to OP 3/19-3/22

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by IHV2FSH, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. Be there solo the afternoon of the 19th. Back again for the 3rd time in 5 years. Haven't hooked a fish yet but if I don't go...

    Hooked double digets numbers in January on my home water, but they're all hatchery and plentiful, not too much of a challenge and not even close to the power and size the OP offers.

    Anyhow, if anyone is going to be there and would like to meet up and share some time on the rivers casting toghether, I always enjoy meeting new folk. Or perhaps a cold beer riverside after the day's end to compare notes?

    Heard the fishing is tougher this year than previous years, I really don't care. Just hope rivers aren't blown so I can enjoy the serentity and cast sun-up to sun-down for 4 days!
  2. The biggest issue right now is that we are getting another "Pineapple Express", pacific tropical storm coming in over the next 48 hours or more, and we will have significant rainfall and warming. The rivers are expected to get very high shortly. It will depend upon how cold it gets again at the lower elevations, and how quickly.
  3. Kinda a dumb question but what do steelhead do when the water rises like this? Travel upstream? I'm new to fly fishing/steelheading on the OP rivers. I will be heading to the area around the same time as well. Would some of the smaller less known streams/creeks in the area be worth exploring if the rivers are all blown out?
  4. No dumb questions if you're learning, and we all are. That's why the exchange of information!

    The PNW rivers I fish, it's my experience steelhead behave in pretty much the same way. In general, water dirtys and debris flows, picked up from the banks, during heavy runoff. With the rising water, I believe the fish are either dodging the debris/relocating to cover or using the increased flow to travel to spawning grounds, depending on their stage of spawn. In either case, they seem not to feed or be in an agressive mode. My opinion, no facts here.

    In general again, if there's sufficient rain to blow the major rivers, all waterways are likely to be unfishable. But some will become fishable before others, Sol Duc before Queets, for example. Perhaps more local knowledge will chime in here.
  5. I would guess that the farther you go up a river the less blown out its going to be and more fishable...? Is this true? It would also seem that the smaller streams/creeks would tend to not blow out as much due to the fact the stretches of water are not as long. Not trying to hijack your thread just seems there is already enough OP threads around.
    Bob Triggs likes this.
  6. Please bear in mind that the higher upriver you go this time of year the more likely you are to encounter spawning wild steelhead. Generally by this time of season we are fishing mid river and down river toward tidewater. And even here we are seeing spawning wild fish in many runs. The later the season the more downriver spawners you will encounter. Most of the tributaries will also have spawning fish in them by now, and are not generally legitimately "fishable" anyway.
    John Hicks and Andrew Lawrence like this.
  7. Agreed. I, not thinking of this, took my wife out on her first OP trip early April last year. We fished up high on the Hoh, and hooked two male steelhead that looked to be ready, if not already, spawning. We opted for lower river spots after seeing those fish, and I doubt I'd fish up that way again after this time of year.
  8. So catching spawning fish is bad? Only asking because I do not know and thats how you two have made it seem? Thanks
  9. Also I would assume it is bad because it is putting strain and stress on a fish I am not going to keep anyways.
  10. General ethics say that once a fish is on their spawning redd, it's best to leave them be. You don't want to interrupt that ritual. And they're less than impressive to catch after their done there. Fresher is always better.
  11. You've got it, Kyle. But it's not just ethics, it's about doing your part to help the fish do theirs... make more fish, to catch and release for future generations.
  12. I would add: no matter what condition the fish is in, you probably shouldn't kill ANY wild steelhead. You're not likely to find any hatchery fish in eating condition this time of year on the OP, so if something to eat is on the agenda, you should probably fish elsewhere. If you want to catch and release an awesome fish or two, your timing is great for the OP.

    Just saw a picture of a gorgeous wild hen of about 20 lbs. from the Clearwater today. When the guy told me he bonked it, while I could understand his excitement over such an awesome fish, it made my heart sink a bit. If you catch an egg wagon like that, take a good picture and some rough measurements, release her, and send the specs to a place that makes fiberglass replicas. That way, the memory will last a long time, and that wild hen will get to make more like her for your kids and grand kids to catch. Worth a lot more than a couple meals, in my opinion.
    speyfisher, fishin_doc and Dan Cuomo like this.
  13. Fishing over redds is akin to taking a baseball bat to sleeping babies....bad Karma!
  14. Plus, you gotta see it in the human perspective, it's like getting your chance to get busy with the wife, and your kids knock on the door. Blows the mood. ;)

    Seriously though, I try to fish mid river down. Why I fished from Morgans down earlier this week.

    And no stupid questions, just stupid answers sometimes. ;)
  15. I saw a lot of people above Whitcomb-Dimmel last week.

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