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This post is not the most joyful post for me as I come clean right out of the gates, I didn’t land one Steelhead all season. I will say this was my first year Winter Steelhead fishing, so it was a MASSIVE learning curve for me. Thankfully, my friend Jason was a huge help in educating me on Steelhead. He took me out a few times and gave me some excellent instruction. On a total of 4 or 5 trips, I hooked into 3 fish but didn’t land any of them. One was a real heart breaker where it came off right at my feet, and it was massive! This loss prompted my father-in-law to purchase a net. Anyway, that fish has me already motivated for 2015 Winter Steelhead season. I’m confident this early 2016 winter season will have me posting some video & photos of these silver unicorns.
Anyway, as Jason was such a great sport here are some of the photos of his catches. The last photo of the big buck weighed just over 17 lbs. If he would have competed in the Chilliwack River Steelhead derby that fish would have gotten him 2nd place!
Rod & Reel: I used a 10’6 Shimano Convergence drift rod with a 6500 C3 Abu Garcia bait caster reel.
Line & Leader: I use 15 lb maxima ultragreen mainline with a 10-12 lb fluorcarbon leader (always Seaguar fluorcarbon, it’s expensive but I love it).
Bait & Lures: I used a number of tactics on the river, all of them involved drift fishing. I drifted roe, jigs, roe sacks, shrimp, pink worms, pertty much everything under a float.
For additional tackle ideas for Steelhead, see my tip page: Tip #1 – River Conditions vs. Presentations.
Water Conditions: As we were fishing in winter, most of the trips we were fishing in low clear water conditions. Water visibility was at 6 feet or more, so we really had to dial down our presentations.
Weather: We had a mild winter, so found most of my trips to be enjoyable temperature wise. Never once was it frosty or snowing when were were out fishing.