Here's a picture of the biggest steelhead I've ever caught, a 39" inch buck.
One of the darker ones I've caught too. Caught it last Thursday morning, out on the Peninsula fishing a river that doesn't get a whole lot of attention, a river I've never fished until that morning. I saw this nice piece of water from the road, hiked down there with my single hander, and just started to get into the relaxing cast-and-mend rhythm when I got a terrific grab. But no hookup! Damn. So I check the hook and leader, they were fine. Then I walk 3 steps upstream and start working out line until I get back to where I was. Standing in the exact same spot, making the same cast, the fish took again. This time the hook held. I knew it was big because I couldn't hardly move him, but he stayed in the hole and after a 20 minute wrestling match I brought him to shore. So in spite of this lousy season, I've got one fish story to tell.
That was the beginning of my 3 day fish-till-you-drop trip last Thursday through Saturday. I hooked that fish in the first run I tried. With no one around, a great piece of water in front of me, one fish landed and released after 30 minutes of fishing, I thought I was going to have one of those epic trips. But that was the only one I touched. Water conditions and weather were great the first two days. I fished the main Queets on my last day but it was pretty much out from the previous night's and that day's rain.
From what I saw and heard, gear guys were doing well on the Queets and Hoh. The fly fishermen weren't doing much, however, even in the stretches of river that put out fish for the gear fishermen.