RE:Time to get out the Floating lines and Wakers
My thoughts are that aggressive, ansty fish move to the heads of pools every morning as day breaks. Over the years, I have caught so many of my "right off the bat" steelhead in parts of the pool that indicate the fish was anxious... both in terms of their position and their explosive surface takes.
The three fish I hooked on the Sky with you were exactly this type of situation; as was the second cast fish on the Cow with you and Andre. Horseshoe (which we talked about earlier) has the same situation, as does Nishimoto Strawberry farms at the riffle (another second cast fish).
I used to try to tease them out of the belly of the pool for hours in holes like Fortson, Reiter, Horseshoe, Blue Crk, Satsop forks, High bridge, etc - but when I switched to fishing the last two hours of daylight, sleeping in the truck and fishing the first few hours the next morning my catch record went thru the roof.
It's amazing that the river conditions are holding such cool temps in July, that's great news! I hate it when the fish start dying due to lack of oxygen and the deadly organisms that can invade salmon and steelhead lies during warm water.
I can't wait until this fall!