Columbia Chinook Salmon - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 03-16-2008, 02:24 PM
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Columbia Chinook Salmon

Hello guys, i'm going in Portland in April and am doing a day of guided steelheading and have one free day to fish. Realizing that steelheading can be really tough going, I was thinking of renting a car and fishing the deschutes for trout/steelhead on my second day just to look to getting into some fish.

However, i just saw on Oregon's fish and wildlife site that there is a spring chinook salmon run open this year.

what would you guys recommend? should i stick around portland and go steelheading for an extra day on my own or try for some trout or try for chinook salmon?

i guess i'm a little concerned about going home with no fish. i had a blown out trip last year and don't get out as much. i'm really looking forward to the steelheading, but realize this is a tough fish to catch so would like to split it up a little if everyone recommends this.

does anyone have any thoughts
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Old 03-17-2008, 11:38 PM
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If you want to fly fish, spring chinook are a real challenge. Much harder to get, IMHO, than steelhead. Most spring chinook fishing is done from boats on the larger rivers by people dangling herring and spinners and such.

If you go with a guide for steelhead on day one, you will know where to go and what to use on day two. Personally, I'd go for the steelhead, unless water conditions are so bad that it's a hopeless proposition. Trout fishing on the Deschutes can be very productive this time of year, as the fish start to key on the salmon fly nymphs. On warm afternoons there are often hatchs of various Mays (Blue Winged Olive) that can provide some surface action.
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:00 AM
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thanks eric. so many tough decisions to make in life!!! I think I'll plan on bringing my trout gear and playing it by ear. its difficult to decide b/c living on the east coast my trout fishing opportunities aren't that great, but then again steelhead are fish of a lifetime.

I'll keep everyone posted with a report from a first time steelheader.

thanks again,
JT
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Old 03-18-2008, 01:57 PM
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Great -- we'd all like to hear about your experiences: excellent, good, fair or lousy.

BTW: I have a fly-flinging friend living in Rhode Island who catches one hell of a lot of steelhead from the Lake Ontario tributaries. And I'm not talking about just the Salmon River. You might want to look into the closer opportunities one of these days. He fishes both in Canada and the US -- along with steelhead, he catches Atlantic Salmon, lake-run Brown Trout, Chinook and Coho. Along with the odd smallmouth bass and what not.

Again, looking forward to your next post. Best of luck. Just remember: steelhead aren't as hard to catch as they are hard to find. Keep at it -- the pull will come.

Cheers,

Eric
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