Summer or Winter is Favorite? - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

View Poll Results: Which season do you prefer to steelhead?
Winter/Spring 9 33.33%
Summer months 10 37.04%
No preference between the two 5 18.52%
I don't fish for steelhead but love bass on a spey rod 3 11.11%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 07-30-2002, 02:10 PM
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sinktip sinktip is offline
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Question Summer or Winter is Favorite?

Was thinking the other morning while driving back from the river about summer versus winter/spring steelheading.

While my success rate goes up fishing over summer runs and the condiditons are much more enjoyable, I would gladly trade all summer fishing for March or April days dredging for wild steel. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy summer fishing very much and there is no feeling like a top water take but when I think steelheading, I think standing in 38 degree water swinging a tip and a large fly through a soft lie as I take in the snow capped mountains and the first stirrings of Spring in the flora and fauna.

How about you? What season defines steelheading to you?
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2002, 05:19 PM
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juro juro is offline
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I love them both, asking to choose between the two is almost like asking to choose between two of your own children.

Funny thing though, in the summer I always wish there were some big spring nates around; and in winter/spring I wish there were some feisty surface takers!
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2002, 07:32 PM
roballen roballen is offline
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I liked it better when no one steelhead fly fished and there were lots of wild fish around. It seems to me that the fishing is getting worse year after year no matter how many fish are around. As far as I am concerned there are 3 months of worthwhile steelhead fishing in Washington state. October,February and march maybe April. I know I have been whining a lot lately but oh well I'm just tired of crappy fishing in an increasinglr undesireable setting.

I guess I like winter fishing better because there are fewer people and thoes that are out are real fishermen who are much more social and enjoyable to be around. I live hundreds of miles from any good Washington state winter run rivers so I don't get to do it much but when I do I always meet great people.

Last winter while on the Hoh I met 5 guys all of whom work for various enviromental organizations, American rivers, earth justice etc. They invited me to their camp and even invited me to join in their dinner if fresh line caught Columbia spring chinook.
The previous winter I met a fellow spey rodder on the Hoh and he invited me to float with him the following morning. Even as complete strangers we had a wonderful but cold day on the river together and we even got a beautiful 10 lb wild hen.

So I'd have to pick winter. I guess I want an enjoyable experience not just a wiggle or rather an insane throbbing on the end of the line..
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  #4  
Old 07-30-2002, 10:48 PM
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Summer Runs

My two main rivers are the Klamath and the N Umpqua - both much better summer/fall fisheries than winter fisheries. Nothing beats a fall morning with fall colors and mist rising off the water and see and feel the boil at your fly!!! Except maybe a 20" rainbow sucking in a size 24 trico spinner (off to Silver Creek for a week! - ahh to fish a 2 wt again!!)
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  #5  
Old 07-30-2002, 11:09 PM
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When it is summer, I want it to be winter...when it is spring I want it to be fall. When it is fall I want it to be spring and when it is winter I want it to be summer. :eyecrazy:

I am always looking forward to the fishery around the corner and yet, at the same time, the current fishery passes before my eyes to way too fast.

Right now I am lightly depressed that the super long nights of late June have passed as well as the uncrowded rivers. I also do not want the summer to progress any further as the fishing is too wonderful at the moment.

At the same time, I am excited for the saltwater coho fishery that is going to develop over the next few weeks...there are very few fisheries that can pull me off a steelhead river...one of them is the beach fishing for coho. btw-A chrome coho was caught and released out of Ben Howard on the Sky a couple days ago...caught on an egg-sucking leech.

...but the question is, will they be able to pull me off the rivers as it seems more and more steelhead show up by the day??

My least favorite months tend to be November, December and January as winter-run brats just dont get me overly excited.

May has been a tough month these past couple years with the closure on the Stilly...a month that I normally love as the Stilly is uncrowded in May and Spring on that river is truly amazing.

The trout fishing in May is suppose to be excellent...it has been years since I've particpated in that sort of fishery away from the beaches. Trout, smolts???...whats the differance!??!?!
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  #6  
Old 07-30-2002, 11:47 PM
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This is a tough choice...both have their charms.

When it is winter I think of fall, when it is spring I think of fall, when it is summer I think of fall, and when it is fall- I think of next fall. :hehe: Is there anyway to turn the year into 4 months of April and 8 Months of October?

I live for that October day when the alarm goes off just a little too early, again (I knew I should not have had that last beer). Should I push snooze? One more time? No, I must wake up and crawl out of the warm sleeping bag, even if I am ornery enough to take a grizzley bear's head off. Good, the windshield is not frozen and the temp seems decent enough- provided that dreaded wind is not howling through the side canyons as it slips off the Camas Prairie. Clear the blurr out of the eyes enough to drive and head off to where intuition speaks loudest. Good, nobody there, but that ever present morning wind is doing its normal. Gear up in the dark and make sure that everything is layered correctly, knit hat/gloves and a good windbreaker are a must, as my fingers already hurt from wind chill and being wet tying boot laces. Yep, there is hoar frost on the cheat grass and railroad ties, colder than I first thought, damn cold, but I chose wisely and will fish river right to use the downstream wind to cheat and get my casts out there. Double check the leader and knot on a #4 low water wet. Water temp not too bad, holding steady at 44F and not too bad to wade in before the toes freeze. Finally after impatiently waiting for 20 to 30 minutes, constantly looking up the canyon as the black starlit sky slowly erodes into a band of grey and finally blue, it is barely light enough to see. Now to carefully amble out to casting depth, still too dark to see the bottom, and let the day begin...

William
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Old 07-31-2002, 11:57 AM
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"The trout fishing in May is suppose to be excellent...it has been years since I've particpated in that sort of fishery away from the beaches. Trout, smolts???...whats the differance!??!?! "


About 24 inches if you go to the right places
May is trout month for me. Will have to drag you out to eastern washington next year.


I like to steelhead fish whenever I can. I fish a ton on the beaches all year round and it does take away from chasing steelhead. Since I have yet to catch a winter fish I would have to say I enjoy summer/fall fishing more. Although I did have a great time with Juro, Ryan, Bryan, and Tyler last year on the Skagit/Sauk. This winter I hope to break my fishless streak and catch one on a spey rod to boot.

-sean
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  #8  
Old 07-31-2002, 05:55 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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Winter.

True steelheaders stand in 40 degree water up to their ass during a driving snow storm and chuck sink tips for fish that most people say don't even exist.
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  #9  
Old 08-01-2002, 10:22 PM
Scott K Scott K is offline
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When it is Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, I am thinking about Winter runs. As I have mentioned before, there is something about the expierience involved with Winter Steelhead fishing, that makes it that much better; cold weather, snow, cool flows, fleece gloves, layering/bundling up, and bullet chromers.
You move from spot to spot in your vehicle, and the first thing you do in your car is crank the heat. You stop off at the morning riverside cafe for a good breakfast while you and your buddy ponder where the Steelhead might be that day. As Juro mentioned, the snow capped mountains which backdrop the scenary very well. The weather is so cold that the rocks stick to the bottom of your felt soles and you actually pick them up while walking to your spot. The familiar odour of rotting Salmon. You almost step on a barely alive fungused up 25 lb. Chinook as it swims for it's last day of life in 2 feet of water in front of you. I find another freshly dead female Coho Salmon which has a severely frayed tail, and it's skinny belly signifies a successful completion of it's life cycle.

Yes the fish are harder to come by, but the challenge is what it's all about. Whoever said Steelhead fly fishing was ever about numbers? It's about an expierience.

Last edited by Scott K; 08-01-2002 at 10:27 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-01-2002, 11:40 PM
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I love 'em all. I fish for steelhead year round and the only thing that keeps me from the river is work or the river itself if it is puking its guts and nearly out or out of its banks. As long as the river has a foot or so of visibility, I'll fish.

I used to fish from February to November and in the milder years December on the Missouri, lower Madison (below Ennis Dam), and the Clark's Fork in Montana. As long as the water temp was at least 37 degrees and the air temp was not less than 28 degrees things were fine.

I also like to fish for or have fished for bass, pike, pickerel, smallmouth, huge carp, and crappie. Using a 2-hander for bass fishing does provide a degree of entertainment from the looks and comments of the guys in bass boats though.
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  #11  
Old 08-03-2002, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sean
"The trout fishing in May is suppose to be excellent...it has been years since I've particpated in that sort of fishery away from the beaches. Trout, smolts???...whats the differance!??!?! "


About 24 inches if you go to the right places
May is trout month for me. Will have to drag you out to eastern washington next year.
Sean...thanks for the offer!!! Years ago, when I first started fishing the bugrod, I made many trips to the lake(s) that I know you are talking about.

I caught fish but the steelhead bug overtook me...every year I say to myself I am going to make a few trips over there to experience some of the excellent fishing those lakes provide but every spring, I find myself chasing after steelhead and not trout.
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  #12  
Old 08-03-2002, 09:01 AM
Nate Bailey Nate Bailey is offline
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ever scense I found the spey rod I enjoy winter fishing , no more chuck and duck fishing, no more wading uo to my chin
in winter cooled waters............Nate
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  #13  
Old 08-03-2002, 01:28 PM
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I got to thinking after I read a few of these posts. I really don't care when I fish as long as the places that I fish are open and that it is not having a gale blowing. Snow and rain are all right but 40 MPH winds are not.
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2002, 12:26 PM
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In great lakes steelhead rivers it is definitely autumn, winter and spring for the favorite times. Summer steelhead is very hit or miss and in only a few selected rivers.

For me it would be winter/spring for steelhead. November is usually a great month also but many consider that late autumn fishing.
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  #15  
Old 08-04-2002, 01:32 PM
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I absolutely love the beauty and serenity of Winter/Spring fishing. With that said, I really like the warmer weather of Summer. Although crowds have not been a factor for me during the warmer weather I'm not overly concerned. Should it get too bad I will break out the spey rod and, with my casting skill or lack thereof, quickly clear the run.:hehe:

ws
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