I recently got to go out steelheading again for a couple days with one of my colleagues, Kevin, and his Dad, Pat.
We went to the Pulaski area where some other bloggers have posted about in the past. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving, and conditions were favorable. Weather was nice and flows and visibility complied as well.
On our first day up there, we fished the upper section of Sandy Creek. This water was new to me but looked promising.
Pat hooked up and landed a small steelhead in the first half hour and we all grew optimistic about the fishing to come. After that, we could hardly buy a hit.
Walking back to the car and fishing the pocket water along the way, I got into a smaller steelhead as well. What it lacked in size, my fish definitely made up for in tenacity.
We moved on to an area on the Salmon River that I was unfamiliar with, and we all missed takes, with Pat being the only one to hook up and land another chromer.
That evening, another colleague of ours that was supposed to join us texted to say he had to back out. This left us with an extra pass to the Douglaston Salmon Run.
The DSR is a fun place to fish if the crowds and conditions are fair. As it turns out, a guide/friend of mine in the area didn’t have any clients that day and he agreed to join us, so the pass wasn’t wasted.
As a sidenote, Eliot Jenkins of Greasy Beaks Flyfishing is whom I’m referring to. He’s a fantastic guide and knows how to put his clients on fish. Not to mention Eliot is more enthusiastic about his trade than any other guide I’ve hired.
Pat gave me the nickname “Two Alarm” the following morning because they had to knock on my hotel door on our way to the DSR. This only concerns me because he’s in the process of building me a custom switch rod, and I’m nervous that it may appear engraved on the handle.
We got to the river at a good time despite my best efforts and promptly hit the water, leaving our extra pass for Eliot, who was running behind.
The day started out slowly, with centerpinners using egg sacks being the only ones to hook up. Eliot joined us and we kept exploring downstream.
We finally began to find fish, and our group began to get tight more frequently. We each got two to three fish per person, all respectable sizes.
My first was a sizable rainbow that had clearly spent some time in the river. We pulled at least three hooks out of his mouth, including one of the centerpinner’s egg sacks.
I then broke off a lively steelhead, but, at least, somewhat redeemed myself with one of my biggest brown trout to date. She was dropping eggs when I pulled her out of the water and also had an extra hook or two in her mouth. Feels good to return these fish in better shape than you found them in!
All in all, a great day enjoyed with great people. I’m itching to get back out there again ASAP!