Insane Steelhead Weather
February 15, 2006
The weather finally warmed up and off I went to Steelhead fish once more! Four days on the river would surely be enough time to quench my thirst for these silver bullets, I thought. I had the misfortune of breaking a $400 float rod on the first day and had to buy another one in order to continue fishing. At $150, it would make a good spare and off I went back fishing. First cast out, I was into another fish, but this time it was a brown trout of about 5 pounds. Nice way to test a new rod I thought and continued fishing. By the end of the day I had landed 2 browns and 3 steelhead, up to 7 pounds. Day 2 proved to be the same with another 2 browns and 3 more steelies added to the total. Both days saw the weather quite pleasant with little to no wind and air temps in the mid to upper 40’s. On the third morning, we began with temps over 50 and winds around 20 mph. I was going to be meeting Dave & Jeff around 10:00, so I thought I would fish for a couple of hours before they arrived. Within 15 minutes I had hooked into a brown trout of about 4 pounds and realized that everything was changing. The air temps were dropping quickly and the winds were really getting stronger. I took a drive and spent about 90 minutes just looking for places that we would be able to fish. The winds eventually got up to gusts of over 70 mph making over 90% of the river impossible to fish. I would have my work cut out for me trying to initiate these two into steelhead fishing. By the time they got to fish, the temps had fallen to 28 degrees and the winds were at full strength. I think the wind chill was about 20 below! We spent over three hours in one area that had the best protection from Mother Nature, but came up just cold. I decided that we needed to warm up and headed back to the truck and Dunkin Donuts. We fished for another hour or so in the second area and had three hookups only to have Jeff land his first steelhead of about 2 pounds. Dave had a good one on, but unfortunately lost it when the hook pulled out. Tough day to say the least! The next morning we met for breakfast at 6:30 in a freezing cold blizzard. Air temps were a chilly 8 degrees and wind chill had to be more like 30 below! We met back at 8:00 and headed out in slightly better weather when the snow & wind calmed down. The ice freeze up on the guides was so bad that we had to warm the rods up as well as our bodies a couple of times during the day. Dave managed to land a small rainbow around 2 pounds, but lost a couple of beauties in this miserable weather. With no fault of his, they just came off! At least one of them was over 10 pounds and as fresh as they come. Too bad he didn’t get at least one of them to the net for a picture! The weather should begin to warm back up again soon and I will be back out once more. These steelhead are just too addictive to not want more!