Monday, April 12, 2010

Salt River "Steelhead"

So a friend asked me to go fishing today. He came and picked me up and we worked on getting a leaking fitting off my water heater for about an hour. Then we went fishing. I took my spinning rod, since that is what he would be fishing with, and I grabbed some small slip bobbers, some beads and bobber stops and my flies, along with some lures. We went to a place I never have fished. Highway bridges at boat launches just don't seem like the place to hang out and fish. But with a foot of snow still on the valley floor, and the parking area cleared, I found it a wonderful place to fish.

The bridge is in Grover, Wyoming, and everyone loves to jump off of it into the water below, which seems to be around 10 feet deep. Some kids, a few years ago, set up a trampoline on the highway bridge and were doing some aerial stunts into the water, off the bridge, until the county sheriff pulled up. Even though they had signs and were directing traffic, they were asked to remove the trampoline. I thought it was a great idea!

Anyway, it was just like steelhead fishing. I had on a slip bobber and an egg fly (which was even pink) and when the bobber dropped I set the hook on a 21 inch brown (its actually a little over 21 inches, but I don't want to sound like I am stretching the length, so I will be conservative and round DOWN. You should be proud, most fisherman would have rounded up to the nearest 10 pounds and closest foot/yard mark!) The best part was, when I got home and Tyler measured it ( I thought it was about 17, maybe 18 inches) it was well over that, as a matter of fact (that was for you KIM), it is a legal sized steelhead, if caught in the Wallowa/Minam/Grande Rhonde watersheds. Tyler brought up a good point, it wasn't fin clipped, so I would have killed an illegal fish, had it been a true steelhead caught from my home waters.

I guess my length/size estimater is off with all these steelhead we've been catching. I really thought it was much smaller than it was. The head is what threw me, it has a head like a big, mature fish, one over 20 inches, but I just couldn't say it was that big, it looked smaller to me. I ended up hooking 3 whitefish in the next 10 or 15 minutes, but only landed two of them. My friend didn't get anything, but he did learn to fish with a slip bobber and a fly.