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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, after a couple of unproductive days on the river, I set out with one goal in mind...catch my first summer steelhead. I hiked around on the bank and unfortunately found a nest of hornets or yellowjackets that didn't like me there. After being stung 4 times, I managed to run away into the river. Those darn things followed me for 100 feet. Thank God I had a jacket, hat, and waders on. I licked my wounds and then decided that today was going to be my lucky day. Indeed it was, caught my first summer steelhead ever. A keeper too! Bright 30 inches and put up a good fight. I had another one on the other day that gave me the best fish fight thus far. It zipped upstream and took out 50 feet of line before I realized I had it on. Then it dove to the bottom and flew to the top and jumped no lie 5 feet in the air, dancing and shaking its head. It ended up jumping two more times before finally it spit the hook. How does one keep tension on the fish when they fight like that? Something for me to learn this summer I think. I was by myself so I had to settle for pictures at my house. One of the ventral fins was clipped too. Why????
 

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Regarding your question about keeping tension on the fish....I've found that if a fish makes a fast, big run towards me or past me and I can't get in the slack line quick enough, I stick my rod tip into the water. This gets most of the line in the water and creates increased tension on the business end of the line. Try it out next time, if you get the chance.
Tight Lines
 

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Not knowing where you caught that fish.....I hear tell ventral clipped fins on fish in the Cowlitz system are a product of "Friends Of The Cowlitz" club and must be released by "nonmembers".....fairly reliable hearsay. I think someone also told me those fish are stocked at "Ollequa" , not certain though. Jign
 

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Nice feeesh! What system did you catch that on? That has to do with i.d. on where it came from, and or if its wild broodstock hatch... i think, thats what was explained to me by a hatchery manager.

Im sure someone here knows why though......

KC
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The fish was caught on the Wilson River.
 

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Left ventral clip is a product of the broodstock program on the Wilson.
Usually considered a winter run, but since these originated from wild stock they usually enter the river later than the main run of hatchery fish.

Good job on a nice fish! :cheers:
 

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What to do when a summer jumps 5 feet into the air?? Enjoy the ride!

Looks like Frog is right on the money. Usually at this time of year, all you need to look at is fin clips to know summer or broodstock. Stew will know the clip patterns for Wilson summers.

Also note the grey belly on your fish. It indicates this fish has been in freshwater for some time now. Close to spawning, or headed back downstream to the ocean for another round.

Summers will have a white belly til September or so. Then you will begin to see some dusky bellied fish. Many will stay quite bright til next winter. Bucks look brighter than hens usually.

Also note that winter fish caught in summer conditions( read 58 degree water) fight as well as summers do. Some folks think summers fight better than winters. I feel that is due to increased metabolic rates of the fish than any strain of steelhead. I have caught summers in 34 degree water. They did not fight too well.

Summers that arrive this year will not spawn til next spring.

Mark and the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This fish was a buck and didn't fight as well as some of the winters have. I did catch a hen the other day and her egg sacks were about two inches long. Very tiny eggs, not worth the effort of curing.
 
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