Author Topic: Steelhead & Dolly V  (Read 228 times)

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Offline Okanagan

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Steelhead & Dolly V
« on: April 04, 2019, 06:34:29 PM »
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Yesterday a couple of cousins from our antler party extended family took me along to fish a river in the region of my new home. 

I caught one small steelhead and released it without taking a photo of it.  It was pouring rain and the fish seemed intent to beat itself up on the rocks so I turned it loose rather than take the time to get a camera out of a Ziploc bag inside a zipped raincoat pocket and take a pic solo. 

The pic above is of a 9 lb. buck out of the three steelhead the other two men landed. They hooked three others that got away, one of those somewhere north of 15 lbs.  All have to be released.

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A Dolly Varden or "bull trout" below, that I caught.  It is turned funny and looks a lot skinnier in the pic than in life, a strong fish thick through side to side.

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« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 07:21:08 PM by Okanagan »

Offline FinsnFur

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 09:55:13 PM »
NOW THAT is gonna be some good eating :bowingsmilie:
I love trout but I hate fishing for them :shrug:
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Offline nastygunz

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2019, 11:43:08 PM »
MY EYES!... :holdon: :holdon: :madd: :huh:

"I love trout but I hate fishing for them"

Offline Hawks Feather

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2019, 06:21:56 AM »
I think I could pass on fishing in the rain, but catching some that size would be lots of fun.

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2019, 09:04:36 AM »
I think I could pass on fishing in the rain, but catching some that size would be lots of fun.

It seems odd when anyone first moves here but you learn to do things in the rain, especially fishing and hunting.  Chest waders, good rain jacket with hood, broad brimmed fishing cap and only my hands got wet.  It rained hard off and on all morning then stopped about noon, when that fish was caught and the pic taken.  I enjoy standing in thigh deep water fishing with rain pounding my shoulders and slashing the water around me.  Hard to keep camera lenses dry however, and scopes, binos, etc.

Big herd of elk (40 animals?) in the grey dawn right on the gravel bar we wanted to fish.  They crossed the river on our approach, by wading and a few swimming strokes.  That seemed to spook the steelhead out of that run for awhile, or at least we didn't get any out of there early.

We saw a total of 10 other fishermen during the whole day, in the three places we fished along the river.  We hooked seven steelhead, landed four, and only saw one other fisherman hook a fish.  That was a young man near me who caught a polished aluminum colored bright female just out of salt water and I used his phone to take his pic.  He was pumped.




Offline Coyotes-R-Us

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2019, 09:27:24 AM »
We can only catch 2 DV= Bull trout a year with a punch card and only on a very few waters.
They tease bad anyway and are dumb.
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Offline Okanagan

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2019, 09:49:17 AM »
We can only catch 2 DV= Bull trout a year with a punch card and only on a very few waters.
They tease bad anyway and are dumb.


We have to release them all, so I didn't get to eat this one.  I've eaten some big ones, up to 8 lbs., out of rivers in Canada and they were pretty good, not great, and had some that were downright poor table fare.  The better tasting ones seemed to have a slight pink cast to the meat.  That's true of rainbows IME as well, that the ones with white meat aren't very good eating compared to the tasty ones with a strong pinkish/orange color to the meat.  The salmon colored meat is firmer than the soft pasty white meat trout.

Dolly Varden are major predators of salmon and steelhead fry, and their numbers are really growing.  We caught three or four the other day.  If the Game Dept. wants to protect steelhead it seems like they would let us kill some of the Dollies.  But what do I know...
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 11:09:10 AM by Okanagan »

Offline pitw

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2019, 10:54:02 AM »
Growing up with my ol' man I didn't know you could fish in anything but rain :shrug:.  Good weather was for working :doh2:.  Some good looking fun in this thread too. :highclap:
I say what I think not think what I say.

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2019, 11:20:40 AM »
MY EYES!... :holdon: :holdon: :madd: :huh:

"I love trout but I hate fishing for them"

You need some therapy!   :wo:  Not sure what kind.  :confused:

 Maybe spin fish a lake with casting bubble and fly during a bug splurge when feeding trout sound like pigs at a slop trough and trout rings cover the entire surface of the lake.  Or maybe a crystal water lake I fished last Fall up near the Yukon where fat strong 12-14 inch rainbows race each other to grab a spoon.  I'll start a fire and get the skillet hot for you before your first cast...  Or, if you REALLY don't like to fish for trout, you heat the skillet and I'll cast.   :biggrin:


Offline JohnP

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2019, 12:49:05 PM »
Years ago on a training exercise we went to Alaska.  Met up with a soldier stationed there and he took two of us fishing for DV, no limit.  Had a lot fun and caught a bunch of DV.  Used a spinning rod and then later tried a fly rod.  More fun on the fly rod. 

Why the release of the steelheads - size restriction?
When they come for mine they better bring theirs

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Steelhead & Dolly V
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2019, 04:04:34 PM »
Years ago on a training exercise we went to Alaska.  Met up with a soldier stationed there and he took two of us fishing for DV, no limit.  Had a lot fun and caught a bunch of DV.  Used a spinning rod and then later tried a fly rod.  More fun on the fly rod. 

Why the release of the steelheads - size restriction?

Sounds like rare fun you had with the DV!

Not sure why all steelhead must be released on most of the rivers but is likely due to low numbers returning to spawn.  As one of my fishing partners said, they have been practicing the same recovery program for decades yet the fish numbers go down almost every year.  Not sure if there was an earlier part of the season when any could be kept or not.  I just got a resident fishing license in WAS State on April 1 for the first time in decades.

One of the tribes out there has control of most of one little river and they started their own hatchery separate from State and Fed fisheries.  Instead of carefully keeping their steelhead from mixing with wild ones, they deliberately go around to several rivers and selectively catch the biggest wild ones they can, and then breed those fish in their hatchery.  They have LOTS of returning steelhead that are BIG (can you say 20 lb. female?) and they are strong fighters in contrast to the weak insipid hatchery steelhead produced by other hatcheries.  I hear that the state game dept. is mad at them.  It is a somewhat under the radar project, but I know a guy who fished that river three weeks ago.  What he caught and photographed in one day of fishing would sound like a whopper fish tale to anyone who knows usual steelhead numbers and weights.  I ate one of those...  :innocentwhistle: