Monday, October 13, 2014

Elk Creek Weekend

Elk Creek Weekend
10/11/2014 10/12/2014
It doesn’t get much better!
 There is nothing that comes close to early steelhead fishing. The fresh, wild, exuberant steelhead that makes the run into a trout size creek each year is one heck of an experience to be hold. Just to see them staging in semi-deep holes, along shallow ledges or in a tumbling riffle gets me excited. To hook into one is an experience you don’t often find in a fresh water creek.
  The speed of a fresh steelhead that will rip line off the spool in a matter of seconds and possibly into your backing! The quickness of them in changing direction and the force is incomparable to any freshwater stream fish. The sight of a steelhead exploding out of the water within feet of where you stand, watching it display beauty and acrobatics is worth the sight if for only once in a life time. Its chrome sides glistening from the sun flashes before your eyes before its body slams back upon the surface. You better hold on because there isn’t much of a pause before it quickly dashes away constantly trying to throw the hook. Can you keep up with an onward charging steel right at you? Your hand winding the large arbor reel trying to keep tension on the line as you keep the rod up and flexed with the other tightly gripping the cork handle.
  You find you’re never sure when you got him tired out. As you get him closing in he turns abruptly for another try at escaping. You keep the drag too tight and he’s sure to break you off, too loose and he’ll take all the line you give him.
  Some come for the excitement just for the experience. Some for the meat in the form of smoked steelhead. Some come just to relax and hope for just one fight with a fresh steelhead.
You don’t necessarily need a hunk of sticky skein or live bait in the form of egg sacks. Sometimes just a single egg. Fly fishermen will use the same patterns they use for everyday trout fishing in the form of Woolly Bugger or streamers.
One on a Woolly Bugger
One on a streamer
Even a small sucker spawn will get a take and a wild ride to go with it.
One on a hand tied sucker spawn
 If you get the chance to hook into a buck hold on tight, he’ll bully his way, any which way to get loose. And if you get him to shore you can admire his colors and hooked jaw.

 The down fall is the crowds. You have to be patient and sometimes wait your turn to get into the right spot for that perfect drift. There are long pauses where you think it’s never going to happen. Sometimes it never does but when you get that hook up you know you’re in for some extended fun.
What more can I say? You won’t catch them sitting at home!

 The line stops and you yank a hook set. You feel the line tighten and before you know it all hell breaks loose. Your forearms tighten and you try to keep your wrist locked on the rod that is flexed towards the steelhead. The force and speed is too much and the rod starts to lower towards the fleeing fish as line peels off the spinning reel. The least amount of line in the water the better to keep undue pressure off the tapered leader and tippet from the escaping steelhead. The seconds tick by and you wonder how long it is going to take to get him close enough to land. It is as if the steelhead has no limit to its energy. Once landed you’re relieved. You accomplished the feat and you can now admire your catch.

There truthfully is nothing like it in my opinion. A 7 weight fly rod. 4x or 5x tippet. A few boxes of hand tied streamers and sucker spawn, and a very good drag system on a well made reel! Oh, and a few great cigars for me!



  1. Great looking fish...this has to be a great time of year for you guys , with steelhead and salmon running upstream and trout putting on the winter feedbag , oh the choices! Love those steelhead though , one of these years I'll have to swap out my annual Driftless trip for a steelhead trip up North.

  2. Thanks. Yes we got plenty of choices for fresh water fish up this way. the fish commish start stocking project area trout streams this time of year also. You always got an invite to share a drift for steelhead with me.