Monday, January 11, 2010

Sunday and Steelhead

Once again, I was on the American River chasing those elusive Steelhead. I had read an article in one of the local fishing papers that said the number of Steelhead in the American were really low. So low, in fact, that the count at press time was less than half of what it was last year. The report came from the fish hatchery at Nimbus Dam where they have a weir across the river and the Salmon and Steelhead climb a ladder into holding ponds where the eggs are extracted and baby fish are raised. A great place to take the family in the fall. On spawning days, you can watch it all happen. The extraction, fertilizing and see the stages of incubation of the eggs. You can also go out in the back where the holding ponds are and feed the fish. They are very appreciative. If you've ever fed fish in a facility like this, you know what I mean.

With the low fish count, maybe that's why I'm having so much trouble getting one or maybe just lack of experience, but that doesn't deter me one iota. I'm going to get one come hell or high water.

Met Rich and Mark at Rossmoor access and proceeded to a spot they had fished Saturday night. The outlook was good, there were other fishermen on the river, you could see the Salmon and Steelhead swimming up the river 5 feet off the bank, rods were rigged and in the water. Would they hit, Hell No. They just kept stopping in front of us and then swimming away. I think that if they had hands, they would have been thumbing their noses at us. Maybe that was exactly what they were doing. ALTHOUGH, the ones we did see were not the little 1/2 pounders. These were 24" or better and upwards of 5 to 6 lbs. The fish of 1,000 casts. I think I'm at 700 & something. My time is near.

Since I'd had a very strenuous Friday and Saturday (this old body can only take so much), I called it at 12:30 after about 5 hours. Rich and Mark were still on the hunt. I didn't hear from Rich last night, so I suspect they weren't successful. I did, on the other hand, make it home in time to see most of the Packer-Cardinal game. At first I thought the Packers were going to get stomped, but they came back nicely, only to lose in OT (sorry Packer fans).

Today I rest the body, Tomorrow and Wednesday we're expecting a good rain storm (you know me, I'll fish cold, but not wet), but I'll be back on the river hopefully Thursday or Friday. This time with my waders on.

Till the next adventure.

Mark (Shoreman)


  1. Your time is coming. With your never give up attitude the Steelhead don't have a chance.
    It is like catching GT's, once you figure out the formula you can catch them all the time, but until them it is casting practice.
    Tight lines

  2. Persistence is the key. If you keep at it you will land a "lunker" steelhead. I caught my first steelhead in 12 years in 2009... Not planning on waiting that long again!

    Tight Lines!

  3. Your time is coming and it will be a well earned steelie. Wishing you the best!!! (And I can't wait until I can read about it here, and join the celebration)