First fish

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FishOnado

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Mar 6, 2009
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Hi all,

I promised to post on this and the "other" forum the day I catch my first adult salmonid.
It happened today although was unusual and unexpected, still its a day to remember after getin skunked 20+ times straight!

Today with my 7yr old son we went to closest local river, Clackamas, a place where I have never caught any fish!

After setting up my 7ft rod with a pink jig and a float (30lb braid and 20lb fluoro carbon lead), I had to setup my son who was much more optimistic than I was, but I didn't him to use any expensive jigs or spinners. So I set him up with a cheap plastic swimbait (for bass & rock fish) just to keep him occupied long enough for me to to fish my fancy jigs.

I knew things were slow this year. I had very little expectation that I would hook anything today and surely enough, nothing. As I was ready to go, I felt guilty and sorry for my son as he was diligently casting what I thought was hopeless setup. He was uisng $15 ultra light 4ft crappie rod with 6lb line with plastic minow! I asked him to let me try his gear. I make a cast just to see how far it cast. Next thing I knew was the rod was bent like letter "c". Next, the tiny drag was dragging like crazy! (line capacity on this reel is all but 20 yards maybe!). I though, "is this a carp?" after 5 minutes of rod action, I saw fish jump. It was then I knew it was a chrome steelhead. I banked it gently as I saw the adipose fin. I release it immediately after unhooking it. Im guessing 25 inch and 7 pound fish. Not a giant but it sure fought like freight train.

My next setup will be, 7ft light action rod with 8lb test baitcast with plastic swimbait!. Hopefully the next fish is hatchery fish since my philosophy is that eating a fish is much part of total fishing experience.:lol:

Sincerely,
Finally a Steelheader.:dance:
 
Raincatcher

Raincatcher

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Less than 50 feet from the Santiam River! :)
Welcome aboard

Welcome aboard

Fishonado;
Welcome to the world's friendlies and most helpful fishing forum! You are the very fisher folk we've been waiting for. You have already proven yourself to have the Sharing & Caring attitude we all prize around here. Welcome!
Don't you love it when the spendy setup gets outshone by the lil stuff? I love using lightweight and ultra-light. Talk about sensitive,my Latino friend had never seen a fishing rod before he came to Oregon. He used line with a hook and wound it around his hand. I much prefer the rod and reel technique. Thanks for sharing your story and your pictures. Great way to start out. Be safe.
Barb
 
H

Hawk

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Have You Kissed a Bass Today???
Great Job Dad & Son...................................:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:.........................:cool::cool::cool:...........................................:D:D:D:D:D


Welcome to the Family Brother FishOnado................................:dance:

C&R some Big'UN Lunkers..............................:lol::lol:
 
F

FishFinger

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Jul 27, 2008
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Central Oregon
Welcome to the forum. That was a great story, perhaps the best accidental catch story of 09 so far. Was your son also using a bobber or was he drifting it? looks like a pretty stout gig head, so I'm gonna guess it was most likely under a float. I wonder if it was colouration of the jig that got the fishes attention.

Either way congrats on your your C&R, and thanks for sharing your experience with us.
 
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mikeredding

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Jan 17, 2009
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814
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Springfield, Oregon
Congratulations on your first steelie!:D It is a wonderful feeling, I still remember mine. I don't want to rain on your parade but you said that you released it ever so gently but I couldn't help but notice it looks like you have your fingers behind its gill plate. Maybe not but if so you really shouldn't do that if you intend to release. It can be very damaging.:( Don't take this the wrong way, I am just trying to give you a pointer. Congrats again!:clap: Maybe next time the youngster will hook up!:D
 
M

metalmania

Right on man I caught my first one on accident to, although I wasn't able to bank him on 4 pound eagle claw line.
 
A

ArcticAmoeba

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Oregon
Congrats for sure man! But yes, stickin yur fangers up into the gills is akin to sticking our fingers in someones nose and holding them underwater. It appears the fish never came up, and out, so all the better. But the best way to control a fish is to get a firm grip around its tail, just in front of the fin rays. Crazy you landed that fish on such light gear. Not so many folks could have pulled that off.;)
 
1

1aB

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Oct 28, 2008
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Puna
Wow, great cherry buster, the one you'll always remember with a smile! Looks like your jig hook bent out a bit in the battle?

Nice looking plastic bait, looks like a real baitfish.
 
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F

FishOnado

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Tigard
Thank you all for warm welcome and thoughtful comments.

My son was basically cast and retreive (like using spoons). The water was clear and green, and was sunny. The holographic green reflection of this soft swimbait was visible for miles under water.

The hook was indeed bent. I wonder if I would have lost the fish if I was using stiffer med/heavy action rod since the hook was pretty skinny?

And I apologize for the finger in the gill. The picture does make it look as though Im shoving in my finger rather deep, but I tried not to touch the actual gill itself and finger was curled and not extended. But thanks for breaking it to me gently.

Was out today again at same spot but did not see any fish.
 
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BobberDown

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Feb 15, 2009
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Portland oregon
welcome and very nice fish if you like the super lite rods like i do i would reomend a longer rod like a 9'6" rodit will let you handle bigger fish with liter line and give you a lot more controll of the fish and your gear what park were you at was that right at the mouth of the clack ? you should go up and ceck out mciver park there is some grate water up there and the fish hold up there they mostly soot throw the lower river i think well tat was a grate way to start your steelhead carear and keep up the jig fishing and godluck dan
 
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FishOnado

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Hi BobberDown,

I've just bought at Joes 7.5ft ultraLight(4~8lb test upto 1/2oz) spin rod for $25. I was real attempted to buy 6.5ft ultraLight Lamiglass for $75 but Im too cheap, but this was the cheapest priced Lami I've seen.

The thing I've noticed with my 8.5ft and 7ft med action with baitcaster reel is that it is really difficult to cast far lite lures (less than 3/8oz). But Im guessing ultralight is not the choice in the rapid stream.

The place I was at was Clackamette park. I only go here since its only 20min from where I live. Next closest (Barton or lower Sandy) takes me 45+ minutes. The place is really slow. I must have dropped the jig right on nose of a passing steelhead:) I'll try to check out Mciver next time, Thanks.
 
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BobberDown

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Feb 15, 2009
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161
Location
Portland oregon
that sounds good a lger rod will throw the liter stuff better if you are useing a casting rod you need a very god cating reel and lite line like 12 pound cx preum from p-line good stuff I love a long rods if i wanted to throw lite spoons o jigs or summer steelie drift gear i use a lamiglas xmg 50 9'6" in 4-8 but there are a lot of good rods for a lot cheeper than an xmg 50 but a 9'6" 4-8 rod with 8 or evan 10 pound mono good mono there are beter than other monos sports mas warehouse sells the CX preum in moss green it is grate on a spining rod or casting i use spining rods for my super lite rods and if you want to step i to a lami rod pm me i can hoop you up way cheeper than anywhere else good luck Dan
and ps it does not matter if you got lucky or s,acked that fish in the head with that swim bait or what you hooked it landed it and al on a rod made for trout that is a feat most people would have lost that fish on that setup you must havehad the drag set just right so the line did not brake and the rod did not brake good job
 
F

FishOnado

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Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
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Location
Tigard
that sounds good a lger rod will throw the liter stuff better if you are useing a casting rod you need a very god cating reel and lite line like 12 pound cx preum from p-line good stuff I love a long rods if i wanted to throw lite spoons o jigs or summer steelie drift gear i use a lamiglas xmg 50 9'6" in 4-8 but there are a lot of good rods for a lot cheeper than an xmg 50 but a 9'6" 4-8 rod with 8 or evan 10 pound mono good mono there are beter than other monos sports mas warehouse sells the CX preum in moss green it is grate on a spining rod or casting i use spining rods for my super lite rods and if you want to step i to a lami rod pm me i can hoop you up way cheeper than anywhere else good luck Dan
and ps it does not matter if you got lucky or s,acked that fish in the head with that swim bait or what you hooked it landed it and al on a rod made for trout that is a feat most people would have lost that fish on that setup you must havehad the drag set just right so the line did not brake and the rod did not brake good job


I always set my drag such that it starts to slip when the rod tip to the handle is about 45 deg. This regardless of what line weight used. I think this would maximize use of rod compliance. On this ultra light rod, drag was set to about 1 pound. I had to slowly increase the drag as I was not gaining any gorund for first few minutes.
 
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