I need help! Help me catch my first steelhead

zrowe977
SO i have been fishing my whole life and i go salmon and steelhead fishing every year. Yet i always go home empty handed, and it is not from lack of trying (4 salmon total in 40+ years). I fish up and down the alsea river and Nehalem every year. I though at one time maybe it was my old gear was fouling so i was missing fish(nope it's just me). I have bought a few books and have noticed i have missed quit a few not realizing i had bites. I don't care to know your honey hole, as we all know most of them along the alsea for salmon but what should i be using right now for winter steelhead. Should i be fishing higher up the river or lower? I'm at a loss and i would hate to go yet another year without putting something on my tags. So i figured there is no harm in asking for help
 
Gulfstream
Things should change for the better after this up coming deluge of rain
 
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jamisonace
It might be the water you're fishing. Fish where you see people catching fish. If you're drift fishing the right water and using anything resembling an egg...soft or hard beads and yarn balls work great...you will catch a fish. Weight is important. Dont dredge the bottom but you need to be close to it. I prefer to use the least amount of weight possible in any given hole. I dont bobber fish or spinner fish but I know those techniques can be effective as well. My best suggestion is to learn to read the water so you're fishing the right places.
 
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cchinook
zrowe977 said:
SO i have been fishing my whole life and i go salmon and steelhead fishing every year. Yet i always go home empty handed, and it is not from lack of trying (4 salmon total in 40+ years). I fish up and down the alsea river and Nehalem every year. I though at one time maybe it was my old gear was fouling so i was missing fish(nope it's just me). I have bought a few books and have noticed i have missed quit a few not realizing i had bites. I don't care to know your honey hole, as we all know most of them along the alsea for salmon but what should i be using right now for winter steelhead. Should i be fishing higher up the river or lower? I'm at a loss and i would hate to go yet another year without putting something on my tags. So i figured there is no harm in asking for help
Sandy River ,Oxbow Park, Feb. Spinners , jigs .
 
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Echskech
cchinook said:
Sandy River ,Oxbow Park, Feb. Spinners , jigs .

Golden advice.
 
Dizzy Fisherman
I have two suggestions. My first would be to hire a guide. I know there are probably quite a few on the Alsea. My second suggestion would be to join the NW Steelheaders, CCA, NSIA, or another fish focused group. Basically surround yourself with other anglers with years of experience. Kinda tough to surround yourself with people right now but you know what I mean. These groups typically have members that have been fishing a long time and can provide valuable insight on how and where you like to fish. They often do several fishing events throughout the year too. I don’t know where you live but there are Chapters all over Oregon.
 
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C_Run
Looks like some good water levels coming up soon. https://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/

I usually don't go until after new years but I've got a day this week so I will probably go and give it a shot down low. I just use bobber and jig/ pink worms and various hardware, spinners and mainly spoons. I'd just focus on all the roadside holes and boat ramps on the Alsea or any of the other rivers in your zone and keep trying. Good luck.
 
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troutdude
One secret is to wait when river levels rise. Then hit it just as the levels begin to drop and clear up. You want to see greenish water; not muddy water.
 
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troutdude
OFF member @OnTheDrop is the best guide in the area you want to fish (you mentioned the Nehalem). Tanner is da man.
 
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phishinphil
zrowe977 said:
SO i have been fishing my whole life and i go salmon and steelhead fishing every year. Yet i always go home empty handed, and it is not from lack of trying (4 salmon total in 40+ years). I fish up and down the alsea river and Nehalem every year. I though at one time maybe it was my old gear was fouling so i was missing fish(nope it's just me). I have bought a few books and have noticed i have missed quit a few not realizing i had bites. I don't care to know your honey hole, as we all know most of them along the alsea for salmon but what should i be using right now for winter steelhead. Should i be fishing higher up the river or lower? I'm at a loss and i would hate to go yet another year without putting something on my tags. So i figured there is no harm in asking for help
The first year I fished steelhead I would get quite frustrated using the same baits and techniques but not catching fish. I would be fishing a hole for an hour and some dude would come by and first cast...wham!!! Finally I asked a guy what am I doing wrong. He said nothing, you just don't recognize the bite yet. He said if your weight is correct ( just nicking the bottom) and you've made a drift or two and your line stops...set the hook! That day I caught my first Steelhead and several more that season. The Steelhead bite in my experience is usually light, if something different happens, set the` hook. You may also want to try a bobber and jig, it makes the bite a bit more obvious...good luck.
 
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troutdude
phishinphil said:
The first year I fished steelhead I would get quite frustrated using the same baits and techniques but not catching fish. I would be fishing a hole for an hour and some dude would come by and first cast...wham!!! Finally I asked a guy what am I doing wrong. He said nothing, you just don't recognize the bite yet. He said if your weight is correct ( just nicking the bottom) and you've made a drift or two and your line stops...set the hook! That day I caught my first Steelhead and several more that season. The Steelhead bite in my experience is usually light, if something different happens, set the` hook. You may also want to try a bobber and jig, it makes the bite a bit more obvious...good luck.
Yes; that. Great advice.
 
hobster
Great advice indeed. If you are drift fishing it is probably the hardest technique to catch fish with, but once you get it down there’s nothing quite like it! You should elaborate on which technique you are using. Also, fish high up in the river when the river level is high and low down in the river when the river is low.
 
Dizzy Fisherman
The CCA and the NW Steelheaders both have chapters in Albany. They are still having meetings but they are via zoom.
 
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Edge
Go to bimart pick up a1/8 ounce # 11 aero nightmare steelhead jig 24 inches of 12 lb leader 1/4 ounce inline weight tied to 17 lb nanofil braid and 1/2 ounce sliding bobber. toss it in every hole that looks fishy make a drag free drift. Trust me :)
 
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Cedonulli
jamisonace said:
It might be the water you're fishing. Fish where you see people catching fish. If you're drift fishing the right water and using anything resembling an egg...soft or hard beads and yarn balls work great...you will catch a fish. Weight is important. Dont dredge the bottom but you need to be close to it. I prefer to use the least amount of weight possible in any given hole. I dont bobber fish or spinner fish but I know those techniques can be effective as well. My best suggestion is to learn to read the water so you're fishing the right places.
If I use chicken eggs will I catch bigger fish? What about ostrich eggs?
 
jamisonace
Cedonulli said:
If I use chicken eggs will I catch bigger fish? What about ostrich eggs?
Either should work.
 
Cedonulli
jamisonace said:
Either should work.
Basket ball for real whopper?? Sorry, I was bored today.
 
Echskech
@zrowe977
We need an update. You catch yet?
 
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