Killing them below the dam!

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steelielover

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I spent a couple of hours below the Leaburg dam tonight. I went to try drift fishing from the bank for steelhead - I know it's early yet but I wanted to try a couple different spoons I picked up. I've never fished with a big spoon so it seemed like as good of a time as any to give it a try. I was just casting out with #4 spoons and letting them come back across the current toward me and then bringing them slowly up the seam. I didn't really expect to get any steelies but I figured it would be a good way to get the feel for my new spoons.

Well, I was totally shocked to find that the trout were AGGRESSIVELY hitting my spoons. I caught 10 and hooked 5 others! It was crazy, insane... awesome. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun fishing!

The fish were mostly small - next week I would have been able to keep most of them but of course this week I had to wave goodbye.
 
Troutski

Troutski

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Side...?

Side...?

Which side of the river were you on? There are great places on both sides, I prefer the south side myself...just past the hatchery there are a series of fingers that push out into the river and they each cause a back eddy. Caught some very nice Trout off those fingers (I wonder if Fishfinger got his name from there), now days they would be considered Steelhead.

Chuck
 
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Mike123

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I spent a couple of hours below the Leaburg dam tonight. I went to try drift fishing from the bank for steelhead - I know it's early yet but I wanted to try a couple different spoons I picked up. I've never fished with a big spoon so it seemed like as good of a time as any to give it a try. I was just casting out with #4 spoons and letting them come back across the current toward me and then bringing them slowly up the seam. I didn't really expect to get any steelies but I figured it would be a good way to get the feel for my new spoons.

Well, I was totally shocked to find that the trout were AGGRESSIVELY hitting my spoons. I caught 10 and hooked 5 others! It was crazy, insane... awesome. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun fishing!

The fish were mostly small - next week I would have been able to keep most of them but of course this week I had to wave goodbye.

Wow, those are probably smolt. Shouldn't be targeted. :rolleyes:
 
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steelielover

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Number one - to Troutski, I was on the side with the fingers you were taking about. I was having a great time in those back eddies. I think it's fun to work a spinner or a spoon "downstream" in the back eddie current.

Number two - I don't really know what you mean when you say they were probably smolt, they were small rainbows. And what do you mean by "targeting" them, my gear was way bigger than what I would have expected them to be taking. I was actually targeting a nice 30" Steelhead for my barbeque, I would have settled for a 14" rainbow so I could take a picture and show it off, but alas - all I got was a bunch of those pesky little trout. A fisherman's NIGHTMARE!
 
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mlw

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Smolt are young steelhead, chinook (or rainbows). You were within a hollar of a hatchery. Its a pretty good bet you are not going to catch a steelhead where the smolt are playing (the smolt know better than to hang with the steelhead), so cast elsewhere when you run into them (if you want to catch them when they're bigger). They can look just like rainbows. Its also possible they have started stocking with trout, they have a bunch scheduled.

Michael
 
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Mike123

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Number one - to Troutski, I was on the side with the fingers you were taking about. I was having a great time in those back eddies. I think it's fun to work a spinner or a spoon "downstream" in the back eddie current.

Number two - I don't really know what you mean when you say they were probably smolt, they were small rainbows. And what do you mean by "targeting" them, my gear was way bigger than what I would have expected them to be taking. I was actually targeting a nice 30" Steelhead for my barbeque, I would have settled for a 14" rainbow so I could take a picture and show it off, but alas - all I got was a bunch of those pesky little trout. A fisherman's NIGHTMARE!

We're the fish adipose fin clipped? :think:

Doesn't trout fishing in streams open 3rd week in May?
 
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steelielover

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We're the fish adipose fin clipped? :think:

Doesn't trout fishing in streams open 3rd week in May?

Yes - they were clipped and no, they weren't just dumped out of the hatchery. The first fish dump below Leaburg dam is scheduled for 4/27 (though they can change the schedule without notice).

Trout season on the the Mckz is Jan 1 - Apr 24, catch and release; Apr 25 - Dec 31, 5/per day, clipped, no minimum size; bait OK during keeper season; clipped steelhead and chinook all year (trout over 20" are steelhead); native steelhead over 24" year round.

If you wait until the end of May you'll miss a month of fishing..... It's up to you:)
 
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Mike123

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Yes - they were clipped and no, they weren't just dumped out of the hatchery. The first fish dump below Leaburg dam is scheduled for 4/27 (though they can change the schedule without notice).

Trout season on the the Mckz is Jan 1 - Apr 24, catch and release; Apr 25 - Dec 31, 5/per day, clipped, no minimum size; bait OK during keeper season; clipped steelhead and chinook all year (trout over 20" are steelhead); native steelhead over 24" year round.

If you wait until the end of May you'll miss a month of fishing..... It's up to you:)

So this is just a guess... but if they haven't stocked it yet with hatchery trout, and you just caught a bunch of fin clipped fish, I assume they have to be smolt.
Not a big deal.. Just not good to target them.
Seen a ton of people on the South Santiam using worms to catch "trout" that we're actually smolt. Had to turn them in. It's our future runs of salmon and steelhead. You get 20 people out using bait or treble hooks and kill 10-20% of the fish they catch.. that's that many salmon/steelhead that won't be returning as adults..
Seeing this today made me wonder how many people are actually out there fishing for smolt illegally. :wall:
 
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Outdrsmn

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So this is just a guess... but if they haven't stocked it yet with hatchery trout, and you just caught a bunch of fin clipped fish, I assume they have to be smolt.
Not a big deal.. Just not good to target them.
Seen a ton of people on the South Santiam using worms to catch "trout" that we're actually smolt. Had to turn them in. It's our future runs of salmon and steelhead. You get 20 people out using bait or treble hooks and kill 10-20% of the fish they catch.. that's that many salmon/steelhead that won't be returning as adults..
Seeing this today made me wonder how many people are actually out there fishing for smolt illegally. :wall:

Well steelhead are not native to the mckenzie river, so even the non clipped steelhead are of hatchery origin somehwere along the line, and i believe they are trying to get rid of them because they compete with the native trout. That is why you can keep a non clipped steelhead on the mckenzie.
 
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