Skunked at Wilson on Sunday :(

bass

bass

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I fished the Wilson on Sunday from about 10:00 till 2:00 without any success. I fished 3 spots during the 4 hours. I saw one steelhead and tried to get it to eat a pink worm without success. I am not sure if the fish I saw was a winter returning or a summer. I am pretty sure it was a steelhead since it was sitting in a about 4' of water that had some current. I tried both jigs and pink worms under a bobber during the day. It was a beautiful day - except for the lack of slippery, slimy company :)

This was my fist attempt at bobber and jig fishing for steelhead and so I have a question or two. When approaching a drift do you fish bottom up or top down? How far up into the fast water at the head do you make your first cast if starting from the op? How many casts do you make into a run before moving on? I tried to be pretty methodical and cover the runs thoroughly by moving my casts around. I also adjusted my depth constantly by lowering the jig till it was ticking the bottom and then lifting it a foot or so. This seems to make sense to me, but I am not sure if this is the best approach. Any general tips?

Thanks,
 
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youngbuck307

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one thing i got to say is the water was really clear so you want to be running something small!!! I was up the south fork with some friends that had dirt bikes so i hit some trout!!
 
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metalmania

I normally fish from top to bottom, but it doesn't really matter which you chose. Sometimes if the water is very low and clear i'll go bottom to top and come up behind the fish, but for the most part you can do it anyway you wan't. How far you move into the fast headwater totally depends on the hole or run, as well as the water temp. As the water temp rises the fish will push more and more into the fast riffle water, as it provides more oxygen as well as cover. Summer steels will most often be found in shallower faster water, and will avoid holding in the deeper and slower winter steel type holes. How you cover water will also vary with the spots your fishing. My suggestion is going slow and methodical til you learn the spots your fishing, then just target the areas you know produce fish. Also try to target the faster water in general, and skip over some of the really slow deep areas. You might also want to try running some small and dark jigs like 1/8 and 1/16 oz. STEELHEAD STALKERS have some jigs called micros that should produce well in the low clear water. Good luck out there bro:D.
 
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davep

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Mar 11, 2009
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super small jigs on the wilson in clear water...I tie size 8 a 6 jigs 1/32 and 1/16..flourocarbon 8 # test leader....
 
bass

bass

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The bottom to top issue I have have (in clear water) is how to not accidentally have a cast land right on top of a fish - or are you strictly sight fishing? With fly fishing this works fine since the fly is so tiny and light. With a jig and bobber I would assume that this makes enough of a splash to frighten a fish.

For jigs, I was using a 1/8oz black and pink marabou jig and a 1/8 oz all pink jig. I was using 8lb test a flourocarbon leader. I think I was mostly doing things correctly, I probably just need more time on the water with these fish. Perhaps I will try and tie up some smaller jigs.

I have done a lot of trout and bass fishing, but I am new to steelhead fishing. I usually believe that the difference between catching and just casting is to make sure that I am fishing in spots where there are fish. The more confidence I have that I am in the right spot, using a reasonable approach, the easier it is to maintain diligence. I have rarely been fishing when a subtle color or lure difference made a huge difference. Even in fishing for "selective" trout it usually comes down to the quality of the presentation rather than the exact fly. Thus, I am trying to understand if I am basically doing things correctly.

However, I would really like some input on how many casts you make into a spot? Is steelheading (lets say for summers) more of a run 'n' gun situation or is it more of slow, methodical approach. How far do you think a fish will move to take a jig (vertically and horizontally)? Does it make sense to fish through a run, then lower the jig a foot and fish through again or would any summer have hit the first time (does the 1 foot depth change make any difference)?

Before I had kids I would find the answers to these questions myself by spending a lot of time on the water. However, I do not get out very often now and so I am trying to stand on some of your shoulders to help myself up the learning curve :)

Thanks for any and all tips!
 
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davep

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Mar 11, 2009
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Again, I use 1/8 ounce jigs for winter fish in brighter patterns...nightmare in red and orange, size 8 through 4 tops...I have great success on a immitation caddis pupa in olive or brown with a bit of red or orange on the butt...fish will move up a couple of feet on average but I have had them move much more...knowing where the fish are is the key for sure...the fish hold in different water during different times of the day....the higher the sun ..the heavier the riffle I fish or sometimes the deep slack water in spring...just depends....I cast to a spot three or four times with a jig,...then pick up my spinner rod and do the same...then move on...
 
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youngbuck307

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so i really want to try hitting the wilson for some real fish not just trout!! but last time i was up there i didn't have my own car and people were swiming every place i walked!! i went 3 miles one day just to have to walk the whole way back with is twice as far scent i got a ride down to the river from the off road area!!! But i want to drive my car down and just do some fishing were are some good spots i see there are a crap load of turn outs on it!!
 
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beaverfan

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Feb 18, 2009
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Beaverton, Oregon
Literally every turn out harbors at least one good hole. There are so many! Make sure you try the one right across the hwy from Elk Creek Campground.
 
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youngbuck307

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Mar 5, 2009
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I will for sure i just need to get some stuff for really clear water and i might go this weekend... not sure depends if i can get some cash up i drive a 71 pontiac that has a v8 so kinda spendy to make the drive!!
 
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