Steelhead fishing Newb needs some advice.

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Paul

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Hey OFF Members!
First of all I want to introduce myself, My name is Paul I live in Portland and am 23 years old. I was really big into fishing about 3-5 years ago but with work and everything it died off for me until about 6 months ago. Im really getting back into fishing and am starting to love it again now that I have the time to do it.

I was a Big Trout/Bass/shad/perch type of guy and know what to do and where to go for those kind of fish but I really want to get into some steelhead fishing and Truely have no idea about it. I have done some reading and research on here and learned a few things already but not really enough info to hit the river myself for the first time. so I was woundering if you can help me out so I can get out this weekend and give it a try.

I have my pole/line/reel setup and I know what to use when it comes to that but the questions I have are this.

1. Where is a good spot to go for a begginer like me?
(I dont mind hiking)

2. What is the best method of fishing at the place?
(Please be specific because I dont really know all the "slang" for setups lol.)

3. Is right now a good time to fish for steelhead?


Thanks a lot, I Appreciate any help!!:D
 
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steelhead_stalkers

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From what I have been reading and what worked for us the last time out were small spinners and micro jigs!! They should work on rivers near portland as well.
 
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steelhead1

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Siletz

Siletz

Siletz river gorge has a good population of summer steelies and is an absolutley beautiful place to hike.throw spinners (blue seems to be popular)on a good steelhead rod,whatever lb test you feel confident with(I prefer 8lb high impact trilene in green)and a swivel is not a bad idea.The gorge is only open to drive in fishing on the weekends,but there is good access up to the gate.Its a long drive from p town but just the river hike alone is worth seeing!:D
 
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Paul

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What kind of spinners are good for steelhead?
Rostertails?
or something else?
 
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youngbuck307

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you can catch them on them but the best ones would have to be from he guy named kodiac on here. he has his own spinners from tco tackle and just kill the fish. they are a lil spendy so i would head over to BC angaling post over by oregon city just off 205. they dont cost as much but still work well...... he sometimes doesn't have verry many because SOMEONE takes them all LOL that SOMEONE knows who he is
 
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Paul

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Anyone else want to be a little more specific before saturday comes and I get totally skunked?
Cause when you say spinners that just doesent really tell me anything.
 
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FishSchooler

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Anyone else want to be a little more specific before saturday comes and I get totally skunked?
Cause when you say spinners that just doesent really tell me anything.

If you can catch trout easily in rivers, look for water that trout would commonly hold/feed in. Steelhead are just like trout, I mean, they are big trout. Steelhead will take spinners (like rooster tails/blue foxes/mepps) that trout do, just maybe a couple sizes bigger (size 3 and 4 are popular for steelhead).
 
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mgdguy

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Anyone else want to be a little more specific before saturday comes and I get totally skunked?
Cause when you say spinners that just doesent really tell me anything.

If you do a google image search for "steelhead spinners", you'll see just how many flavors there are out there. It's crazy. So...you gotta get out there and test and find what you like and what works! I'm still trying to figure it out myself, and have yet to hook a steelie on a spinner.

That said, what I've learned on OFF so far is this: Brass is (generally) better, and start small, especially in the low summer flows. Start your search by looking at No 3 size Blue Fox's, brass. Get a couple dark colors and a couple bright ones. Then get out there and see what the fish bite! ;)

Hit as much water as you can with them, 'drifting' the spinner - bouncing it off the bottom in riffled water.

Good luck!! :cool:
 
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Paul

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If you do a google image search for "steelhead spinners", you'll see just how many flavors there are out there. It's crazy. So...you gotta get out there and test and find what you like and what works! I'm still trying to figure it out myself, and have yet to hook a steelie on a spinner.

That said, what I've learned on OFF so far is this: Brass is (generally) better, and start small, especially in the low summer flows. Start your search by looking at No 3 size Blue Fox's, brass. Get a couple dark colors and a couple bright ones. Then get out there and see what the fish bite! ;)

Hit as much water as you can with them, 'drifting' the spinner - bouncing it off the bottom in riffled water.

Good luck!! :cool:


THX!
But you havent hooked a steelie on a spinner yet...... How long have you been trying?

Should I just go to a park in the clackamas and use eggs?


I never fished for trout in rivers so i dont have a clue what to look for in the water, highth, flow ect.....
 
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Kodiak

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Anyone else want to be a little more specific before saturday comes and I get totally skunked?
Cause when you say spinners that just doesent really tell me anything.

You need TCO UV mini's in brass #4's pink, candy pink, green, flame, and blue.
 
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FishSchooler

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You need TCO UV mini's in brass #4's pink, candy pink, green, flame, and blue.

You forgot to add "act now and I'll only add 20%"! :lol:

The river is a little warm for eggs (bait), try hardware (spoons, spinners) in runs and riffles. Steelhead like the path of least resistance, so when you find a nice riffle, look for a weakness, like a path, where there is a sudden change of speed in the water. Fish will hold/swim in that change, or seam. It provides fast/choppy water for oxygen, and a foot away, easy path to swim upstream.
 
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mgdguy

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THX!
But you havent hooked a steelie on a spinner yet...... How long have you been trying?

I really haven't been trying spinners as much as I'd like to, mostly because of my recent hookups under bobber and jig. I did throw a couple in at Barton last week, but I don't think the fish were around that morning plus my ride had to leave early :rolleyes:
 
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FishSchooler

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If you need spinners, Dick's at Washington Square Mall has lots of them for a good price. I just got a #2 blue fox for 1.10 and a 3/8 oz Kastmaster for 1.48. They have kastmasters selling for .02 (yes!) but they were out of stock, and yes they were really kastmasters. Plenty of spinners there are .99, and they are like roostertails. Plenty of bluefoxes are around 1.50 right now, theres a 25% discount right now.
 
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Paul

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Im thinking of going to Mciver Park clackamas river this weekend is that a decent spot?

Should I use spinners?

What is the ideal setup for a spinner?
Just the spinner on the main line with nothing else?
 
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metalmania

Im thinking of going to Mciver Park clackamas river this weekend is that a decent spot?

Should I use spinners?

What is the ideal setup for a spinner?
Just the spinner on the main line with nothing else?

The upper river is where you'll probably have your best luck, from barton to mciver. Just tie the spinner directly to the mainline. I usually run 8lb suffix siege or maxima ug.
 
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Paul

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Any holes you want to PM me about over there?:pray:
 
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metalmania

Any holes you want to PM me about over there?:pray:

Just look for riffles, and the headwaters of holes. I don't have many secret holes on the clack, except for a few that are nook holes. I think people tend to focus to much on "secret holes", but in reality what your using and how you use it is far more important than where you are. It's true you won't catch much if your not fishing the proper water, but just cause there's fish in there doesn't mean you'll end up getting one. I've seen steelhead in every single riffle, headwater and run i've fished in the last 2 weeks. The fish are there, all you got to do is concentrate on fishing the right gear properly.
 
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Paul

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Just look for riffles, and the headwaters of holes. I don't have many secret holes on the clack, except for a few that are nook holes. I think people tend to focus to much on "secret holes", but in reality what your using and how you use it is far more important than where you are. It's true you won't catch much if your not fishing the proper water, but just cause there's fish in there doesn't mean you'll end up getting one. I've seen steelhead in every single riffle, headwater and run i've fished in the last 2 weeks. The fish are there, all you got to do is concentrate on fishing the right gear properly.

Thats Fair enough and very correctly stated.
Any spinners you want to suggest? Brand name color?
Im clueless on the #3-#4 "slang talk"
How fast do you reel a spinner and do I cast it down stream and start reeling or upstream and watch it float down while reeling?
Should I reel slow so it hits bottom?

Sorry for all the questions but you sound like you know what your talking about and are willing to help.
I just want to increase my chances for saturday to even get a hit.
 
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FishSchooler

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Don't mind asking questions, afterall, it's how well all get started ;).
Blue foxes (thats the brand name) aren't too bad to start with. The blades on the blue foxes will have a number. If there is a 3, its a size 3 or #3.
Stay away from very shiny finishes on the blade when the water is this low and clear, like nickel. Dark brass, black, blackened brass, blue, dark red, and purple should be fine.
For presenting spinners, cast it upstream 50 degrees and let it sink. Reel in all the slack, and once you feel a tap, jerk the rod back and strip in the slack. This will get the blade spinning in the right "zone". Keep tension with the spinner, by reeling in any slack that forms. If you can feel a pulse in your rod, it's spinning. The slower the pulse, the better. After the spinner is around 45 degrees downstream, start reeling it in slowly, fast as it comes nearer. This is how you drift a spinner, and you can also cast upstream and retrieve it with the current.
It takes a while to perfect, so on your first trip, I recommend just trying to get the pattern down and try to read where steelhead would lie. Fish the seams and runs and riffles and good luck!

p.s. Im still working on this too. ;)
 
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