Through no fault of my own

I have been out the last 3 Fridays, to the same area and have been spotting fish, both steelhead and Chinook.

The problem is, I haven't been able to get any interest. Some half hearted follows on my spoon, with no commitment, from steel I had been sight fishing. I had one good take on a night crawler with a touch of orange yarn. I saw him take and pulled it away, the fish had only taken the tail end of my worm.

Last Sunday I had to try it again, so back to the frustrating Clackamas I went. I got to "my spot" and there was a fish sitting right there. After about 2 hours of throwing everything, id had it. During this time 3 or 4 more steel moved through this tail out, into the frog water above. the started acting like goldfish, coming to the surface and gulping air. I watched them pumping there gills and apparently starving for oxygen. 2 moved up in the head of the hole and the other dropped back in the tail out. this just frustrated me farther. These fish were having a tough time, and probably wouldn't bite.

I moved down to the next tail out, this one forms a great shoot between some boulders and a chunk of lava flow. I cast my spoon and bobber jig each about 10 times through this shoot, with no effect. I decided to move down through a "mine field" of sorts. As I left my little boulder nest and I walked out onto the chunk of lava, I came to a very sudden stop..... steelhead under my feet. uh oh... so I kinda slouch down and slide off the lava behind a big boulder. I just sit tight for a few min, before slowly raising my head high enough to see the fish still holding!!

I cast a size 1 brass buds spinner, nothing. quick change to a 1/4 brass cleo, nothing. orange size 3 blue fox with brass blade, nothing. Okay, now I got it, I thought! I switched my rods out and through out a clear float with 8 lbs leader and almost all black nightmare pattern, nothing. the fish actually started to shy away. I think the bobber on the surface was spooking him. I quickly ducked down and re-evaluated my sit-u-wait-son, and racked my brain for some shred of an idea that might entice this creature to attack my offering.

With no clouds on the horizon, the realization that no sudden bolt of lighting was going to strike, I decided to just continue to cast until it spooked.

so I tied on a size 4 bait hook, with bait loop, small bit of orange yarn, and chunk-o-worm for good measure. After about 2 drifts past this steel I see a trout hit it. This little guy is maybe 6 inches. I was trying to avoid setting the hook sense I could see it wasn't a prize fish. This little bugger swam over next to the boulder side of this shoot, and dropped my bait.

At precisely this same moment, and I mean instantaneously, a steelhead goes nuts about 3 feet in front of where I'd last seen my bait.

now what is this all about I think to myself, I mean what has got into this thing? and where did it come from? the fish I had been casting at was still holding tight..... wow... hold on my rod just about got ripped out of my hand!!! um game on? lol I mean really... was this a lateral pass or what. if this was "vice" or "CSI" this trout would have been the informant or snitch. lol. I mean a total set up on this completely otherwise completely undetected fish.

The wrestle was fast and intense. at first I stood there shocked and on my heels. I quickly realized I would have to do some finagling to land this little rascal. The first thing he had done was gone between two tight boulders and got my main line running through it. I had just started to lift my rod and wave it around doing figure eight above my head, in an attempt to somehow free my line. Not to be out done, this show off does a "no-hand", hand stand. I mean he is at least half body out of the water for about 30 seconds. wtf right? first for everything I guess.

I got below this fish as fast as I could and he came out of the white water shortly after, with no coaxing on my behalf at all I assure you..... this fish wanted the bank.... gold digger!!!! lol so I gave it the bank. and a bonk.

so through absoultly no fault of my own I finally managed to break my dry spell. but more importantly, I learned a few things watching this all unfold......... thanx for reading
Did you happen to be at McIver? The spot sounds familiar to exactly what happened to me about 3 weeks ago. I was standing on a lava flow and could see a lot of trout and a steelhead sitting below it. About everything you did I had done but you ended up with a fish. I hear you on the clackamas fishing it's been tough to get them to bite. Congrats on getting one too.
Seems like they either slam it, or they do the more subtle take that just feels like a trout tick. Sounds like you're more of a hardware hucker then a drift fisherman? Just curious... Sometimes that can be a difficult transition. Getting the feel of the bite on a drift down can be tricky sometime. Nice fish though! Switching it up can make all the difference in steely fishing sometimes!
And on top of learning the feel of a bite probably 50% of the time you never feel when a fish bites because the bait is below where your line is. Only if the fish holds on long enough for your leader to pass will you feel it. They are tricky buggers!
If u run a long leader in certain water u won't feel the pick up, double tap, hesitation or change needed to "detect" the take. Everything is situational.
I mostly throw hardware. But have done my share of drift fishing. Need to develop it more. My dad only really taught me how to pocket fish and quick swing drift gear. This consisted of a 3-5 foot leader. Light amount of pencil lead. Small hook. 2-6 with black yarn or corky. Or during the silt run off in the sandy glow corkies. Night crawler at ur choice.
I will be running more small drift presentation in orange and black.
All this talk of how to drift fish? You guys are missing the hilarious part of this entire story! I got the scoop with dozer on the phone the other day...a trout picked up his drift and swam away about 10 feet. He was hoping the fish would just shake OFF so he didn't have to deal with it and apparently, the fish did drop it and it was immediately picked up by some mystery steelhead he didn't even know was there.

An assist from the trout...too funny!
That is a great story.

TIL, trout hate steelhead passing through their holes and often lure them to their death by delivering bait to them :)
bass said:
That is a great story.

TIL, trout hate steelhead passing through their holes and often lure them to their death by delivering bait to them :)

tats funny... I need to befriend some more trout then
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