Water temp and spinners this weekend?

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chris61182

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So having just bought my 2009 license and for the first time got my salmon/steelhead tag too.

Anyone have any input on the likelihood of seeing success using spinners this weekend, or is it still going to be just too cold?

Any other winter steelhead hints and tips would be graciously accepted as well by this newb:).
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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It really is going to depend on the system you choose to fish. In all likleyhood, the Wilson, Sandy, and Clackamas, are going to be just on the bitter side of things. Perfect bait water though. But it may warm up a bit, check River temps before you head out. If it rains this week, try drifting just a straight nightcrawler too. Rigged up simialr to a bass grub, so the worm swims straight, and natural. They alawys work atfer a good drizzle, and during persistent droppings. Stay in pretty shallow water when the Rivers are this high, and blown. Like, cast into no more than a few feet of water. The fish will be on the blast, so be prepared to gear for the headbutts, and short strikers. These fish aren't holding, and if they do, is is not for long. Stingers are always a good bet to get the ones that just mouth your junk. If at all possible, look into what the few miles of water below you are like. If it is pretty heavy pressure, lots of fast riffles, and big boils, try to get to an upper flat, shallow, slower than a riffle, faster than slack drifts. They will hold after a few miles of poundings, but again, not for long. Think like a Sewer Troot, they travel in shallow water, close to the banks, and will try to always follow the path of least resistance. When you find the shipping lane, chances are you can pull another fish, after a decent, few minutes rest. Hope you have a decent trip, and bring rain gear... It would suck miserably without it.
 
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chris61182

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Worms, why on earth didn't that occur to me!

And you say that the Wilson is likely to be on the bad side this weekend? How about the 1st? The forecast I've seen says it'll be just a hair about 6ft then, and I vaguely recall reading that is nearly in the proper range (4-6ft?).
 
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Yeah, but worms are really only super productive right after a rain, or durning a period of multiple says of rain...They get washed down the banks and into the rivers. Everythin eats worms! The Wilson does fish well when it is really high, and blown out, but yes if you can hit it below 6, your chances are going to be better, as it is much easier to spot lanes, and flats when the water comes down. And if it has been on the constant drop, try to get there as the water starts to drop significantly... The fish seem to know, and recognize the hydraulic pressure changes, and they will really start to move when rivers begin their drop. My best ever day, on th3e Wilson, was Jan 1 of 2004. I got into over 25 fish that day, and the conditions were brutally similar to what is projected for the first this year. These fish are truly on the blast, so don't get stuck fishin one spot, unless you want to wait for the fish to come to you, but moving even 100 metres up, or down stream will make a noticeable difference. If anything, use this as an opportunty to really hone those skills. If you will be drift fishing, do some experimentation with weight. You ,only want to contact the rock garden a few times in a decent drift. And do some gear trials. Recently I have been screwin around with Running a Vision up top, and an Owner hook down bnelow, and seeing which size corkie provides the best "swim." I find that I can run a single, or double #14 on Visions, but if i have two Owners, it requires a single, #12. Small is better when you are running stingers and bait. Don't try to float the bait, just try to keep it level in the drift, and off the bottom. Good luck and bring your arsenal. The water color, turbidity, and temperature is going to change during the day, many times, so be prepared to switch it up fairly often.
Good luck Chris, and be safe, the banks of the Wilson are notoriously violent to anglers.
 
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FishSchooler

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My dad said he'd take me fishing after the trip to hawaii, and Im back now. I want to hit two spots, riverside and meldrum bar. Should I just ditch plunking and go drifting?

And AA, you make everything err... seem so easy and you seem to catch like every single time, making it like catching trout or shad... I still havent got my first steel yet... been trying since august... I need the trick or err... easy way. :(:confused::rolleyes::think::pray:
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Plunking just isn't a good way to enjoy fishing... It is really hit or miss, and if you aren't there on a hot day, you missed it completely. Drift fishing is much more productive, even for those who are not so versed in the ways of The Drift. 18-24" leaders, Two, or three #5, or #7 splits on your long tag end, and run stingers. I think they may also be called a "pimped out" bait loop. You can even put a little corkie in between the hooks. Bait your top hook only, and pitch it up at about 45-50 degrees, and reel up the slack, until you feel "contact." Then just maintain that "contact" for as much of the drift as possible. Next is finding the shipping lanes, and that, unfortunately takes river/rod hours. When you go, hit Riverside, and remember you can get to them from the bank, just kind of difficult to move up, and down the bank while hooked-up, but the fish are in knee deep water. Pretty close in. That'll get you started, but the more casts you make to try to perfect your drift, the better you'll get.

You are funny! This Winter fishery is my bread and butter, what I learned on, so I do have a distinct advantage over most when hunting Steel. And Steelheadin is like Trootin, they are just bigger, and taste quite a bit better. I don't retain every time, but it has been a little while since I got completely skunked. I hook-up quite a few, but only 19.4% make it to the FoodSaver, or grill, and another 32.7% are on for more than a couple head shakes. The remaining 47.9% get stuck, and are only on for some good head shakes, and a nice roll off the hook. But I do get a lot of time to target fish, so yes it may appear that I am productive, but in reality, only 1 in 5 make it onto my harvest cards. But somedays I stick a dozen fish, and that accounts for a limit most of the time. No tricks of the trade, or "easy ways" to catch fish, they become much easier after practice, and experience. Like everything you practice, you get better right? Imagine if the time spent on your orchestral endeavors, was spent on the river. Not saying you should do anything like that, but if you really love to fish, make time to. Anyhoo, get out and fish if you want to catch one! Ha Ha.:rolleyes:
 
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Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
:clap:Orchestral...jeez.

:think:I think you got me this month...6-3 or something like that.

I got some good'ens I've been waitin' to use though. Your toast in January.;):lol:
 
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Hahaha, you crak me the freek up Chris! Most of the words I use are actually part of the English language, albeit some are pretty dated. But there have been a few that are total malcontent mash-ups. Like Coo-nanner-bananner, and Sledline, and Priggum Prawns, those are all just brain barfs...:rolleyes:
 
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FishSchooler

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AA... you said you could of spent more time on school... you are confrustrangling the heck out of me with all the percents and ratios... confrustrangling=confusing/frustration/strangling. Guess I'm headed to Riverside instead (with a spinning setup...)
I figured out that big reels and rods that have a line wt of 15-50 are not for drifting little tiny weights.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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I just keep a very concise, accurate, up-to-date fishing log book. I record everything form water/air temp., atmospheric pressure, overhead weather conditions, water color, clarity, and relative height, along with rigging, down to swivel size, exact weight, and what the rig consisted of. I.E. hook type/size, and color even, to what type of leader material used. Everything you could possibly think of that is of any relation, or not to fishing, gets logged. That is where i can get all these precise percentages, and ratios. Simple, simple stuff though, and it makes anyone a more productive angler.

No, drift fishing for Steel with an Amb, and a 15-20 is not going to make life easy with light weight rigs. I have been usin a 6'6" 6-12 spinning setup with my broken self, 10-12 lb. mainline, and 8-10 lb leaders. It has worked a legit 10 pound fish to the bank too, close to 40 inches in length. So I'm sure you have something that can handle the brat stock Steel.
 
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FishSchooler

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I just keep a very concise, accurate, up-to-date fishing log book. I record everything form water/air temp., atmospheric pressure, overhead weather conditions, water color, clarity, and relative height, along with rigging, down to swivel size, exact weight, and what the rig consisted of. I.E. hook type/size, and color even, to what type of leader material used. Everything you could possibly think of that is of any relation, or not to fishing, gets logged. That is where i can get all these precise percentages, and ratios. Simple, simple stuff though, and it makes anyone a more productive angler.

No, drift fishing for Steel with an Amb, and a 15-20 is not going to make life easy with light weight rigs. I have been usin a 6'6" 6-12 spinning setup with my broken self, 10-12 lb. mainline, and 8-10 lb leaders. It has worked a legit 10 pound fish to the bank too, close to 40 inches in length. So I'm sure you have something that can handle the brat stock Steel.
Yeh... So ima use my first combo, which was an inspinity (made by shakespear). Line wt is 8-14. 7ft length, medium action, and the reel is 5.2 or 5.3 to 1. Currently have it on 17 lb siege cause I don't have any other mainline line at the moment, but a small leader should do the trick I think.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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I too was screwin around with Siege as a mainline, but quiclkly found out it is terrible, especially on a casting reel. Look into the new Sufix product at Fishermans. It is one of the best casting lines I have ever used. A bud uses it on his side drifting rigs, and in the Clack, if you preload the rod, you will cast into the trees. Pretty good stuff. It is pretty tough too, but that will be much better than the Siege for you.
 
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Fishtopher

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Who knows?! Not me!
But if you can't get some right away due to lack of allowance, or just getting home from an expensive vacation, the line you have will work for the next trip you take if it's soon. Dont let that keep ya off the water! The flows are heavy and off color right now, and your main being on the heavy side probably wont hurt. As far as a quality of the line I can not attest to. Whattcha got fer leader? Or did I miss you post that?
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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So after this thread got completely convoluted... Chris, you fomulate a river plan? Still hittin the Wilson? What type of fishing are you going to be doing? Depending on water temps, spoons might be a good bet too. 1/4 oz, or less usually in metallic shades of Black, Pink, Greens, and Blues. I will say this though. I have hooked a lot of Winter Steelhead on Flourescent Red presentations. In low, clear water too. Flies in particular, but I have had a bunch eat this 35 Hot Shot. Over 100 fish on that little nasty. And I never, ever pull plugs. And, I don't ever fish it when I was told too. When it gets turbid like NesQuik nasty. I use it when I feel like something diferent...And you know the clear water, combined with bright colors is just going to piss 'em off to no end. Steelhead are stupid, kind of clever, but super stupid. Hang somethin like that in the strike zone, and hang on. Those Sea fairing Troots are curious, and for the most part very energy concious, and conservative.(They hang behind rocks, or logs creating lower hydraulic pressure zones in a sea of fast flowing water.) That can help determine what might be decent steelhead water.
 
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chris61182

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So after this thread got completely convoluted... Chris, you fomulate a river plan? Still hittin the Wilson? What type of fishing are you going to be doing? ....

Hey, like I said I'm also interested in any sort of winter steelhead advice so the thread can go as off me-fishing-topic as far as you'd guys like to take it.

As far as river plans go, I was originally thinking about starting by Cedar creek and working my way down stream from there but then I realized that most of that gravel bar is going to be under water unlike in the summer. So for the moment I'm not really sure where I'm going to start at, probably just the first good looking turn-out I see after passing the forestry center.

I have no shortage of spinners, spoons, and plugs in the appropriate sizes so some combination of those is going to be thrown at some point. I also spent some time on my lunch break reading about drift fishing so if I manage to make it to Bimart or Joe's tomorrow evening I'll pick up some worms and give those a try too. Though I've got plenty of plastic worms should I not make it to the store before heading out.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Yeah, I have not hardcore pounded the Wilson in well over 5 years, but you have the right idea about spotting good spots after the Forestry Center. All it takes is the right water, you are bound to at least get some hits. I was just gonna say something about the gravel bar. It might actually have some fish in it if the water is high enough. We used to catch Winters, in literally 8-14 inches of water out there. At least check it oot... And I really hate to say it but PinkStinks(the funny pink worms) are damn decent producers on the mid to upper end of the rivers height.(I.E. The Wilson on the first.) They have killed so many fish on my cards early on, I am ashamed to admit how many I caught. It was almost like PowerBait'n for stocker troots on some days! But, it sounds like you have a pretty solid plan, stick to it, and don't get stuck somewhere, or with some thing...For too long anyways. Keep switchin it up if you are not getting touched, but know there are fish in the drift. Good Luck man!
 
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FishSchooler

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But if you can't get some right away due to lack of allowance, or just getting home from an expensive vacation, the line you have will work for the next trip you take if it's soon. Dont let that keep ya off the water! The flows are heavy and off color right now, and your main being on the heavy side probably wont hurt. As far as a quality of the line I can not attest to. Whattcha got fer leader? Or did I miss you post that?

I have some 8 lb P-line and a semi fresh spool of 10 lb trilene XL Smooth cast. All mono and thats what I use for leaders. Oh, and I don't get allowance.:rolleyes:
 
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chris61182

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Just checked the graphs for the Wilson and it's already rising. I think I'm going to play it safe and just save the gas for another day.
 
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ArcticAmoeba

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Keep an eye on it though, as it starts its drop, the fish are going to just friggin bomb home. And it should get cleared up fairly quick too that high up in the System. Maybe a day or two for it to come back into better shape from being a mud bath.
 
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