We just can't seem to get fish :(

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mrlindeman

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May 6, 2010
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salem area
My girlfriend and I have been fishing the north santiam since late June. We have traveled packsadle, fishermans bend, minto park and even Big Cliff. We have also fished at the Stayton bridge that leads to Scio. Every weekend we go out hitting the out turned pools and rapid ends. Trying everything in the book and what we have learned online. We have used worms, steelhead stalkers, float rigs eggs, bluefox spinners, bangtails and even Kastmasters. One bite in almost 2 months. Thats it. Not a single fish fought. Can any one help us? I just dont know what in the word is going wrong and it has gotten to the point where money has been deemed wasted and river fishing may just get tossed out the window all together. I have done extensive research and tryed everything. We can't even catch trout in the river. I just dont get it :( :( :(. Please someone help. :(
 
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beaverfan

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Feb 18, 2009
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Beaverton, Oregon
My guess is that it's one of two things. Either your not getting your gear just off the bottom or your fishing in spots where the fish don't hold.

Fishing for Salmon/Steelhead is tough and has a sharp learning curve. To help shorten the curve hire a guide, it will be well worth the money!
 
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lilsalmon

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Check out Oregon Outdoor Excursions....Dave is excellent and he even has some inexpensive walk and wades, half days and a happy hour.....good luck to you....

Course it is fly fishing........maybe that is what you need....:D
 
A

autofisher

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Salem, Oregon
Don't feel bad. I haven't banked a fish on that stretch since late June either. Right now I would concentrate on the lower unit of the North. With the numbers that are posted by the hatchery, it would look like the fish are stacked up some where. Just gotta figure out where. Everything that I've hooked into has come on a small dark jig, lure, fly. The trout up there have been hitting dry flies and nymphs like crazy......ask Bigsteel. They just don't like mine. Dave Carpenter is a great guide for that river. He knows his stuff and he's a good fly fisherman. Don't give up and know that it's not a waste. I went through that with my other half as well. Think of it as either school or starting a new job...... there is an undetermined training period that everyone must go through with out any reward to show for it.
 
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mrlindeman

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salem area
The thing I think is wrong is the spots. We have never caught a fish in a river before in our lives lol. We really dont know how to tell where fish like to hold. other than slow current and bottoms of rapids. I know that we are getting deep enough cause we are losing up to 50 dollars a trip due to bottom snags :( A guide would be great but im not sure its going to be in the budget. Does any one here have a sudgestion for a good spot that is some what consistant for some decent trout so that we can at least catch a bit and learn in the process?
 
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everett464

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Apr 12, 2010
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Happy Valley
Where are you at? I have never, ever been skunked on the Row underneath Dorena Reservoir in CG. Its a smallish river, and its currently running at just under 2 feet (which is perfect). It is mostly a trout stream, but I have heard rumors of Steelhead, and even chinook (I would not get my hopes up for either of the latter).
 
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JeannaJigs

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Feb 8, 2009
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Eugene, Oregon
The thing I think is wrong is the spots. We have never caught a fish in a river before in our lives lol. We really dont know how to tell where fish like to hold. other than slow current and bottoms of rapids. I know that we are getting deep enough cause we are losing up to 50 dollars a trip due to bottom snags :( A guide would be great but im not sure its going to be in the budget. Does any one here have a sudgestion for a good spot that is some what consistant for some decent trout so that we can at least catch a bit and learn in the process?

Try a float and small dark colored jig, above riffles about 8-12 inches off the bottom. Salmon will hold in slower water, but steelhead need more oxygen, while simultaneously looking for the path of least resistance, they like holding in front of and behind boulders above riffles and below, the hydraulics work in their favor in these areas. Also first light and dusk are when the fish start movin' i've noticed, so that may be your best bet as far as time of day goes. Steelhead can be mighty discouraging, but it's worth it in the end. Just keep at it. The last few times I've been up there, I've gotten skunked too, but I had a good day back in June, and the fish are in there, it's just a matter of finding them. All I can say really other than that, is just cover as much water as you possibly can and have fun, and it'll pay off. Also, I can send ya a couple jigs if ya want to try them out...just shoot me a pm.
 
jamisonace

jamisonace

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My guess is your fishing where the fish aren't holding. I'd recommend two things. 1. The best money you'll ever spend to learn a river your unfamiliar with is a 1/2 day with a guide. Let him know you want to learn the river as much as you want to catch fish. Make sure he takes the time to show you where he expects to hook fish in each hole and you'll start to see where the fish hold. 2. Buy a good book on steelhead fishing. It will tell you where they are likely to hold. No one can explain that in a short post here but for starters I'd concentrate on tailouts and fast runs that are 2-4' deep. Steelhead need fast, highly oxogenated water and love to snug up to a boulder so look for those too. Salmon on the other hand are totally different and it's rare to find water that holds both. That said, I did pull a springer out of a 2' deep tailout over the weekend....I thought I was steelhead fishing. Good luck and report back when you get one. Don't get discouraged, I know a guy that fished almost 500 hours before he caught his first steelhead. He finally hired my buddy to take him on the Santiam and he's been catching fish ever since.
 
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SantiamDrifter

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Mar 13, 2010
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Salem
Im just gunna say, catching a low water summer run steelhead on the north is one of the hardest things to do. The trout on the other hard, oh boi. I would advise you to switch to trout for awhile, That way you can get the feel for catching fish. The trout in the north can get up to 5 pounds, and they know how to use the current. So when you are fighting them it feels like a steelhead sometimes.

The best way to catch trout is with bobber and bait. Its always a blast watching your float sink under. In the mornings start with Artic Shrimp, or any shrimp for that matter. Then midday switch to nightcrawlers. You can fish fast ripples this way, but trout also love the slower inside seam.
 
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rippin fish lips

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May 27, 2010
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Springfield, Oregon
Also, keep this in mind! When you first start fishing depending on the water your in you wont catch fish. Even if your fishing where the fish hold you may not catch a single fish until a couple times of fishing that water, If you get bites, pay attention to where you got those bites and make the same cast! Repeated cast will often produce! Also cast short distance for your very first cast and "fan" your way out, It's a very affective way to cover lots of water.
 
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bigfootfish

Skunkadylic.....

Skunkadylic.....

You aren't the only one having a hard time hooking! I've never gone this far into summer without catching a steelhead. There's lots and lots of them in the North right now, from Packsaddle up to Big Cliff. The Niagra river gauge has a temperature monitor since last year, and the water's been ranging from 56 to 59 degrees, morning to evening. So the water temp is about ideal for steelhead and salmon. I'm doing lots of pondering lately, trying to figure this skunkadylic out!!:wall::wall::wall::pray::think:


ARGHHH!!

BFF
 
M

mrlindeman

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May 6, 2010
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426
Location
salem area
Thanks for all the great replys every one. I was wondering if anyone knows an ideal spot in the stayton section of the river. We have been fishing between the rapids and that bridge that takes you to Scio. I heard its good fishing but am having trouble due to the water seeming to be deep and fast there.
 
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bigfootfish

Northside of Stayton Bridge...

Northside of Stayton Bridge...

On the Northside of the Stayton Bridge there is a small parking lot where you can park and walk up a trail provided by the City of Stayton. It runs along some man-made ponds for a bit then I think it goes along the river. Never walked it yet.....


BFF
 
M

mrlindeman

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May 6, 2010
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426
Location
salem area
Yea I fished that little pond after getting skuked at the river saturday lol. Caught 3 bluegill in 10 minutes :) There is only one place to fish the pond. I hear that a good part of the river though.
 
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