Steelhead Fishing on the Vedder – They’re here!
Steelhead fishing on the Vedder River is kicking into gear now. The Vedder River has both wild and hatchery clipped Steelhead. All wild fish must be released and never removed from the water. Although there are those who fish here with hopes of landing a nice wild Steely, there are many that fish here for the fin clipped fish. The ones that end up on the dinner table or smoker. We’re happy with either one.
Steelhead fishing picks up after some much needed rain after a rather lengthy and dry Arctic domination of our weather. The Vedder river shot up to a level that drives fish into the system instead of the pee trickle we had for several weeks. When the river starts to drop this is always a key time to hit the river. Fresh Steelhead only 2 days from the ocean are back home to their birth place and eager to smack some morsels of bait drifted in front of them. And so we were there to take part in this winter ritual.
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Arriving at first light
The Steelhead hunt begins
Rule #1 for successful Steelhead fishing means cover water. The river is big and there’s a million places a fish could be. We like to put the odds in our favour so we walk, wade and cast. A typical day might see 2-4 km of river bank covered. The fresh air and exercise is reward in itself. But the real goal here is to wrestle with some chrome.
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The Vedder is much like any other river around here. There are long sweeping runs, riffles, tailouts, boulder runs and side channels. All have the potential to surrender a fish. And they do so on a regular basis. Today it was the riffle. A new spot with new hopes and on the 2nd cast the float rips down and a connection is made! The battle begins with thumping head shakes quickly followed by a burst of freak out and line comes peeling off the reel. Surface thrashing and twists and rolls are all part of the tactics used by this Steelhead. In fact it’s the tactics used by almost all of them. They are after all a Rainbow Trout. It just happens to be that these ‘Bows venture out to the Pacific ocean to feed and get big in a hurry.