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Weekend rains bring hope for steelheaders

Steelheaders looking for better fortunes

Weekend rains a game-changer for steelheaders

In this segment we’ll talk about this weekend’s rain, and how it will be a game-changer for steelheaders. After weeks of fishing rivers at summer-time flows, we’ll finally get the shot of water we so desperately need, and the rivers should rise. The forecasts predict heavy rain this weekend, and small bits during the coming week.

Low flows force the fish into a few usable pockets of the river, and that concentrates the fishermen, too. All that activity from boat and bank tends to disturb the steelhead, and make them nervous. Nervous steelhead don’t bite. But, give the rivers a little rain, let them lift, and everything changes. The fish spread out, the competition spreads out, and everybody has more room.

As low water exits, change rigs and tactics 

After weeks of talking about light line rigs and setups for low water, it’s time to switch tactics, and possibly even get out the side-drifting gear. When it comes to the perfect rod for the job, most savvy steelheaders will tell you that you can’t beat the G-Loomis 9 foot 1141S. It has become the gold standard for side-drifting rods, but take a good look at the G-Loomis 9000C. Originally designed for tossing hardware, this shorter, 7 1/2 foot rod is great for side-drifting, especially from the tight confines of a drift boat.

The shorter rod is also a gas when hooked up. It puts you closer to the fish, and lets you get all of the fight.

Remember that high water also means you can use a heavier leader. Eight-pound test is still a good choice, but increasing that to 10 pound can help. There are potential monsters out there, and a heavier leader helps in the thick of battle.

Will the low water return?

While the rain will undoubtedly improve the fishing, the reprieve from low water may not last that long. Unless these rains are followed by more precipitation, we could be right back at low flows in just a few days. What is needed is a good blow out, with the rivers rising a couple feet or more, but that may not happen. So, hit it while the fishing is good.

If the rivers do drop fast, be sure to check out the segments on low water tactics in the last two shows. There are still a few slots for steelhead trips, so give me a call and we’ll fish. The 17 foot Willy drift boat and 25 foot Raptor sled make for a comfortable and fun day on the water.

Check out these segments from this week’s show.

Steelheaders saved by weekend rains

Tip of the Week- Steelhead Green