Bill Herzog from Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine recently called me for a few quotes for an upcoming article he is doing on big steelhead. He asked if I’d send a pic of myself in with a big fish, which was a perfect excuse to sift through the archives and do a little steelie dreaming. While drooling over a set of pix from a British Columbia trip several years back, I found this one, my biggest steelhead to date. Remember it like it was yesterday!
Well, sometimes you just need a little fish porn. And man, what a week it’s been for that! I probably should have saved this fish for last because it dwarfs the 20 pounders below, but holy giant rainbow trout, Batman…that is one amazing specimen is it not?
All I know about this leviathan is that it was caught last weekend and measured 44 inches by 24 inches, which using the steelhead weight formula, comes out at 32 freaking pounds! WOW!!!!! My jaw just hit the floor!
And, just for kicks, here are a couple other 20 plus pounders…
This one was taken by Paul LeFebvre of Brookings, OR. He caught and released the fish Feb. 1 on the Chetco River while fishing with guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing. The steelhead hit a cluster of roe and took a half hour to subdue!
Our pal Greg McElroy sent in this pic of Tim Obert who fished just south of the Chetco, on California’s Smith River with Mad River Eggs for this low 20’s buck.
Damn, raise your hand if you work day just got totally screwed…
It’s time to welcome the 20-Pound Steelhead Club’s newest member, John Sellers of Fortuna, CA, who fished on Tuesday with guide Tony Sepulveda of Greenwater Guide Service on a very low and clear Chetco River in Orgeon for this bruiser buck.
Let’s let Tony tell the rest of the story…
“John hooked the fish drifting roe and a Fish Pill along a shallow break,” he says. “When he swung on the bite, it erupted in 18″ of water and went burning off the flat with it’s back out of the water like a spooked bonefish!”
Congratulations are in order for John…fish like that don’t come every day. And to that end, he thoughtfully opted to release it, despite the ridiculous regulation in Oregon that allows for the retention of wild steelhead.
“John’s a relative newcomer to steelhead fishing, catching his first on the Eel with me last winter,” says Tony. “With his big fish resting in the net, we talked about the importance of keeping those genetics in the gene pool. John was immediately on board. We took a few pictures and sent him on his way. We ended the day by 1:00 pm with 6 landed out of 10 hooked, a 20 pounder and a double hookup. Not a bad day!”
Fishing the upper Hoh River in Washington State, Jimmy Davis (left in the above photo) of Mad River Manufacturing fame did a little R&D mission on Washington’s Hoh River, where this beautiful 20-pound wild buck crushed one of his very own: A 6-inch Flame Orange Super Float Mad River Worm
Jimmy is now entered into our March Hawg of the Month Contest in which he has a chance to win some cool new headgear from the Pautzke Bait Co. If he advances, he will get to compete in the Hawg Bowl Playoffs at the end of the year and maybe, just maybe win a trip with Bill Swann of Swanny’s Guided Fishing. Click to ENTER
Nor Cal’s Mad River is mainly known for it’s solid population of hatchery steelies…but don;t for a second think it doesn’t pump out some dandy wild fish as well. Every year, a handful of 20-pound steelies comes out of this coastal drainage and it looks very much like Doc Johnson of Windsor CA here is awfully close with a 38″ x 20″ wild buck he caught while drifting a No. #12 orange Corkie slathered up in Steelhead Gravy below the Blue Lake Hatchery. After a quick grip and grin, the buck was back in the creek, hopefully soon to deposit some of that epic genetic material.
Doc is now entered into our February Hawg of the Month Contest in which he has a chance to win some cool new headgear from the Pautzke Bait Co. If he advances, Doc will get to compete in the Hawg Bowl Playoffs at the end of the year and maybe, just maybe win a trip with Bill Swann of Swanny’s Guided Fishing. Click to ENTER