After getting hammered by rain last week, Nor Cal’s Smith River and, just across the border, Southern Oregon’s Chetco River are now in shape and fishing pretty well.
Guide John Klar said the Smith is feeling “very fishy” currently, and he’s been hooking some seriously impressive numbers of chrome steelies, including the dandy pictured that was caught Tuesday.
The Chetco is still holding plenty of color but it has fish in it as well and guide Andy Martin had a day to remember when a 54-pound Chinook inhaled a Steelie plug and, on 12-pound gear, took 2 hours to subdue! He added a chrome steelhead as the cherry on top!
Looks like the North Coast is off to a good start! Keep an eye on our fishing reports for updates all season long!
Holy crap! Get a look at this: Ray Fairfax sent in this photo of a giant Chinook salmon carcass he ran across earlier this winter while steelhead fishing on the Smith River in Northern California.
“We were fishing the Bailey Riffle and found a salmon carcass of amazing length,” says Fairfax. “All that was left was the jaws and backbone, but what a fish it must have been! I straightened the backbone out the best I could and laid my STR1025C Loomis down next to it. It measured 59 inches…minus, of course, the tail!!”
Fairfax says that the jaws looked almost as if the fish was a female, which is even more mind-blowing!
“If you add a conservative few inches for the tail, how big was this beast?” he asks.
Well, just for comparison’s sake: Les Anderson’s 97.3-pound All Tackle World Record Chinook was 58.5 inches long!! Of course, we’ll never know how big the King of the Smith was in his prime…but let’s just hope he spread a bunch of his genetic material around!
And here’s another one: The 50.7 incher found dead in a tributary of the Sacramento River a couple seasons back: GIANT SALMON CARCASS FOUND
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…
Nobody will ever accuse “Pete” Schendel, twin brother of the April Hawg of of the Month winner, Brad Schendel, of getting overly excited when he catches a monster steelhead.
He caught this jumbo slab o’ steel on the Smith River in Nor Cal while fishing with guide Mike Stratman at the appropriately named Picnic Hole while eating a cold corndog. Here’s what his guide had to say:
“He never even stopped eating to land the damn thing,” said Stratman. “This kid lands so many huge steelhead, even a hawg like this one doesn’t do much for him. You can tell how unimpressed he is by the look on his face. It may take a lot to impress “Pete,” but I sure think its a dandy!”
A dandy, indeed…which begs the question: Why doesn’t this cat take up some other sport and leave these incredibly awesome gifts from the river to those of us who would appreciate them? Anyway, he’s entered into our Hawg of the Month Contest in which he has a shot to win some Pautzke’s head gear and maybe even a guided trip with Bill Swann of Swanny’s Fishing.