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Author Topic: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar  (Read 2201 times)

RalphH

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My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« on: January 19, 2018, 04:09:06 PM »

I caught a hatchery fish my first trip out this season but this fish is a little peculiar.

It hardly fought at all it just stayed a few feet off the shore and pulled. If I pulled it into shallow water and it's belly rubbed gravel it moved out a few feet. In less than 10 minutes I dragged it in. It was bright but not sea bright. It was thin and I guessed it was a male. There was no 'rainbow stripe' though the gill plates were a bit rosy and I'd guess it had been in the river less than 2 weeks. I whacked it - I mean why not I may not catch another hatchery fish this year. I picked it up by the gills then it shot some loose eggs out the vent. "Crap" I thought.

So I took it home. It was 30.5 inches long and the girth was 14 inches. There were 2 or 3 loose eggs inside. The edge of the tail is square and unblemished - no sign it has been digging a redd. The flesh, a pale orange, looks fine though there was what looked like a dark bruise inside but no sign of an injury on the skin.

I have heard that sometimes steelhead will act almost cod like. I have heard that late in season gravid does fresh from the season may look sea bright. I wouldn't expect a fish this time of year would be in spawning condition. In the river I caught it in I have run into kelts in late February but mid January?

Any thoughts what was up with fish? An illness? Poor ocean conditioning?
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 05:42:12 PM by RalphH »
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"Never force conversation on a stranger. They are probably there just to fish and find solitude. If you ask a question or 2 and receive only answers...and no attempt to keep the conversation going, gracefully follow the implied suggestion and leave the angler alone"
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poper

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 05:08:50 PM »

Just sounds like a fish that worked hard to get where she was,maybe been in the system longer then you think. Iíve caught a bunch of fish in Jan and feb that are far from prime,good job hooking up, Iím not lighting it up this year. Congrats
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cammer

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 05:16:14 PM »

Possible rehook,that took a lot out of her?? Since u don't use bait, I'll come.pick up that roe Ralphy,   lol. Congrats on fresh eats
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wildmanyeah

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 05:24:24 PM »

I head thereís been some seals camping out at the mouths of some tribs where stealhead hold. Any bite marks?
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chris gadsden

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 06:42:06 PM »

Possible rehook,that took a lot out of her?? Since u don't use bait, I'll come.pick up that roe Ralphy,   lol. Congrats on fresh eats
I would agree this is what happened.

Dave

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2018, 09:11:53 PM »

Must have swam to close to a fish farm  :o  ;)
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bigsnag

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 10:58:35 PM »

Here's a 32 X 14" snake.  Not my fish, and not this year obviously.

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BentRodsGuiding

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 06:02:29 AM »

I have caught 2 wild bucks this year that were abnormally dark and rosy for this early in the season. I chalk it up to fish that came in early in December and very well may be ready to get busy spawning.
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RalphH

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2018, 08:57:06 AM »

Must have swam to close to a fish farm  :o  ;)

Yeah fish farms are the most likely culprit! :P

Cammer I do fish with bait, sometimes

Thanks everyone for your responses

Anyway, wife and I had some for supper last night - tastes excellent. No worries and it's always a good idea to get those tainted hatchery fish out of the gene pool.
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"Never force conversation on a stranger. They are probably there just to fish and find solitude. If you ask a question or 2 and receive only answers...and no attempt to keep the conversation going, gracefully follow the implied suggestion and leave the angler alone"
               from " Courtesy and Safety"; Morris and Chan on Fly Fishing Lakes by Brian Chan and Skip Morris

Every Day

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 12:11:50 AM »

Are we talking 2-3 loose eggs and no other eggs present, or 2-3 loose eggs that fell off some tight skeins?

Completely possible to get kelts right now. My buddy and I landed 11 in 2 days of fishing around 2 weeks ago (just after the first rains) of fish dropping back out. 100% kelts. 3 different rivers. Granted they were summers on the island, but steelhead have definitely finished their first spawns of the year - one of the earliest spawning events I've seen actually. That being said, it's never surprised me to see the odd kelt in early January.

If it had eggs in skein then it obviously wasn't a spawned out fish though!
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RalphH

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2018, 10:05:24 AM »

2 to 3 eggs only - no skeins. This stream has no summer runs and the first bump of fish is usually around Xmas though I once took a 21 inch 'rainbow' I considered a steelhead in late November while fishing for trout.

My guess is the doe was gravid and expelled most of her eggs after I hooked her or during a previous encounter with an angler, if that occurred.
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"Never force conversation on a stranger. They are probably there just to fish and find solitude. If you ask a question or 2 and receive only answers...and no attempt to keep the conversation going, gracefully follow the implied suggestion and leave the angler alone"
               from " Courtesy and Safety"; Morris and Chan on Fly Fishing Lakes by Brian Chan and Skip Morris

wildmanyeah

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Re: My first Steelhead this year is a little peculiar
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2018, 02:08:02 PM »

2 to 3 eggs only - no skeins. This stream has no summer runs and the first bump of fish is usually around Xmas though I once took a 21 inch 'rainbow' I considered a steelhead in late November while fishing for trout.

My guess is the doe was gravid and expelled most of her eggs after I hooked her or during a previous encounter with an angler, if that occurred.

Congrats on finding a Steelhead somewhere other then C/V a true prize indeed.
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