By Bret Wirta-The Incidental Explorer
Distance: drifting a few miles
Time: all day
Rating: Fun with a good guide
July 19th 2011
Catching a steelhead
Steelhead fishing isn’t easy especially for those of us who don’t fish much. If you manage to entice a cunning steelhead to strike, they’ll fight hard, throwing the hook or break your line. Steelhead are large rainbow trout that return to rivers to spawn after living in the sea for a few years. Unlike Pacific salmon that die after spawning, steelhead can make the journey back to the river several times. Result – a strong fish adept to the ways of the world.
Many have been steelheading more than once and have never landed one. I’ve fished for steelhead in the winter, standing in a bone-chilling river with no luck. I’ve even fished for steelhead on a river designated for night fishing, using glow in the dark lures. Fish on? Nope. So this time, when I decided to go fishing for summer steelhead on the Olympic Peninsula, I surrounded myself with experience; my fishing-crazed friend, “The Rat” and Pat Neal, guide, writer and wild man of the Olympic Peninsula.