Апр 5, 2019
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Some Habits of Steelhead

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Steelhead are very popular among fly fishers especially in the Northwest (it is the official state fish of Washington.) They are celebrated for their aggressive tactics and the good fight.

Steelhead are rainbow trout that spend time in the ocean and then return to fresh water to spawn. Rainbow trout that live in the Great Lakes and migrate to surrounding tribunals to spawn are also called steelhead though they do not make it to the ocean. The native habitat of steelhead is the coastal waters and rivers feeding to the Pacific Ocean, reaching from parts of Russia to Alaska and down the west coast of the United States, however, fresh rainbow trout have been introduced all over the world, on every continent save for Antarctica.

Although steelhead are technically rainbow trout, they have some particular quirks and habits that set them apart. Steelhead are generally much larger, sometimes reaching four times their wholly freshwater counterparts. Steelhead are like salmon in that they return to spawn in the place they were hatched, but they can spawn several times in their lifetime.

There are two main "runs" when steelhead return to the rivers to spawn: the summer run and the winter run. Some rivers may have both types and others may have just one so it is a good idea to research the area you plan to fish. Spawning happens in the spring for both types of runs; the difference is when the fish have entered the river. Summer run fish come into the river as early as March (and as late as October depending on how far up river they have to travel) and spend several months in the river before spawning. Winter run fish migrate as their name would suggest in late fall or early winter. Because they are often closer to reproductive maturity, they are also usually larger than the summer run fish.

So how do you go about finding a spot where there are likely to be some steelhead hanging out? There are a few main clues to look for. The first thing to look for is an area where the current is not moving too fast (about 3 miles an hour or the speed of walking), especially before or after fast moving water. Steelhead hang out and rest in these spots before continuing up the river. Also look for a rocky bottom as steelhead hate sand since it can get into their gills. The depth of the water can be an indicator as well. Prime depth for steelhead is between three and four feet but the possible depth range is from two to six feet deep. So if you see a bend in the river with slow moving water just after some rapids, with a rocky bottom, and about three or four feet deep, that is a prime steelhead spot. What are you waiting for? Get out there and fish it!


Source by Angie Stephens

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