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Well after reading Ortho's "Steelhead story" I thought it might be an interesting topic.

I remember 8 yrs ago when I first started steelheading like it was yesterday. I read about 10 different books on The elusive trout and numerous fishing articles for about 6 months before I decided to freeze my a$$ off for a fish I may never catch. Well one month and about 100 hrs into it my float dissapears and get one head shake and it is gone. I almost started crying. Well another 3 months and the season is done. The next season I thought that I would take a steelhead seminar. During our time on the river with the guide assured me I was fishing beautifully. My problem was confidence in my lures. I was spending too much time trying different things. Well on the weekend after the seminar 4 hrs into fishing float goes down FISH ON my heart is in my throat my adrenalin is pumping so much I felt like I was on fire. Up the run Down the run 20 mins later a beauty 15 lb hatchery doe.Had another 20 fish to the beach that season. It was spectacular.

Now I stick to 2-3 different baits and catch enough fish to keep me happy. I sure miss that Rush you get from your first taste of STEEL. :thumbup:
 

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Well you can do it all over again, just switch to the fly and that same rush happens all over again!

My first one happened at 14, back in behind sleepy hollow on the Vedder... Three of us got to the first spot, and told me where the fish would be laying if there was one there... I baited up my hook with roe, and started working it while my dad and his friend walked down to the next larger run.

Well they were about 150 feet away when my float went under, and I set the hook, stunned as to what was happening... I had waited a year for that moment, and it was finally here. My screams were lost on the current, and I frantically tried to get their attention but no such luck. Alone, I played my prize, a 10 pound wild buck... I beached him, and we had a little moment together while I stood there shaking, in awe of this creature.

Reluctantly I realeased my grip, and he wandered off into the depths... And I ran to tell dad, at an unsafe clip across those rocks...

What a day that was! 21 years ago, man am I old!

:D
Nicole
 

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Nicole said:
Well you can do it all over again, just switch to the fly and that same rush happens all over again!...


:D
Nicole
Funny you should mention that...

My first. Again. ;)

A few weeks back I decided it was time to take my first shot at steelhead on the fly. Armed with experience and a bit of knowledge gathered over the years, I decided to fish with the fly before the drift gear one sunny morning standing on the rocks of a river...I knew what these fished inspired, I had felt their strength and tenacity many times before, but nothing could prepare me for the intensity of the newfound rush of a fly caught steelie on the line...

Eyeing the run, my eyes drifted to the spot I thought the fish would most likely rest. With a little determination, I cast, awkwardly...and mended and swung my fly. Not the right drift I thought...so I cast again, a little less awkwardly this time, and mended and swung my fly...Better, I thought to myself...but I'm not back to the fish yet...

So I stripped in the line with a few quick pulls, and did my best impression of a spey cast, even with some authority I might add... ;) One of the few good casts of the day...

The line layed out perfectly and I ripped some more into the drift and mended and thought, that's what I want...! I had the perfect drift, I knew it. I was getting that fly back to the fish and yet nothing had taken yet... :-[ Damn, you figure I'd be more patient than that... ;)

Then I remember something I had heard, or read or seen somewhere in the past, and I decided I needed to let my fly swing in to the end of the drift and hesitate there. So I let it wait...and hang. A nice little blue, black and silver unweighted popsicle type fly just hanging there at the end of the swing. I gave it a little twitch...

Then suddenly I felt that solid jolt of a steelhead smashing my fly and watched a blinding run full of cartwheels and visions of a squaretail against the horizon...

What a great fight, different from the drift gear, but exhilarating, fascinating...I can't describe it, but I guess that's what this thread is for...

Who would have thought, my first steelie on the fly, and my first time trying too...Thanks Nicole, and the rest of you for all the great advice and help...you know who you are!

I'm hooked, again, as if I needed more "excuses" to feed my addiction... ;D

By the way, great story Ortho, I guess it inspired me... ;D

Thx,

rib
 

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Ribby, we HAVE missed you!....I don't feel the need to fill the void, I just felt like putting some thoughts on the board.......Glad I helped to give you a jumpstart.....or...... should I say re-start?? Remember one thing.......the first one of the season is just around the corner....Ortho 8)
 

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I remember it like it was yesterday even though it was over 20 years ago ,i was bound and determined to get into my first steely but not having much success for a couple of seasons i struggled along being as green as one can be and under equipped with a nine foot spinning rod, coffee grinder reel and plastic bags inside my hiking boots to act as some sort of water resistance just incase i had to do some puddle jumping.So on the morning of the great event i pull into the lickman parking lot just in time to see a fellow walking out with his fish so now i was stoked because were there is one there is hopefully more,off i go down to the river across a little side channel{no the plastic didnt help much} and up to the top of the main run,i was armed with some army and navy scented roe sacks,after a about a hour of watching a few other fish hooked below me i was starting to freeze up and frustration was setting in,then it happened just like it was meant to be ,slight tug on the float and holy s*** fish on,i was so stunned all i could think of was i gotta land this fish or nobody will believe me,i fought this fish like my life depended on it ,with every exhilerating jump and run of my prize i thought there was no way i was going to land it,but after what seemed like an eternity the solid chrome bar finally succumbed and my first steely was on the beach,and a hatchery to boot,at that point i was wet and fozen ,it was time to call it a day and header home grinning like a cheshire cat all the way back to coquitlam.Since that day there have been many more steelies and a considerable upgrading to both my gear and knowledge of these amazing creatures but none have been more special and memorable than my first.
 

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Well you can do it all over again, just switch to the fly and that same rush happens all over again!
- Nicole

Well - my first ever steelhead was on the fly! December 2000 on the Chehalis. We were fishing the gun barrel run which used to be below the hatchery. I was using a 7 wt fly rod that was an 80's graphite noodle rod. Anyway, I had tied up my first flies for salmon/steelhead the night before and was hooking quite a few coho (most of them boots). Then all of a sudden, the line tightened and I felt very strong, aggressive headshakes. I thought it was too big to be a 5 - 6 lb coho - maybe it's one of those "northerns" my fly fishing mentor kept talking about. The fish then torpedoed across the run with its back creating a nice wake! The fish took a few leaps, then made several runs across the river and back again. I was finally able to bring the fish to hand to discover it was a beautiful steelhead buck with a clipped adipose fin! However, we decided to release the fish. Got a great photo though. Will never forget the first one! Actually got the photo framed with the fly included! :thumbup:

 

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Well, all his talk about steelies lead me to think about my first, which wasn't too long ago. After about 4 seasons of nothing and endless books, like fishin30, I was pretty much just going out to be out if you know what I mean. Anyways, A buddy and myself made our way down to Lickman Rd to freeze our butts off. after about a haf hour of trying all sorts of lures, I tied on a small pink and white drift bobber, bead, wool and roe sack and wouldn't you know it boom!! Right at the end of the drift she struck. I was caught so off guard I didn't even set the hook! LOL! thinking back now, I must have looked hilarious! But I got her to shore, said a quick hello and set her on her way. I had the biggest Sh&$ eating grin on my face! Went after that to the fire my buddy built, defrosted my feet and went back. After about 15 mins with the same setup, I was just about to change it up and Wham! another one struck. Oh the gods were smiling that day! He was no monster, about 7-8lbs, but in my mind he was a Thomson 30 lb'er! What a day, the best part was on the way back, we heard someone ask the requsite "how's the fishing" to which the other fella replied,"some lucky basT$*D nailed two downstream!" You couldn't have ripped that smile off my face with an air chisel! Now with a beautiful 21 mo old daughter, it seems like a distant memory... oh well that's what memories are for. Maybe this year................
 

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Hmmn, How to reply and make it short!!!

Well, as a little Maple Ridge boy myself, I received my start period fishing on the Alouette River with my Dad in the 1970's. We used to head down to Neaves Bridge and launch the canoe, where we would aim to try to catch Coho (which I believe we caught a few) but I have a feeling many of our fish were Chum. Fishing was kept pretty simple and we usually dragged a Crocodile around behind the boat. I did have a number of experiences after that time as well, but they are now vauge. I do remember that by my high school years, I had not much of an interest in fishing, although my Dad and brother used to hit the Vedder a lot for Coho. My brother was very interested in fishing. I seem to remember going one time, but not liking it much.

Oddly enough today, my brother is a Vegan and hates fishing, while for me, it has become my passion!!!

Well, in my early 20's, I met my current wife and began dating. I went to the Island and met her Dad, who lives in Nanaimo. He was a big time fisher, but Steelhead in particular. He also loved those Stamp Springs. So, he re-ignited my passion for fishing by taking me out on the Stamp and teaching me how to fish for Springs. I really began to like to fish, but found the waters at home quite different and was never really big into them.

After a couple of years, he decided to take me on my first Steelhead outing. If my memory is correct, we are looking at early January, 1991. I had been to a good number of places on the Stamp, but on this particular day, we hit the Falls Pool. Well, it was my day. By the time the day had ended, I had landed 10 fish, and lost a number more. What a great outing and a way to introduce me to Steelhead fishing!!!

My personal favorite river was the Nanaimo, though. We used to drive up to a place further up river and hit some awesome water few went to. This was a great place to learn, as it was often just the two of us, with a large area with a variety of water types, and I really learned how to Steelhead fish and read water. On the Nanaimo at this time in history, there was no such thing as a "one fish day".

I did return and finally learned to use the info I had gained on the island to fish for Salmon, Coho and Springs in particular, on the mainland. By this time, my brother had decided to fish no more and I was kinda on my own.

My big success with my first "mainland" Steelhead came, of all places, out of the Alouette River. I was at Davidson's Pool, fishing for trout and anything else which may have been interested in a garden worm when something much bigger than a "small" trout hit at the end of the tailout. I was by myself when I landed this slightly colored 8 lbs wild fish. It was completely unexpected and my hand trembled and shook, as it was truely the "first" steelhead I caught by myself.

Since that time, I have gone on to catch a number of Steelhead in a number of different systems and locations, using a variety of methods.

When it comes to Steelhead, I have tended to have a great deal of success. I have caught some nice fish, and did get some nice, "double digit" fish on the Island. Fish here in that size range tended to be more elusive for me.

For me, a "personal achievement" will always be catching that first fish on the mainland which was over 15 lbs. For some reason, this was an important number. As stated, a few had been found on the island, but over here, the big one seemed to be very elusive. It was not until a few years ago now that goal was achieved here. The one thing that will stand out for me is that while all Steelhead put up a fairly good scrap, the big ones from the Island, and this one in particular, put up huge fights. Not sure if it is due to their much larger size, but with this fish in particular, I felt I would never land it or it was going to break me off. Truely a "first" for me, for while Steelhead can be obtained with some though and careful presentation, the big ones (over 15 lbs) are never a for sure thing. Well, once in a while, they can be achieved:



Dano
 

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my first steelhead came on my favourite and closest river to home. I grew up on the river pretty much.Caught my first coho and chinook there, i had a few years under my belt. It was late may and i was fishing for coho. Clued in yet. Fishing a nice pool that has changed now and the best holding spot is now whiped out. It had a large tail out with a little hole on the far side under a sweeper branch. I had just shown up and was surprised to see another angler there, to this day i have only seen 7 other anglers there. I say hello, ask if i can fish bellow him in the tail out, i get the ok. Well it didn't take me long to hook a blueback, all of 5 casts, but i hadn't covered the whole tailout. I continued to fish, and had not touched a thing after the first coho. the other fishermans partner showed up and he started to pack up. I hooked on a fresh ghost shrimp (they work well for salmon too) and placed a cast well infront of the hole, because of the clear water i did not want to spook the fish. Just as it passes over the spot, the float jiggles and goes down slowly, i set the hook and then felt nothing. All of a sudden the river bottom moved, and i was into a tug of war. I was surprised i had never had a coho fight like this, he tested my setup to the max. a short 9ft american baitcasting steelhead rod and 5500C3 abu, i had 12lb main and 8lb leader. I played the fish for about 10 minutes, all the while, the fellow anglers were watching. I finally got the fish to shore and realised i had hooked a fairly chrome steelhead. I had some help landing the fish, and soon released the 12lb fish. He held infront of me in the current for about 2 minutes and then was on his way up river. I was shaking. Once again the other fisherman were leaving. I re-baited with roe this time and again put a cast back into the the hole, and again the float dives, i set the hook again but the classic coho fight began, i soon had the fish in, all 9lbs of her, she was hatchery and i kept that fish. The guys were just standing there in shock, they witnessed this 11 year old, just pull 2 fish out of a pool that one of them had hammered all morning. I got the gentleman's number that landed the steelhead. Anyways, i had my 2 fish, and was happy, i had no time left anyways. I was soon home, i told my dad about the steelhead and showed him the big coho and he was surprised and questioned if it actually was a steelhead, so we picked up the phone and called the man. And he told my dad about the fish, and that was that. Its been 4 years since then, in that time i've caught many more steelhead but it took me another 2 years to hook my 2nd fish. Last year was my best by far, 16 fish.
 

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My first steelhead memory took place on the Sustut river in 1991, and bent the rod of my best friend and not mine. There was a group of five friends that headed in to try our hands at a little steehead fishing. Of our group no one had ever landed or even seen a steelhead brought to hand, but non the less we were determined to give it a try. The first two days of our trip we were blanked, the water seemed dead and our confidence was pretty shattered. Then it happend "Whoa ho ho ho" my buddy screemed, we all gathered arround and watched as our friend battled what seemed to be a monster of strength. When that steelhead was finally landed I was in awe, the red stripe on a siver bar with rosie cheeks was amazing. The glow that came from every single person present was truly one of my most memorable angling experiences, and that particular steelhead led to an addiction that I know will be life long.
 

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Very nice and inpiring stories. I said to myself, this year I am going to do it. I don't care about cold weather. All I care is to spend few hours out, get some fresh air, meet new people and hopefully get my first steelhead.

Wanted to get steeelhead clinic this year, but looks like there will not be one this year. Phoned Fred's, they still don't know ...
 

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My first steelie is one that will never be forgotten. It was December 26, the day of the Boxing Day Vedder Steelhead Derby. I had only fished 2 times for steelhead in my life, and hadn't gotten anything. So what's the point of buying a ticket for the derby, right? Not going to get anything anyways.
We pulled into our spot, got our gear together and waded down to our spot. It was still dark, but as we were approaching the area, we could see that there were about 6 guys sitting on the shore waiting for first lite. It was a chilly morning, about -3, so we pulled out the thermos of coffee and waited for the sun to rise. We decided to let the others who were there first get there spots. But once they were in, we realized that the tailout was all ours. We walked down to the tailout and started casting. There were people everywhere. Probably 10 guys fishing from the other side, plus all the guys on our side. Definitely not how I like to fish. But we decided to stay anyways. On my 5th cast, it felt like a caught the bottom a little, just a little hang up. It popped off without me having to tug on it. The current just pulled it off. That seemed a little strange. So I shortened up a foot or so, and cast back into the same spot. I was watching the float like my life depended on it. Suddenly the float was gone. With a quick jerk of the rod, the fight was on. It felt big, but I didn't know. I had never caught a steelie before. After 20 minutes of runs, flips, and other attempts to spit the hook, I brought a beauty 17 lb 7 oz hatchery buck to hand. What a beautiful fish. I sat down in disbelief, as the others around me told me that that fish was probably one of the biggest steelhead I would ever catch. They weren't exactly right, there have been a few Vedder steelhead that I've got that have been a little bigger. But that one was certainly the most memorable.
By the way, had I have got a ticket for the derby that day, I would have won by more than 3 pounds. But the memory is worth more than any prize I would have received.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Excellent posts guys :thumbup: Let's keep 'em coming ;D
 

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well, to be honest, I had the good fortune to fish the Stamp a number of times during my first year of fishing, and I fished with Kenny Meyers. For that reason, I hardly remember the first, let alone the last of about 50 or so Steelhead landed that year.

what I do remember, however, is my first "self caught" Steelhead, that same year, on the Vedder. It was February 23rd, and at least 8 dawn to dusk expeditions, without a sniff had preceeded the day. I had been told by many that Steelhead fishing was, "different" than salmon fishing. My Stamp experience was nonstop fish, and yet the Vedder was proving them right. I had started my day near Tamahi, and had been working my way downriver. It was nearly noon, and the day was progressing along, with no luck again. I parked near the Quarry, as I had been told at Fred's that Peach Rd. was a good bet.

I hiked down to the river, and began to cast in water that looked to provide a chance, walking speed, about 3 or 4 feet deep. (I had heard that term many times in my quest for Steelhead.} Still, after working the run to the tailout, the river showed no love! I walked to the next run, wondering if I should fish it, or skip it. It didn't look all that much like the right water, but I did notice a large boulder, halfway down the run. I set myself up to short float it, just above the boulder. I was using a small jensen egg, with a touch of white wool. I cast out, above the boulder, and swung it in behind. "Whoa, there's something on the end of my line!" I was laughing, giddy as a schoolgirl. "There ARE fish in this river!" A beautiful silver flash, and the battle was on. OK, to be frank, I was scared as hell of losing it. The fish headed for faster water, and I pulled a Ribwart, and quickly flipped the rod over to pull him closer to shore. A couple of minutes later, a 6 or 7 lb. doe was gently released.

Proud as hell, I drove down to the campground for one last try. Didn't feel like wading out to one of the channels, so I fished a small run, with an inviting tailout. Third or fourth cast, float down, set the hook, and fought a much more relaxed and confident fight. Brought the fish to shore, tailed by a fellow angler, and while I'd promised the fish gods that I would not bonk the first one, I made no such promises for the second. A nice little rock shampoo, and a nice 10# doe was going home for dinner, and to prove to the wife that I WAS in fact going fishing all of those other times! My first Steelhead, AND my second on the same day. ;D
 

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Well i will try to keep it short
my first steel was hooked on my first time steely fishing with a friend (seasoned fisher) and his friend
i found a whole large raw shrimp that someone must have dropeed on the path near prison camp
I put it on my hook along with a bit of wool and and drop of scent
they headed down river a bit and i fished this good looking streach(like i new what i was doing Ha!)
severel casts in and down went the float
nice hatch doe :happy:
kept it as it was my first
and it was only 9.30am so early bath for me
I walked down to my buddy who upon noticing the fish in my hand replied no way
some guys fish for years before hooking one and you get one on your first time out

Then my first on the fly was witnessed by Baerg (Rick) from the other bank
man that was a rush
I hooked into about 8 that day
only landed two
some just gave a head shake and were gone
Rick said he could see a big school of them where we were fishing
one took me up and down river a few times before a double flip and hook spit
 

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Christmas Day(my oldman was and still is hardcore} 1973 Alouette River 11LB doe in alittle pocket between Davidson pool and the Rock pool and all these years later i still get that same rush when i hook one (better than dope) :thumbup:
 

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Thanks for prompting my memory of my first steelie with help of an old timer.

It was early December and a friend and I ventured out in horrible winter weather, perfect steel weather though. The snow was just beating down on us from the get go, and we were determined to get into our first winter steelie. We had heard promising reports from a couple of old timers so we decided to hit it despite the heavy snow flurries.

Upon arriving at our desired run there were a couple of elderly men already fishing it. We looked at them with disappointment, but surprisingly they invited us to join them in fishing this spot. We were both very surprised since there was not much room for two people, let alone now 4 of us. It must have been very obvious to the seasoned veterans that we did not have much knowledge as far as how to set up or where to cast, because in very short order, they were offering their advice.

The man I was standing closest to, invited me over for a quick education. He asked to see what I was using, which led to him asking me if he could trim it off and tie me up something that he had been using. In the short time we had been there, I had already watched him CnR 2 nice fish so I figured he was doing something right. He showed me how to tie up a bait loop and rig it with a spin'n'glo and roe. After learning how to do this it seemed as if I had turned into his student that he was more interested in watching me succeed than he was interested in catching his own fish. After, many, many, many unsuccessful attempts and casting with an empty retrieve, I finally hooked up with my first fish. He coached me with my fish, all the way into where we were standing. He tailed it for me. I just remember standing there trembling as we let it go. That was a memory I will never ever forget. I actually ended up catching 2 more fish that day. My buddy Kevin caught his first as well, thanks to the help of a couple unselfish men of whom I can't remember their names.

Sucks getting older, I tend to forget a few things. But priceless things I remember, such as these mens unselfishness, are the situations I hope to be able to pass along to the next generation.
 

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September 1975 - Deschutes River, Oregon - My buddy and I went on a road trip - at the Mac's Canyon campsite met an oltimer - who could not fish anymore - wading was too dangerous for him - But he gladly used his jet boat to Guide newcomers to the right spots

What a terriffic old guy he was - fed us and guided us for 2 days

The first one was an 8 lb. doe caught on a dry fly presented exactly where he said I would find a fish - waste deep in water using a 7'9'' cane rod tip toeing down the river with brush tight up against your back and hanging into the river - nothing to do but follow for 100 yards or so.

I remember the rush even today - over 32 years later

thanks for reminding me

Oakey
 

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Early September 1990. We entered Calgory, picked up our camper and travelled along the Bow River, Banf and Jasper, etc to Highway 16 NW.
We enetered Houston where the large fly rod, a real eye-catcher, just had been placed.
Finally we reached our destination, The Kispiox Steelhead Camp, at that time still owned bij Olga Walker.
The three of us got into our rubber waders, grap our 10ft #9 rods and step into the Kispiox. Within a few minutes I hooked a nice cutthroat that was not really at his place with a 9 weight rod. I changed my fly and cast a salmon egg several times, but it wouldn't sink. I used some lead and tried it again. Within a few casts I hooked something! A bright silver fish made several jumps! That apeared to be my 1st Kispiox steelhead and still the smallest I ever caught there! Just a little over 28".
http://www.steelhead.nl/Steelhead%20images%20jpg/Bramseerste.jpg
That year I hooked about steelhead, landed 4. But I was hooked for life and each year I go back.
Many things have changed there. So did I.
 

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My first ever steelhead was a 20 lb wild vedder buck.............................

About four years ago I started steelheading. Honestly the first time out I never knew what the heck I was doing but put in my time none the less.From december to February I was out on the vedder searching for the elusive steel.I had recently joined BCFR and saw a lot of other talking about all the fish they were catching .It really felt like I was in the twilight zone because I was hearing about fish,seeing fish get caught all around me and yet I wasn't hooking up with any for myself. I got alot of great advise from the guys here at BCFR..

So one day I was fishing below the train bridge with a secret weapon that someone from the site here pm'ed me and told what to use and where to go exactly. Anyways watching my float go down very slowly like it was hitting a snag.So I give the hook set and my float is just sitting there. I can see it. So I start yanking my rod up and down to see if I can get the hook out . Nothing doing, so I tighten up my dragand get ready to start backing up to break it off. My cousin who standing there with me asks "Do you have a snag?" and I said "yes".As we both turn to watch me snap my line ,I notice that the log I'm snagged up on is slowly moving up river.Wait a minute it's a fish on there. So just when I say that I started to feel heavy head shaking and fightin g and my hearts just pounding. So at least 25 mins to get him in and a another fisherman helps me land it.(thanks to that guy whoever he is) Anyways it was about a 20 lb wid buck.No camera for me so a quick revival and back he goes .

I'll never forget this expierience. All the guys here from BCFR helped out so much with pm's and advice. I caught three more steelies that year. Most guys who first start out steelie fishing take a couple of seasons to get their first hook up.This is what they told me.So I was off to a good start and the fever is still running high in me and is still my favorite time of the year.


Hotrod
 
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