Today was a good day ! We arrived at the pull off by the slide pool before light, as we launched the drift boat there. Most people say huh? We lower it down the cliff on a rope pulley, its steep so it goes down easy. It was about a 150 hill followed by a 30 yard push/pull drag. Fortunately the high water littered the bank with logs so the aluminum drift boat slid nicely to the water, unlike most times as aluminum sticks to rocks making it difficult. Oars, rods propane heater and dog in the boat, we're good to go. I noticed one guy on the far bank lighting a cigarette, early riser gets the bite. We pounded the slide pool hard, usually pulling at least a couple to as many as 8 fish out, but today, nothing. Saw 2 small fish under 5 pounds hooked from shore, they landed and bonked one. Feeling confident they werent where they normally are, we dropped down. The river had dropped a good 8" since the previous day, as my buddy fished it yesterday. Today wasnt looking like saturday to him so far, they hooked 17 fish! The next couple of slots and pockets were also unusually unproductive. Just below the store pool as we were exiting, I drifted my peresentation on a short leader as I always do and wham! Bottom. Wait! Nope, its a fish, a big fish! She held, strong right in the fast water, shaking her head like a spring, followed by a 50 yard run up, then back down to fast water and across to the other side. BAck and forth for a solid 10 minutes and she was ready to come in, but was too heavy for the water we were in so we beached the boat and brought her in (video taped the whole time) a slightly coloured but beautiful 14/15 hatchery doe. A little 30 second cradle in the water and away she went into the murky green water. Amazing how well their back blends in with the shades of water. A smile and bit of a sigh of relief after having the first fish to the boat. A couple chats with a few o0ther guys who were also having an unsually unproductive day and down we went. A couple more hours passed and we hooked into and saw nothing else hooked until we anchored above the canoe run. Most people dont stop here or know where it is so I wont say but lets say its a spot that ALWAYS holds fish. A cast to the outside seam, the throat of the ripple and the inside seam and wham! He Nearly tore the rod out of my hand, immediately stripping 50 yards of line from me faster than any fish I'd hooked in the river before. I knew right away this fish was big. I never got to see my float for over 10 minutes let alone the fish. The first glimpse I saw was a powerful roll, directly below the boat and it looked like a huge bellied anaconda LoL we both said holy sh*t simultaneously (was funny to hear on the tape after) jaws dropped and the camera went away. Another 5 minutes and this behemoth of a steelhead was calmly but strongly holding on the surface in the current beside the boat, my buddy said, "I dont think he'll fit in the net, I'm only gonna get one chance at him!" I was in awe, staring at the bubble gum worm and trailing leader he had obviously broken off of someone elses line. I said " he'll fit!" Fist scoop head first and he was in, well sort of! There was a good 6-7" hanging out of the net and a fan of a tail. We both were looking at the biggest fish either of us had seen come out of the Stamp system. Now fisherman tell great stories but I sh*t you not, this fish was somewhere between 20-22 pounds. I'm 6'4" 235 and couldnt get my hands around the girth of the tail. To top it off, it was a hatchery buck. Between the 2 of us we probably fish 150 days a year, and this fish had obviously been in the system for a good week or so as he was just starting to show a slight bit of colour, but, there was fresh sea lice around his vent. Now this was a first for us, and an assumption, but do these fish sometimes come up the river and go back out again, to come up again later ? this is the only explanation we could think of.
Anyways to bonk a fish like that to me is pointless, those genes need to stay in the river and I released him, although my friend said if you ever plan on mounting a hatchery steelhead, that's the one. A picture is good enough for me though! Back in the drink he went. I was all smiles, ear to ear baby! SO today was not an event packed day but I have always been a quality not quantity kinda guy anyways. It is a day I will noty forget and will not expect to surpass as far as size of a fish goes on any Island river. Although you never know, it was only 2 hours before and I was saying that was my biggest steelie so far on drift gear, and proved to be untrue so shortly after... I hope everyone is having an awesome year. I havent tried to post pics yet but I will be today or tomorrow, wating to hear back from one of the moderators as I requested to set up a photo gallery.
Wow! That truly is a hog!.......It is in much better condition than the fish I caught on the 28th Dec. Beautiful colour and markings......Really happy to see you got such a nice picture of that brute. That is a really big fish for the Stamp.......When you get your photo gallery up....I'm sure everyone would love to see the video clips......I will do the same as I have some nice film of Hotrod hooking and playing/landing a beautiful hatch doe on the same system.......Ortho
nice fish, you guys did better than i did!! had the falls pool pretty much to my self, there were fish in there but couldnt get them to bite :x , some young guys came down and i told to wip out the blade and they had a couple good smacks and one snapped off. a little low for my liking.
sure not the river that i started fishing
seemed like one mellow dog you got there (saw you guys at the range)
Ya he's just a pup, extremely well behaved. We drop him off right after shooting the falls above the bucket and let him run along shore and pick him up across from beaver creek. We had another frined in the exact same boat who hooked into 2 as well, one in the store pool and a nice chrome hatchery doe in a random slot below there. Give a shout next time we drift by!
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