Washington Native's First Steelhead

Saturday, June 9, 2018
Trout, Rainbow

There were many things that went into making this a notable catch.

First off, I wasn't originally going to fish that stretch of river. I figured it would be snaggy, and nobody goes to this river to fish that side anyways, so why bother? But my wonderful girlfriend Dani (Miss M on the site) suggested that we try it, so we did. After getting snagged on the bottom and losing a few rigs with no suckers of any kind to show for it, I decided to start tossing around a small spinner for the trout I knew were in the location. After about 15 casts, I got it caught on a rock and it broke off. That's when I rigged up a bobber and an old Steelhead jig that I had bought years ago when I thought I was going to target them back in WA/OR.

Second, I was using a new rod. My previous Ultra Light had fallen prey to the "small car, many rods, much camping crap" problem that so many young fishermen have, so I bought a "trout magnet" because it looked like an all-around great rod for my purposes. Second-and-a-half, it was called "trout magnet". No fish had yet been caught on this rod.

Third, I was ready to leave. Dani had just snapped off another rig and wanted to go back to Superior, and begged to stay for "5 more minutes". I grumblingly acquiesced, and on my first drift, my bobber sank and the fight was on.

Fourth, I hooked the fish whilst at the bottom of a steep, loose-gravelly hill, and my net was at the top of the hill (not just the top, but OVER the top). Dani was not within shouting distance (despite my many exclamations of "HOLY %&$, HOLY %&$^, HOLY &#*&@!!!!!!!"), so I had to pray that it stayed hooked while I trudged up to the top, grabbed the net, then slid back down the hill, hoping I didn't fall in or lose tension. Because of this drama, I don't really remember much of the fight. A few deep, fast runs and peeling drag, a bit of reluctance to come to the net, but that's about all I recall aside from my scramble to the net.

Fifth, I grew up in Washington State. and at one point I fancied that I would become a great Steelhead fisherman (this was long before my Roughfish days, think 2011/2012 when I was still in High School). At that time, I had bought a handful of custom-tied jigs from Amazon in the hopes that one day I would be drifting on some frigid river for the ever-prestigious fish-of-10,000-casts. Well, keeping them around in my tackle box and tying them one whenever the fancy struck my fishing-sense sure paid off, big-time! How interesting that I would catch my first steelhead years later, after I'd become a member of this community and developed a completely different set of fishing skills.

Sixth - it's 28".

The moral of the story is: Always listen to your girlfriend.

More pics to be found at




FishingPals4Life's picture

Awesome fish, congrats dude!

Moose439's picture

Nice fish Whiskey Claw

TonyS's picture

That's a pretty awesome catch,  a June steelhead from a trib

andy's picture

That's a pretty cool way to catch your first steelhead, congratulations to ya.  

Amia Calva's picture

Fighting the fish on its own wasnt hard enough you needed to up the intensity! What an incredible way to land such a gorgeous fish. Congrats!

2018 Goals: Silver Redhorse (x), Big Channel Cat, Fallfish (x), Black Crappie (x), Sauger (X), Muskellunge (X)

2019 Goals: Golden Redhorse, White Bass, Spotted Sucker, Northern Sunfish

DocEsox's picture

Great steelhead....better story.....thx for sharing it, congrats!

Matt Miller's picture

It’s not an easy fish. Nice work. Great story that you’ll remember, and that’s why we’re out there.

Dan Morey's picture

Very well done. Good things happen when you fish where the other dudes don't.