The Clackamas River has a great broodstock program where certain people are allowed to catch big native steelhead, transport them up to the hatchery in a livewell and then allow the steelhead to spawn up at the hatcheries, growing a decent population of big fish that enter the Clackamas River in Late January, February and Early March. These big fish are big fighters and have a lot of color!
And James hooked into one of these big fish early in the morning on February 12th with one of his custom yarnies!
The steelhead thrashed on the surface and made some really powerful runs and kept James at bay for a few minutes, but he got the fish turned, and it barreled toward the shallows.
Suddenly, the steelhead dashed in amid the branches along the bank, and James’ line caught in the brush. I dashed into the shallows to try and unhook it before the fish got leverage to spit the hook, when suddenly, the line broke. I had maneuvered in between the fish and the channel of the river and thought to myself “I’ve seen and heard about people flipping a fish onto the bank from the shallows”, so I moved in, just as the fish was deciding to move back out, and we both splashed in the water, but then I caught a glimpse of it’s adipose fin, so it was a wild fish and was going to fight for another day. This was a big fish, another 15 to 17 pounder!