Steelhead Wrap Up 2009

Spring weather systems are pushing through raising river levels allowing late winter steelhead to push upstream. If you get the chance, get out and experience some late winter chrome! My buddy Todd and I got a final chance to take Andrew his son on a coastal steelhead trip with Jeff Frenette for what promised to be a banner day. The day started off launching the boat further upstream than most boats were attempting. We felt there would be less pressure so we gave it a go! Launching a drift boat can be half the fun especially if the lowering rope were to let go.  As you can see, this was not the first day on the river however a great learning experience for Andrew.

Don't Let Go!

Don't Let Go!


With the boat lowered to the river, we were ready to load and drift the river for more good ol’ side drifting.


Tight Lines...

Tight Lines...

Working the oars and maintaining speed with our lines at a 45 degree angle, the objective is to match water speed allowing your presentation to free drift.  If the line should suddenly stop, odds are a fish is having a meal. Next we fished what felt like a couple great seams stopping a few times for some bank side drifting and bobber fishing with jigs.



Ok – one thing we love about taking kids fishing is when we get to watch their luck and talent unfold before our very eyes. On this trip we carried multiple rods rigged ready to keep our lines in the water at all times. The morning started off slow till we made our way downstream when Jeff asked us to cast behind a log which, created a soft slick for holding water. Yep – as you guessed, “fish on”! Andrew was off to the races with an explosive chrome  winter steelhead.

"Fish On"

"Fish On"



Andrew did a great job playing the fish … tip up, tight line and let the bullet run till she was ready to come in for a photo opp. Nothing like observing fathers with their kids enjoying the great outdoors especially when they’re catching steelhead – way to go Andrew!


Now that the rodeo was over, we could get back to fishing. We decided to motor upstream for another chance. We knew the  “sweet spot” had been hard to fish for other fisherman so we decided to try our luck once again.

Jeff working really Hard!

Jeff working Hard!

Once back in position, we cast our lines for another drift. You guessed it – “fish on” as my rod takes a dive and we’re off to the races once again! Just as I set the hook, my yarn ball pulled out of the fish’s mouth. I decided to leave the yarn ball on the drift and once again – “fish on”! Just as I set the hook , the fish surfaced and spit the hook. Oh well… guess that’s fishing!

We continued downstream in pursuit of more good holding water where Todd and Jeff were anticipating another hook up.

Thinking CHROME!

Thinking "CHROME"

Wouldn’t you know it… Andrew’s rod doubles over and once again “fish on”! This time the steelhead displays serious attitude. Andrew holds on as the fish ripped under the boat across to the other side of the river. Nothing like a little rodeo action while scrambling to move our rods out of the way and get the video camera rolling (good times)… Now that Andrew is an old pro, he calmly fights the fish while letting the brut know who’s boss.


Jeff displaying Andrew's 2nd Fish

Jeff displaying Andrew's 2nd Fish

Congrats Andrew on another fine performance teaching us how to “getter done”! Always great to spend quality time with friends and family enjoying the outdoors. Sadly the time has come to put our steelhead gear away and load the other boat for Columbia river “Springers”.  Stay tuned for this years salmon adventures as the run looks promising if the weather will warm up. No worries as they’re on there way – big C. here we come!

About the Author

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann

Troy Neimann lives in Central Oregon with his wife of 19 years and their three children. You can find Troy with his family, friends and partners out most weekends enjoying the Lord's creation "Pursuing The Outdoors".