Any Steelhead fisher persons here? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 01-08-2017   #1
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 446
Any Steelhead fisher persons here?

I started getting into rafting (boating) by buying a Pontoon boat which is how realized and became interested in the whitewater aspect of rivers instead of just straight fishing. But I'll always be a fisherman as well, and I've spent some time and caught some Steelhead in my life, some on the fly, out here on the West Coast of BC. I'm just wondering if there are any steelhead fisherman here and how does it fit in with you love of boating/rafting? Did you get the raft to get to tougher spots away from people? Or were you a rafter who dabbled in fishing and found you loved both? Where or what types of rivers do you fish?

There is a river in Northern BC called the Babine River. It is a remote wilderness trip with some of the most fabled steelhead in the world as far as size and quality. There are some Grizzlies to tend with, and several Class 4 white water drops apparently from what I've seen in videos and heard. Apparently it is a 60+ mile multi day trip that is probably one of the best true blends of whitewater multi day rafting and steelhead fishing all in one (if you hit it right). Thinking long term here I'm planning to possibly hit it maybe in 2018 or 2019 if all goes well. Have to build up to it as far as preparation. Wondering if any of you are interested in the possibility of such at trip, Ideally I'd like to assemble a team of at least 3 rafts or catarafts including myself.

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Old 01-09-2017   #2
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Belgrade, Montana
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I started boating to fish, specifically steelhead fish on the Clackamas and Sandy in Oregon. Then I moved to Montana and fishing from a boat was even more of necessity. It took me about a week to realize that a boat opened up all kinds of water, not to mention it would hold a lot more beer than my vest. I still steelhead fish and would love to combine the two - overnighters and steelhead. In my neck of the woods the best options would be going over to the Grand Ronde in Oregon or the Main Salmon late season. I do spend a week or two fishing on the Clearwater in Idaho every year but no oportunity really to do that as an overnighter.

The Babine sounds intrigueing. I know nothing about it. I'll have to do some research.
Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back. - Agustus McCrae
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Old 01-09-2017   #3's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Colorado
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I started rafting in the early 60s. Fly fishing in the early 70s. Retired when I was 54 because working interfered too much with fishing and rafting. I like to do multiple day trips for fishing and rafting naturally. I am comfortable rowing class 4 or 5 and would love to join you. Of course I would need to bring a backup oarsman to row while I fish. You pick the launch date, invite me and I'll be there. I am used to sharing the river with bears in Alaska so that's not an issue with me. I'm a good outdoor cook and a gear junkie and could bring whatever was needed as long as I can drive to put-in/takeout. I'm reachable at "" most any time. Going to do a little Babine research now myself.
Hope to hear from you,

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Old 01-09-2017   #4
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All serious steelhead fisher folks have river boats, for most the two are integrally linked. I grew up steelheading and with boats. Caught my first on a red and white spoon on my yellow eagle claw spinning rod when I was 6 at the Finn Rock boat ramp on the Mckenzie while my dad was rigging his rod.

We have good multiday river trips with steelhead in OR, Wallowa/GR, John Day, Deschutes, Rogue, the h. grail being swinging for large wild steelhead on the lower John Day.

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Old 01-09-2017   #5
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 446
Thanks for the awesome replies! Very good reads!

Bighorn we will be in touch hopefully when I get the ball rolling a bit more after getting the boat together and start boating again and all that. I see you and I share the same great name (Scott) which is a good start!

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Old 01-11-2017   #6
Norwalk, Connecticut
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Any Steelhead fisher persons here?

I grew up fly fishing and kayaking mostly saltwater, but with some whitewater and trout streams thrown in. At 17 I moved to Bozeman, Mt and bought a used pontoon to learn the rivers. Later I bought a drift boat and learned a lot more. Somewhere in there I started running whitewater (mostly bear trap and yankee jim) with rafting friends. Now at 29 I've been guiding (amongst other things) for 10 years or so and I'm currently building my first whitewater fishing rig. Unfortunately, since I've been moving back and forth between the Rockies and East coast most of my steelheading has been around the Great Lakes, but after this season I'll be exploring the OP up to BC and beyond.

I'm definitely a capable rower and have more gear than most people can imagine. Shoot me an email at when the time comes! I also moonlight as a professional fly tier if that adds some incentive haha
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