So there is usually a push of early summer-runs that come up the North in May, somewhere between 50 to 200. They run hard until they reach the holding pools of Steamboat Creek. This is one of those May fish.
Words cannot describe how hot these fish are. The Peerless reel in the picture can't handle these fish. Each time I've tied into one something happens to the reel, though it's never failed completely, I've fought through screws loosening, a nasty grinding sound, to it just tightening up and being hard to crank, this time was no different. The reel has caught plenty of hot steelhead, the only time this has happened is with these early wild fish. I wouldn't have it any other way actually. These fish give you that "oh-shit" factor again. There is no time to think with a fish like this, just to react and deal with whatever it throws you.
My dog Bo was so excited, or maybe he was just overly pleased with me he did about 10 tight butt scoot'n circles around me after we released her.
So as always seems to be the case with the North Umpqua the steelhead over shadow the trout. But the trout fishing has been pretty descent, even with the high flows. I went out for a few hours throwing a streamer and landed a half dozen with a bunch a follows and other grabs. The salmon flys are really starting to patrol from above, but have yet to really make an impact on the trout, yet...
Just spending time on the river casting blind for nothing is enough at this time of year, it just doesn't get any prettier. The river corridor is as green as it gets, the wild flowers are going off and the trout are eager and there are few, but some steelhead around.