Landlocked Steelhead

Far from the run of any steelhead, I was methodically working a stretch of water with tactics most commonly applied to anadromous fish. A small spey rod in my hand, swinging flies through Wyoming trout water. And I only had a couple of minutes.

A few feet away, on shore, my kids were playing in the dirt. We were waiting for my wife who was shuttling vehicles before launching our canoe for a family float. I was getting my fishing in where I could.

Swing, step, repeat. A drift boat launched just up stream, as it passed they hollered “you know there aren’t any steelhead around here”…”I know” was all I could reply. Two casts later I had a take, my rod bent over and for a brief moment the drag began to hum. Still within ear shot, the guy in the drift boat exclaimed “steelhead?”

In that moment my body braced, preparing for the inevitable run. Hooked into a wild chromer my heart began to race. Reality then began to set in and a smile crossed my face. The rainbow, who’s situation simply deprived him being able to go to the ocean, gave me his best in honor of his sea run brothers.

The timing couldn’t have been better. As stupid as it may seem, I was glad to stick a fish in front of the passing boat. While the tug of a steelhead cannot be replicated I have become addicted to the rhythmic cadence of fishing the swing. The feel combined with it’s utility has found me fishing a two handed rod frequently, even in places that have no direct connection to the salt.

4 Comments on “Landlocked Steelhead

  1. Pingback: Online Articles About Fly Fishing | Swing the Fly, Two Handed Trout and More

  2. I fish a 13′ #6/7 2H rod almost exclusively. I do have one rod lighter 2Hand one rod heavier, but the 6/7 is my “go to.”
    I travel around all year and have the opportunity to fish steelhead in the northwest, trout in CO/WY/MT, and largemouth bass and stripers in some really good big bass country in central TX. I use streamers unless conditions dictate otherwise. Yes, there IS something addictive of the rhythmic cadence of “the swing.” If there is a cure for this addiction I don’t want it !! 🙂

    • Its great to hear about the versatility of the two hander! I have been primarily fishing a 11’9″ 7wt, I feel its a bit more than I need for trout on most days, but it does the trick and can double for steelhead/salmon. Recently, I had the chance to try a 10’9″ 4wt and I think that would be nice to add to the quiver. Thanks for the thoughts and for taking the time to check out STS!

  3. I became addicted to swinging streamers last year during the fall salmon run. My friend who swings almost exclusively is the reason for my new addiction. He taught me the basics of casting. I remember asking him ” how do you know when you have one on ?” He just replied, ” you’ll know”!! At that instance a huge king slams my presentation and heads back towards Lake Michigan! I knew, and three Spey rods later I have retired my traditional rods . Thanks Chris

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