Native steelhead are beginning to show a stronger presence in the Wynoochee river as of late, that being my own experience and the same of other anglers I have chatted with; it seems to be about a 50/50 ratio wild to hatchery and I expect it to trend even heavier in the native direction as we get further into winter. We floated on Wednesday the 30th from White Bridge to Black Creek, and dropped into the first spot of the morning with Tadpollies wiggling about forty feet out in front of our boat for all of about 60 seconds only to have the outside rod get crushed by a beautiful wild hen who turned out to be about 15 pounds and was quickly released. After some high fives, we began to make our trek down river casting to holding water along the banks and missing a couple ‘bobber downs/quick head shake and gone’ type moments along the way. We did find a couple smallish (inferior only to the wild fish had seen so far) hatchery fish to take home along some wood piles that bit beads and bait under floats to keep the excitement going, and had several more ‘drive-bys’ on plugs and bobbers throughout the rest of our drift. All in all, I would say a pretty good day for winter steelheading as the fish were there and the weather for January was amazing!
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