For the fourth time in three years I once again made the trip north to french nymph for Steelhead in Idaho’s Salmon River. Once again my dad came up from Southern Utah, and accompanying us on the river was Bart, Brad, and JD some of my Cache Valley friends. This year proved to be quite difficult at times due to the low number of fish that made it back from the ocean this season. All things considered, it turned out to be one of the funnest trips yet regardless of the slow fishing. My greatest highlight came on the first day when I landed my biggest steelhead to date (pictured above). That fish alone would have made the trip worth while.
Once again the Tungsten Embryo proved to be a successful egg pattern to use while nymphing for steelhead (tying video coming soon). The tungsten bead embeded in this fly makes it heavy enough and ideal for euro nymphing for steelhead. Here’s a video from last year: Euro Nymphing for Steelhead.
The fly of the trip would have definitely been a hotspot rubber leg stonefly. My friend Chris from Living Fly Legacy introduced me to this fly last year, and it proved itself once again this year by dominating the catch. How do you beat fishing a fly that slayes the fish, and is super easy to tie?
The Tungsten Embryo hard at work.
I wouldn’t trade a day on the water with my dad for anything. It was also fun having Brad and JD for their first time ever steelheading. They each payed their dues and caught some nice Idaho Steel. Bart was stoked to have topped his catch from last year. I think we are all hooked! Another highlight of the trip also included the cheap cabin we found to stay in that is located very close to where we fish. We will definitely be staying there again in the future.
This is probably my smallest steelhead of the trip, but it outfought almost every steelhead I’ve ever caught (with a few exceptions like the hog in the top picture). Also, the coloring of this fish was spectacular!
Despite the slow fishing, my dad ended up hooking more steelhead this trip than the two previous years combined. His technique has really improved which shows that a flawless drift is required to catch steelhead. He’s excited to make the grueling 700 mile trip himself again next year. Wait, that isn’t even as far as these steelhead have travel to reach the upper stretches of the Salmon River. Not that far after all:)
Nothing beats good company on the river. My friends and father are as good a group of friends as a fisherman could ask for. Throw in a mix of hog steelhead, whitefish, bull trout, and cutties and a three day trip doesn’t seem long enough. We will surely be making plans to return to Idaho’s wild Salmon River in the years to come.