Posted By: Nick Chambers

Science Friday: How summer steelhead are genetically different than winters

Many anglers over the years have no doubt wondered why some steelhead return to freshwater during the hottest and driest part of the year. The reasons why are both simple and complex.   The most obvious difference between summer steelhead and their winter run brethren is that they enter freshwater streams in summer and fall, … Continued

Science Friday: Warm water’s influence on the speed of upstream migrating steelhead

The dog days of summer are fully upon us. The predicted forecast for adult summer steelhead returning to the Columbia and Snake River basins is now, unfortunately, shaping up to be worse than expected (and it was already very low). However, it can be difficult to determine how accurate this forecast actually is because at … Continued

Science Friday: Steelhead in hot water, and what it means for catch-and-release

As predicted for summer steelhead in the Columbia River and many other watersheds in Washington and Oregon, something has happened to the fish. There are precious few of them this season. But it’s important to remember that ebb and flow in population size is part-and-parcel with these fish — and for all salmon in general. … Continued

Don’t reel up just yet

By Bill Herzog   We of the swung fly club have to deal with quite a few of our brethren these days on the river, especially the more popular waters, sections and times. If we aren’t first through the run, then all we can hope for is a moving fish to come into swinging range … Continued

Science Friday: Turn up the A/C

Summer-time is here. That means hot weather and hot water, two things that don’t mix well with a cold-water fish like steelhead.   As we suffer through the largest heat wave of the summer, we wanted to review a piece of research that looked at how adult steelhead alter their behavior and use micro-habitats to … Continued

Stand Up For Clean Water

When anglers think of steelhead water, we tend to think of big, muscular rivers like the Skagit, Umpqua and Eel. We don’t usually think of tributary streams small enough to step across, or even that go dry at times.   We should. Such streams are very important for steelhead, particularly for spawning and rearing. In … Continued

Science Friday: Ephemeral Streams Provide Key Steelhead Habitat

    Previously we wrote about the importance of ephemeral streams to steelhead. These are smaller waters, typically in headwaters and tributary drainages, segments of which dry back in summer or that flow intermittently. Today we pick up the topic again because of recent developments on the federal policy front that threaten these important habitat … Continued

How to rig a spoon

By Bill Herzog   Casting and retrieving/swinging spoons for steelhead has made a bit of a comeback the last ten years. Nice to see the oldest technique for steelhead experience a bit of career resurgence. Rigging our spoons- that is the configuration of swivels and hooks- has to not only be the right size and … Continued

Science Friday: Hitch-Hiking Smolts

Last week we talked about the importance of spill for out-migrating kelts and smolts in the Columbia Basin. Increasing spill is only one method employed to enhance downstream survival of smolts. As early as the mid-1950s smolts were loaded onto barges and moved downstream past the dams through the lock system. While fisheries managers experimented … Continued

Science Friday: Increased flow and spill in the Columbia River is important for more than just smolts

  Steelhead in the Upper Columbia and Snake Rivers undergo some of the longest journeys of any anadromous fish — some travel more than 600 miles. Returning adults must navigate numerous dams on their upstream migration to reach spawning grounds. Those offspring that survive to become smolts must make that same migration downstream, past the … Continued