Summer Steelhead on the Willamette River

My goal this year was to catch at least three steelhead- I didn't care where or how, but that's what I wanted.

I though it to be an honorable and realistic goal, considering new oportunities that have opened up for me in the last twelve months.  One of those opportunites being that of fishing from a drift boat on a fairly regular basis. 

As you may be aware from previous posts, my brother owns a drift boat and is always looking for an excuse to get out on the river, so I am usually it, whenever I can get away with it.

On July 13th, two days before my 30th birthday, I was on vacation and was awakened by a phone call.  It was my brother.  He also had the day off and wanted to know if I wanted to go fishing.  I was practically out the door before we even ended our phone call. 

The anticipation built as I "drove the speed limit" down the freeway towards his house.  Within an hour or so, we were launching his drift boat on the Willamette River, not far from his house. 

As usual, I had pretty high expectations for the day.  It was the middle of the summer, and up to that point the fishing had basically gotten better and better.  In fact, only a week prior, I had caught my first steelhead for the year, which turned out to be my biggest fish ever, from this very same boat, on this very same river.

Once we reached the first hole, we baited our hooks with our preferred steelhead bait- Coon Stripe Shrimp, nestled on a red size 1 hook, below a black diver, and then let out some line.  We were fishing nearly identical rigs at equal lengths behind the boat. 

Then it happened- FISH ON!  I hope you enjoy the video of the first takedown.  I pulled a little bit of a "nimrod" on the first one, and actually busted the fish off right at the diver.  As you will see, I was reefing on it a little too hard.

Then it happened again, and again, and again!  It was an awesome day!  I will let the video, posted to YouTube by my brother, Watchouttrout, tell the rest of the story.

The way I look at it, that's one fish to represent each decade of my life thus far, and that was all in one day!  Though I had high expectations, this was way more than I could have ever dreamed of. 

Oh, and just for the record, I now have four lines filled out on my salmon/steelhead harvest card.  I hope this trend continues!

Tight Lines!

P.S. I think I smell something... I think it's hunting season!  General Rifle Deer Season opens in about one month here in Oregon.  I'm starting to get the fever.


  1. Three Steelhead in one day. I am sooooo jealous. A whole season for me and nothing but a few bumps. Fall is coming. I will not quit.


  2. Not too shabby. Great work on the vid.

  3. Great post. Congrats on achieving your goal.

  4. Awesome achievement Brig. What do you and brother Jared charge for a one day trip?
    I need to book. Keep smilin, you are so fortunate to enjoy a day like that.

  5. mancrafter,

    For you, we'll make it free of charge. : )


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