Very few fishermen and no fish below the coffer, I also tried just above the coffer dam fishing 7 feet of water and nothing there. 9 guys had waded out on the gravel bar on the other side to fish in towards the deep current channel. Here on the south side, it was a little crowded but thinning out. I got in upstream and fished deeper water the rest of the day. Over the day, most of the guys who could fish bobbers effectively, used jigs and wax worms and got one steelhead each. A guy out in a rubber raft across form me got at least 2.
I got the only browns I saw caught, one big steelhead about 34 inches on the little brown jig and 2 browns on an Opal Bucktail Insta Jig. I tried out new colors of #6 1/32 ounce of Rubber Legs Fox Fur Jig, Nothing on my standard black head pattern but another small Brown Trout on a yellow head and legs version. All without any bait as usual. Dave waded out to net the Steelhead quickly so I could get his picture and release him in good shape. Later at dusk, I netted his big hen Steelhead which was also kind of dark.
- Little Brown Jig
- Hook: #8 or short #6 bent up to 90 degrees
- Head 3/16 (5.0mm) Counter Drilled Black Brass Bead Head
- Thread 140D Fire Orange, Uni 6/0 or Danville FlyMaster+
- Tail Soft Natural Brown Fur, Rabbit, Red Fox etc
- Rib Gold Oval Tinsel
- Body Brown Hare's Ear Spiky Blend
- Hackle Brown Grouse Collar
- Hot Spot Fire Orange Thread tie Collar
The Little Brown Jig has been great for me since I first put one in the water maybe 10 years ago. Its accounted for my personal biggest Steelhead and my best Steelhead numbers day. I have used it less lately, experimenting with newer creations. I gave it a short try today, didn't get any easy brown trout I was expecting and was about to cut it off. I looked at the full dark soft fur tail, the full fluffy Grouse hackle collar, the 5 turns of shinning gold rib on the mottled fur body. It just looked right for this tough, kind of high water dark day.
I threw it back out there and about 5 cast later the bobber went down on a far out drift back over deep water. Big head shakes, powerful long runs, thrashing on the surface right in front of the boats, then out over and past the gravel bar. The one guy left standing out there, he lifted my line over his head as the fish fought downstream. When you have to give a lot of line to a big Steelhead in big water, he may get to a far away place where you could not pull him back from. If you just patiently keep the pressure on, he is likely to decide that this is not working for him and try something different, like running back toward you.