Well, as it was a birthday present for some long, hard weeks in a row, my wife and I went for a few days. Steelhead are now feasting on the eggs. Pink, white, and peach was the color combination to have. I had an incredible number of hook-ups and landed 15. The key to beat crowding is to walk in (most of the time was spent in a fly-only c and r section that is a 1/2 mile walk through woods and channel diversions) with the use of a headlamp an hour before dawn. Knowing the seams that the steel set up in, allows you to pick the perfect drift. You then carefully adjust some weight and fly to find just where in the column they want it. It was a great start to the steel season. I also landed a few Coho salmon, and a Skamania strain steelhead. (the pic that looks like a domestic rainbow) . Browns are still not in the river in great number. Next trip- 11/11.
I was using an 8 wt. , but next trip, I'll start downsizing with both rod and tippet. These fish were caught on 3x fluoro. My landing ratio is one in three or four fish hooked. Believe it or not- for this river that's a good number. I lost a few heartbreakers, but that's fishing. One steelhead ripped up river for 200' against a heavy drag and jumped up a small falls. I intentionally had to break it off, as the flyline was in extreme danger (strong current and logs!!!!!) . You're left shaking your head intentionally, and your hands just plain shaking.
Thanks for looking and reading.