In addition to learning about the history of the canyon, the group fished for hatchery-raised steelhead. Steelhead are rainbow trout that spend their adult lives in the ocean. They spawn and then live as juvenile fish in freshwater for 1 to 4 years, migrate to the ocean for a similar period of time before returning to freshwater. Hatchery fish are identified by a clipped adipose fin. All steelhead with an intact adipose fin are wild and are released immediately when caught.
Day two was productive with the boat landing three hatchery fish, with one measuring out at 30 inches (above). A number of wild steelhead were hooked and returned to the river. The last day started out slow, with only one fish in the first three hours. But as Captain Butch ordered us to reel in our lines to head back to the ranch, Justin hooked a monster. After considerable struggle and a deft move to thwart the fish from going under the boat, Justin landed the biggest fish of the trip – tape measured at 31 ½ inches--the angler and fish in the photo at the start of this blog.--Submitted by Steve Grourke