Steelhead as long as your leg...
Yes, steelhead counts are low. It's a sad affair. I don't have an answer for that. As I tell people I just know how to catch fish, I'm not a biologists. I know the guide crew is finding some love though down on the Grande Ronde. Every day there are finding some level of catching, some days more numbers than others. Swing? Yes. Nymph? Of course.
Kelby text me yesterday and said water temps were 43 in the morning, warming to 47/48 degrees in the evening. What does that mean for techniques? It means that in the morning hours fishing skaters or traditionals will be slower. It can certainly still be done, but not as effective. Now keep in mind we are talking about the water near Boggan's and the Oregon border. It's a different story at the mouth of the Grande Ronde, the Snake, or even the Clearwater. Sink-tips and a smaller-to-mid profile sized leech will get it done on the swing. Nymphing will get it done any time of the year so I guess you can always just say nymphing is working lol. I'm a big fan of any steelhead nymph with peacock in the body most of the season. When the water levels go up and off color I switch to something black and definitely with bright color beads in it.
I've talked to Travis this week, who also is kicking out some incredible food at his Anatone Cafe, and he said catch rates are smaller, but still consistently getting connected with steelhead.
Remember... can't catch them from the couch! Give us a shout if you want us to do the rowing... 509-924-9998 and ask for Bo!