Backcountry Steelheading photo journal

When the backcountry calls you better answer. This spring we had the opportunity to hike away from civilization and experience true wilderness. We only saw one other person over the three days we were there, and saw almost no signs of other people at all. No garbage. No development. Nothing. After fishing downstream all day it was more surprising to see an actual human boot print in the sand than more elk, bear, deer, or coyote tracks.

We could have asked for better fishing conditions, but there were a few fish around. With low and clear water the fish we did see were spooky and not much inclined to play with us.

If you’re in need of a re-set from the hectic day-to-day of modern life then consider unplugging from the stresses of the work week, stuffing a backpack and hitting the trail.

I call this plugging into nature.

words & photos by Nick Satushek

That’s a happy face if I’ve ever seen one.

Olympic Peninsula Steelhead trip

We headed out to the coast last week to scratch that steelhead itch that so often strikes in early spring. With limited options within the state this time of year, heading west to the coast is about as good as it gets when a steelhead trip feels right.  Here is a photo blog of our short two day trip.

Coastal steelhead

The fish pictured above came with a story. After the strike, she bolted downstream straight at my fishing buddy who was working the run downstream, nearly wrapping around his legs and sending him scrambling for the bank. At the same time the extra fly line I had laying at my feet cleared the guides with alarming speed and looped around the reel, jamming tight. I sprinted downstream to keep from breaking off, at which point the fish turned around and charged back upstream straight at me. The change between running downstream and switching directions and running backwards back upstream was just too much and resulted in a nice fall backwards, frantically stripping line to keep tight the whole way down. Landing in about a foot of water, I kept my rod tip high and managed to keep tight to the fish before scrambling back to my feet. Once back up I managed to untangle the line from my reel, and after a few more spirited runs was cradling this beauty for a quick photo shoot before the release. Having my waders and wading jacket strapped tight saved my bacon, and kept water from flowing into the tops of my waders. Aside from a damp wrist, I stayed completely dry even after taking a swim in a rainforest river.

That’s coastal steelhead on the fly.  Hope you enjoy the photos from our trip.

Camping

 

Tree

Rainforest fly fishing

Coastal steelhead

Coastal steelhead

Lunch

Making the selection

Rainforest fly fishing

Rainforest fly fishing

Getting rigged

DRYFT truck

Drinking a brewski

Ocean campfire

Photos by @fsheroutofwater

Thanks for reading. -Nick