The Fishing Corner: Experience, knowledge keys to fishing success

The Fishing Corner

By Larry Dublanko

There is something to be said about learning a river well and fishing where you have had success. This can be the case if one fishes from the bank and does not have the opportunity to cover a lot of river miles by boat.

I can think of many of these locations for each of the rivers in our area. You might say, I have my “go to” places because I have learned that steelhead tend to hold up in these areas year after year and even at a particular time.

Sometimes this location is no more than a slot along a bank with an undercut. I have found these locations on the Wynooche, Wishkah and Humptulips rivers. I can go back to these places time after time and expect to find fish. Actually, if I have stirred up the water in the morning, I have been successful later in the day when things have quieted down. This may only take a few hours and the steelhead re-occupy their cover.

Other such locations are pools of water created by a log jam, fallen trees or submerged rocks. These provide ideal holding places for steelhead, and one can go back to them and expect to find fish. Because only a few fish can realistically use these covers, anglers can easily push them out from these locations.

When approaching these holding places, anglers would do well to sneak up on them avoiding being seen and making noise. A rule of thumb is if you have seen the fish, it has already seen you. So, concealing your presence is highly important.

For the bank fisherman who has limited access, it is a simple matter to park, find your trail and fish your secret water. If nothing is stirred, it might be a good idea to move on to the next location.

A seasoned steelheader once taught me how to fish a larger pool of water. He said to start at the parting line and work your way through the current until you eventually reach the far side of the hole. By drifting bait or lure in this manner, you are working the water away from you and thereby, creating less risk of spooking steelhead which may actually be holding up right in from of you. Fishing in this manner requires that the anglers note where fish have been caught in the past. For years, I have logged where and when I have hooked fish. Keeping a record in this way is a valuable resource for future steelheading. It will enhance your local knowledge and definitely supply a “home field” advantage when fishing our rivers.

Your past river experiences translate into worthwhile information if used correctly. Such information collected on a variety of rivers will expand your range of fishing but more importantly, it will increase your steelhead success ratio. Who out there doesn’t want to catch more fish? This does not need to be rocket science.