Drifting a spawn sack from the snow covered edge of a stream a Steelhead takes the bait and the angler sets the hook. The fish dances while being played to the net. Steelheads like fast water over 42 degrees with a preference of 55 to 65 degrees. In lakes they are silvery with a dark back, white stomach and a pinkish lateral line. During the spawn the male develops a hooked jaw. Rainbow and Steelhead trout are different strains of the same species of fish and not natives. They are Pacific Coast stock and tend to longer and more streamlined.
Nineties anglers are discovering a “new” and deadly technique for tricking Steelhead. This “new” technique, as is so often the case, is simply a variation on angling methods used centuries ago by the pioneers of our sport. The float, or bobber, as some persist in calling it, has been in use for hundreds of years. (I think of bobbers as and red and white plastic gadgets used by small children and tobacco chewing Mississippi rednecks who go to a family reunion only to pickup women.) Today savvy steelheaders have developed a sophisticated system for fishing with floats to take steelhead under even the most difficult conditions.