Re: Steelhead woes
I can't really help you with the specific river you are fishing, but I can empathize.
I started steelheading 2 years ago and my first season I hooked up with just one fish that I didn't land. Up until last weekend, I was 1 for 13 for the season. I was at least finding the fish and getting them to bite so I was still happy with my progression.
Finally last weekend, I hooked 2 and landed 2. It all just clicked.
What I can say from my experience is that if the fish counts are low, your chances are low as well. This could be said for any species of fish in any body of water. When I first started, I would fish an entire stream...this was the wrong approach.
What I figured out is that you have to focus on the most likely spots where a fish might be. Is there an obvious boulder, a cut, a channel, a seam between fast water and a slow pool, etc....once I started focusing on these spots instead of the entire river, my hook up percentage went waaaay up.