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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 09-06-2013, 01:28 PM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

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Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
Good call... mainly because of the setting, and the drive would likely take you guys within striking distance of so many other coldwater destination rivers. Be a shame to drive that far in that direction and not tap Yellowstone (for example).
+1 on that.
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:16 PM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

I was recently at Oklahoma City and know that you can reach Colorado Springs in about 9 hours without killing yourself (maybe 10). Springs will make a good resting place and from there you have many fishing opportunities as you drive on North West toward Idaho. That would be my choice for direction.

I would also be contacting members here who fish for steelhead in Idaho and try to arrange a meet at the destination point. Nothing beats being with someone who has been there before.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

As has been stated, the Lakes are closer, but if you're going to do it you should probably head for Idaho. There are three steelhead rivers, and they get going in late September. The Clearwater, Snake, and Grande Ronde.

Of course, your other option, and the same distance as Idaho is Northern California. The Russian River has native steelhead (and really good wine), and if you go north of there you have the Trinity and Eel, among others. Id check it out.
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Old 09-06-2013, 09:59 PM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

Thanks for all the advice guys appreciate it for sure. It probably won't be for a while. Got some research to do for sure.
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Old 09-07-2013, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

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Of course, your other option, and the same distance as Idaho is Northern California. The Russian River has native steelhead (and really good wine), and if you go north of there you have the Trinity and Eel, among others. Id check it out.
I think it would be easier to plan ahead for the Idaho runs on account of more reliable water levels. Those NorCal coastal rivers host winter runs, and when the rain hits they're blown out for a week or more, then they green up and fish well for a little while, then they get blown again. They can be great when you hit them right, but it's nothing you can plan very far ahead for. The fall runs on the Trinity or the Klamath might present a slightly more stable & reliable target to plan for, but those rivers are *so* *friggin* *far* to drive -- from practically anywhere -- that if you're going to go there from Oklahoma, you might as well go to better places further north.
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Old 09-08-2013, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

What would be expected as far as hook ups on the clearwater under ideal conditions? I know that's a very ambiguous question but I am getting some numbers like one or two fish on the fly for two or three days fishing from one guide I contacted. Been fishing many years and I know nothing is guaranteed but that sure sounds low for driving 22 hrs each way. Educate us please.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:48 AM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

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Originally Posted by okbow68 View Post
What would be expected as far as hook ups on the clearwater under ideal conditions? I know that's a very ambiguous question but I am getting some numbers like one or two fish on the fly for two or three days fishing from one guide I contacted. Been fishing many years and I know nothing is guaranteed but that sure sounds low for driving 22 hrs each way. Educate us please.
Yep- that's steelheading. Certainly there are going to be days where you do exceptional but most often it is far far from a numbers game. In terms of Great Lakes, I have caught as many fall run steelhead when I was salmon fishing as when I was fishing the spring steelhead run. And all the moments where I was not catching steelhead I was catching loads of salmon.

Something to keep in mind- Steelheading is very contemplative experience requiring great patience that can be done in some very beautiful places. Success is measured as time on the water, vistas viewed and friends made and perhaps you will be rewarded with a couple hookups.

However, if you choose the fall salmon/steelhead Great Lakes run be prepared for combat fishing as the crowds can be big.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

I'll try to explain it from a different perspective. It's a process thing. Steelhead either are there, or they aren't. When they are present, they may or may not want to play. The conditions may or may not be conducive to fishing. They don't hold where you would normally catch smaller fish. When you have them located and they are cooperating, you better play your A-game. When you consider all of these factors, it is a rare thing to be on the water during a catcharama. If you are, it's probably some guy up or down stream from you.

The PNW is such a special place. If you ever get the chance to float the Smith, you won't forget it. I'd go for that, and if you hook a fish, that would be the bonus.

Cheers,

Bryan
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:24 AM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

Russell and Bquick are right. I didn't answer last night because I can't comment on the Clearwater, but steehead fishing is not trout fishing. If you're uncomfortable with driving 22 hrs and fishing in the cold/wet/wind and not having a serious fish on at all the whole trip, you're perhaps not ready for steelhead.

Seriously...if you want hookups and fish landed and you're driving 22 hrs to get to a steelhead venue...you might better think about the Farmington/Durango area or Lees Ferry or some of the other legendary trout fishing that's much closer to you...
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:34 AM
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Default Re: Closest place to Oklahoma for some steelhead ?

If you do deside to hit the Clearwater you'll want to join the SpeyPages web board. Many of the folks there fish the river and can tell you 'what rock to stand on.' The other top end contact is the RedShed fly shop in Peck, Idaho. Mike's shop is feet away from the river and a regular poster on the SpeyPages.
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