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Steamboat Creek Observations

Posted by Mark Wednesday, June 23, 2010






A few observations from the past from Lee Spencer about steelhead behavior. This kind of information mirrors many of our own experiences over time. Lee is fortunate to have a large group of willing participants to watch what may take the average angler years to see. What it all comes down to is steelhead are very curious and will check out darn near anything that comes along. Good for us, the fisherman. As we all know, it is not getting a fish to eat a fly most times,it is FINDING a willing fish to eat our fly. 

Here is some great info from Lee on fish reactions to items in the water, angling ethics in warm water and other cool observations of the fish, rivers and  creeks we love. A fascinating article and one that may well change the way you fish and tie flies in the future.

Flies like the Lucky Lichen and the Dogwood Dandy or Fluff Fly may start gaining in popularity.
To read it all and see the table,

Click on:
Some observations on steelhead and angling ethics in warm water


More from Lee on the different individual strains of fish in Steamboat creek and the effects of hatchery fish in the system.
Finally, within the last few days it has quite belatedly occurred to me that the fish holding in Big Bend Pool for the spring, summer, and fall do not comprise a single deme, or local breeding population. There are undoubtedly separated demes for each of the tributaries of Steamboat Creek and for Steamboat Creek itself. There are demes of wild summer steelhead minimally from Big Bend Creek, Cedar Creek, Little Rock Creek, City Creek, Horse Heaven Creek, Steamboat Creek itself, the East Fork of Steamboat Creek, all of which local breeding populations probably have representatives in Big Bend Pool during the low water and warm water time of the year.
One of the consequences of this is that, should a serious poaching event occur at the pool, even with fish left in the pool, one of these local breeding populations may be dealt a quite serious setback. Likewise, if five or six hatchery fish end up in one tributary, then there may be a serious loss of adaptive resilience in that deme. Previous to this, I have characterized hatchery fish as ticking sticks of slow dynamite.

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