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Fire Blog


Northern Michigan Steelhead Action Slow, But Improving
By Kyle McClelland | 01/28/2015
If I had to choose one word to summarize the beginning of our winter steelhead season in Northern Michigan it would be "struggle." So far, this has been one of the worst winters for chasing chrome I've experienced. Nevertheless, there remains enough steelhead in our streams to keep me pursuing them several times each week. .. Read more

Central Tennessee Rainbows Taking Center Stage
By Chris Shaffer | 01/22/2015
The man was correct. The smallest trout we saw all day was 10 inches. Most were 12-14, which is incredible for a state sponsored stocking program, rare in fact. The TWRA is luring anglers with trout that are huge for planters. In fact, you’d be far fetched to find these anywhere in the Southeast, outside of Cherokee, which is a private hatchery. They don’t even stock them, on average, this big in California, I told him... Read more

California North Coast Steelhead Roundup
By Alan Borges | 01/20/2015
This year from the Eureka area on California’s North Coast to Brookings, Oregon, we’ve had two really good storms. These storms keep our rivers from being too low and clear to fish, while also bringing in fresh steelhead. This winter our rivers have had decent numbers of fish in them... Read more

Making Steelhead Candy
By Andy Martin | 01/18/2015
When it comes to winter steelhead fishing on the West Coast, few things are as effective as naturally cured salmon or steelhead eggs. Presented properly, steelhead often can't resist a natural-colored cluster of roe as it drifts down the river. In 10 years of guiding, and many years fishing on my own before that, I've tried just about every cure out there. The most effective cure I've found for getting my customers onto fish day in and day out is what I call "steelhead candy," a mix of Pautzke's simple yet very effective BorxOFire, combined with a few extra ingredients. .. Read more

Nashville Area Rainbow Bite Hot
By Chris Shaffer | 01/15/2015
While there has been a lot of rain locally in January, and many rivers and creeks are higher than normal, we kept on course and arrived on site at Nice Mill Dam Recreation area in search of planted rainbows. Roughly a 20-minute drive from the Music City, this popular wintertime fishery near Murfreesboro and Symrna isn’t a secret to anglers. Even on a Thursday morning anglers littered the banks. Participation is high here and increasing annually as more folks become aware of the winter stocking program. .. Read more

Tipping Jigs With Salmon Eggs
By TJ Hester | 01/14/2015
I use Balls O Fire eggs exclusively, but who doesn’t out West? A jig tipped with Balls O' Fire emits scent, gives trout a real egg to key in on and a visual target. Meanwhile, the small profile doesn’t weigh down the jig, thus making it off balance, nor does it hinder the fish attracting action. .. Read more

Northwestern Ontario Lake Trout on Dead Baits
By Tom Armstrong | 01/14/2015
While it’s sadly not all that atypical for life in Northwestern Ontario in January, our trip started off to a frosty start with temperatures below -30 C. We were heading a couple hours west, towards Atikokan, ON, where the winter lake trout season opens a month earlier than where I live in Thunder Bay. There are some great lake trout lakes in this area. For anglers willing to brave the cool January temps great fishing is available... Read more

Texas Hill Country Trout Showing Strong
By Chris Shaffer | 01/12/2015
Weaving from Canyon Dam through Gruene and into New Braunfels, The Guadalupe River is what many anglers wouldn’t believe existed if they hadn’t seen it with their own eyes. A shallow, yet fairly wide system, this well known tubing and rafting river brings dreams to anglers who from December through March don’t have to drive to New Mexico, Colorado or Arkansas to catch planted trout because cold, clear, clean water rushing out of the base of Canyon Dam keeps the system primed for truckloads of rainbows each week. .. Read more

When To Treat Steelhead Eggs With Brine or Powder Cure?
By Bruce Hewitt | 01/07/2015
It’s a common question I get asked a lot. People are curious how I’m able to get achieve bright, vibrant colors in my eggs, while also getting them to stay together when casted. Honestly, it’s simple. I choose the correct cure for the type of eggs I’m curing and their maturity. For the purpose of this tutorial let’s act like we’re curing eggs from a female winter steelhead. We’ll cover immature and mature eggs, as each should be cured differently. Many anglers often make the mistake of curing all eggs the same, which is why consistent eggs aren’t always achieved. .. Read more

Nearly 20,000 Steelhead Around the Upper Columbia
By Brad Wagner | 01/04/2015
Now that the holidays are over I look forward to some of the best steelhead fishing of the year on the Upper Columbia River in North Central Washington. With nearly 20,000 adult steelhead above Priest Rapids Dam there’s plenty of fish to catch around here and I’m expecting a great season. .. Read more

Epic Day For Idaho's Clearwater Steelhead
By Jason Schultz | 01/02/2015
It started in the morning with a hook up coming on the first, second and third casts! It didn’t take long to realize this day was going to be special. It wasn’t going to be a matter of how many steelhead we could find, rather how many Clearwater Killer B’s could we get to the boat. We were on a huge number of fish and it was time to go to battle!.. Read more

Chetco Among Northwest's Top Steelhead Rivers
By Andy Martin | 12/23/2014
Steelhead are present in the Chetco from Thanksgiving through March. Peak season is the last week of December through late February.Steelhead average 6 to 10 pounds on the Chetco, but bigger fish are common. The river record is a whopping 28 pounds.Each season, fish over 20 pounds are caught, with numerous fish between 15 and 18 pounds... Read more

Overlooked Winter Lingcod One of Oregon's Best Fisheries
By Andy Martin | 12/22/2014
While most anglers living in Oregon turn their attention to the state's world class steelhead rivers during the winter, those living near the coast constantly keep an eye on the marine forecast. If the ocean lays down in January, February and March, they seize the opportunity to head offshore to get a quick limit of tasty lingcod... Read more

Southwestern Ontario Enduring Slow Steelhead Run, But Conditions Improving
By Bojan (Bojangles) Zivkovic | 12/18/2014
Why am I optimistic? Consider what happened last winter and spring. Last spring cold weather kept the chrome in the rivers longer than we as used to. High and cold water in Lake Ontario tributaries retained steelhead in late May. They didn’t migrate back into the lake until after their spawn, which was near mid May. In some tributaries, many of these fish stuck around until June/July, which gave them minimal time to feed in the lake. .. Read more

Lake Huron Steelhead Making Late Push
By Josh Choronzey | 12/17/2014
This super late spawn put our steelhead way behind the regular schedule of recuperation on Huron. A shortened offshore feeding window resulted in steelhead needing to stay offshore to feed during primary fall migration months. Fish that entered systems in October and early November appeared skinny and still bearing the brunt of the late spawn. River temperatures dipped low late in October and the warm lake temperatures on Huron provided ideal feeding conditions, which in the long run meant the majority of fish stayed out in the lake. Many anglers have been blaming commercial fishing, cormorant predation, poor year-class survival and disease for the late returns, but anglers “in the know” are not nearly as concerned, instead they are patient. .. Read more

Ontario's Saugeen River Kicking Out Nice Steelhead
By Chris Shaffer | 12/16/2014
Roughly 30 minutes from the regional hub of Owen Sound, the Saugeen is no secret. Managed to provide Ontario anglers with a strong return of steelhead, it sees a tremendous amount of pressure daily from fall through spring and is able to maintain a wild and hatchery steelhead run even with the two-fish limit available to anglers looking to grill a few fish... Read more

Oregon's Trask Boasting Big Run
By Pat Abel | 11/26/2014
We are slowing coming to the tail end of the run here on the Oregon Coast. We’ve had fish coming in the Trask River since September, but this run will last through mid December, at least. Conservatively, this fall’s run is 25 percent better than last year. We aren’t seeing larger fish, but we are seeing more fish. And, we are seeing big numbers of coho. In fact, I haven’t seen a coho run that compares to this in years. .. Read more

Learn To Tie Spawn Like A Canadian
By Josh Choronzey | 11/25/2014
If you follow the following steps properly you’ll come up with great looking eggs. Mind you, if you deviate from the steps laid out, the eggs will not turn out as they should. The steps to curing and creating the perfect bait are so simple it is silly. Here is my how to procedure to serving up some fine steelhead baits for the early season here in Owen Sound, Southern Ontario and anywhere in the Great Lakes... Read more

From The Bait Lab: Egg Storage 101
By Duane Inglin | 11/24/2014
I’m here to answer some of the dozens of questions we’ve been asked in recent weeks regarding egg storage, and add some advise from personal experience. Two are the most common questions are, “Is there a difference between storing eggs in the refrigerator vs the freezer?” And, “How about short term vs. long term storage.”.. Read more

A Guide Secret To Getting More Out of Jigs
By Bob Kratzer | 11/19/2014
Fortunately, recent experimentation has enabled me to surpass this hurdle. Using fresh squid I now have a jig that looks, swims and finally smells like a squid, and we all know how well salmon smell. With a little sea salt, Pautzke Fire Brine, BorX O Fire and Nectar, I can make a squid tough, last longer and smell irrestible to salmon. It’s given me a new edge on the water. The cured/brine squid is producing catch rates like I saw a few decades ago. .. Read more

Rogue Steelhead Back In The Game
By Steven Theel | 11/10/2014
I’m expecting the fishing to stay good through November. We received more rain than average which has helped to draw both steelhead and coho out of the Middle Rogue and into the upper. Luckily no matter how hard it rains, we always have a clear section of river to fish thanks to controlled releases from Lost Creek Dam. Even when the rest of the river looks like chocolate milk, the half mile section of river above the first major tributary stays fishable... Read more

Clearer Water Improving Salmon River Steelie Bite
By Homer Brown | 11/09/2014
Roughly, two weeks ago the Salmon blew out, which left it high and muddy for about a week. Be happy you weren’t here for that. Fishing was tough. Meanwhile, as the water started dropping, it cooled and fishing eggs turned on. The steelhead have been gobbling them up ever since. .. Read more

Mix Cures For The Perfect Egg
By Duane Inglin | 11/03/2014
I still use red and pink cure weekly in the fall. However, I like to mix cures to create an egg that most guys aren’t fishing. Sometimes that’s all it takes to have an edge. An egg that’s created by mixing cures is valuable to me when conditions aren’t normal, meaning there’s falling river conditions and minimal visibility. By mixing cures, you’re able to achieve a dark, red egg that also has more properties to help it stand out. .. Read more

Lower Clearwater Seeing Steelies File In
By Toby Wyatt | 10/22/2014
Steelhead season is underway in Idaho where we’ve been running fishing trips on the Clearwater River. The river has been producing nice numbers of fish. The Clearwater has been kicking out a lot of quality big B-run fish ranging anywhere from 12 to 18 pounds. This time of year these fish are hot and make some line screaming runs and acrobatic leaps. .. Read more

Puget Sound Coho Trickling In
By Todd Daniels | 10/07/2014
Keep in mind, we are just getting going up here. October is the peak of the Snohomish River coho season. The next rain is going to make this river on like Donkey Kong. It will suck the rest of the fish out of salt water and also turn the bite on for the fish in the river right now. .. Read more
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