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Shelton Mason County Journal
Shelton, Washington
Mason County Journal
News of Mason County, WA
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January 2, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 2, 2014
 

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The Troutist Steelhead Steelhead guide Zach Larsen heads up the Chehalis River in search of the first fish of the day. appy New Year! It's now 2014 and every- one gets a chance to start fresh. I usually have my schedule set a year in advance, but this year I am going to shoot from the hip and let the chips fall where they may. I do know that I will be at the Puyallup Sportsman Show working the Mack's Lure Booth at least one day, the Portland Show I believe I will be working the Izorline booth for a day. I always enjoy these events mainly because it gives me an opportunity to visit with old friends in the industry and see some folks I haven't seen for years. Combine that with making some new friends makes • these events even • better. I will also be • having some of my • work in the Salmon • Trout Steelheader • magazine; it is al- e ways a pleasure to • work with Nick Am- • ato. I am working on • the rough draft that • will be coming out • in the April edition. • STS has been in • the newsstands for • many years and is • considered to be the • cream of the crop • when it comes to • angling magazines • plus they have an • excellent reputation • for taking care of By Uncle Wes : their writers, which makes it even more 1 b g Ma m er . exciting. Winter steelhead are showing up in our Northwest riv- ers. Even though the water is low and clear there are some nice catches being reported. Winter steelhead are the most sought-after fish in the Northwest, so folks travel from around the country just for the op- portunity to hook up with one. The sheer majes- tic beauty, their acrobatics, and the battle that ensues after you hook-up is epic. Bringing one of these beauty's to hand is definitely a photo op- portunity, with many of them weighing up into the upper teens and larger. These fish are legendary for throwing the hook and swimming off. You will probably hear more stories of the one that got away than any other species here in the Northwest. Every year I hear the same question "Where do I learn how to angle for them?" It can be very confusing with so many different set-ups, lures, bait, rods, reels and methods to catch them. My first suggestion is to at- tend seminars, book guided trips with reputable guides, watch DVDs on the methods you are interested in, Amato Publications has several that are top -notch, or read up on the subject and go with the trial-and-error program. If you choose the latter, this method can become quite expensive and time consuming. Save yourself some money and book a guide, then you will have a clue about which method you want to ex- plore and learn about. I have found one site online that is very informative and covers A to Z in the basics, and that is the Steelhead University page ..eehe.ad_u_aiy_e.ai.t.c..a it is worth checking out. I plan on making several outings this year as soon as I can shake this cold that just keeps hanging on. Take my word for it, once you hook-up and land your first steelhead, you will get the dreaded steelhead virus. The only cure is to catch more of them. So until next time may your next "trout be your trophy mount. Steelhead anglers will be on the prowl for chrome fish like the one Zach Larsen caught. Mason County Journal - Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 - Page C-7 I