By Brad Trumbo
The Times 

Palouse Outdoors:Steelhead, The (other) Fish of 10,000 Casts


March 14, 2024

Brad Trumbo

This healthy Wallowa River hen steelhead succumbed to the temptation of a purple leech streamer on the swing.

Most of my winter trips to the Wallowa River are characterized by slippery travel across the Tollgate Crossing during an active snow or ice storm. The five-foot walls of packed snow confining the highway are intimidating yet comforting, considering that I might bounce off the wall rather than ditch my rig in the creek draining the Elgin side of the mountain. Most days are frigid, snowy, or rainy, so a bluebird sky means instant victory upon arrival at Minam State Park.

Flow conditions were about perfect this day. I typically only fish for steelhead on the descending limb of the hydrograph afte...

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