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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Being the n00b steelhead fisherman that i am, do steelhead jump out of the water as far as salmon do or at all? If yes, is it for the same reasons? Thank you in advance and excuse my ignorance.
 

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Powder, I would venture to say that summer run steelhead can outjump most salmon. I once had a summer run in the Wynoochee at the Black Creek hole in the summer jump straight across the river from me at eye level or higher about four times right after driving the hook home and I was standing on a gravel bar about six inches above water mark. I am six feet tall and it was jumping about twenty feet out straight in front of me, I swear it was looking me in the eye. Needless to say, steelhead have got some mad jumping abilities. Tup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, well i meant to loosen their egg sacks though. That's good to know too and i deffinitely will expect that when i hook into my first steelhead this month. Thanks for the response! Tup:
 

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Thats ok, its a cool story though, huh. LOL

No, they aren't like salmon most of the time, like you are thinking. :lol:

They do tend to roll quite often, especially around dusk in small steelhead streams.
 

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Hooked or not???
For the most part they seldom jump and roll when running the river.
They however will jump way more when hooked than do most salmon.
Like Red said, the summers are crazy. I hooked one on the Green that immediately danced across the surface to the far side of the river, submerged and ran head first into a long on the far bank, knocking itself out. Easiest landing of a steelie I ever had.
 

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That would be my take on Steelhead as well. I don't see them jumping until they have been hooked. Once hooked, they will jump more than most salmon. Every now and then they will fool you and just dive to deeper water, but most the time they seem to go airborne!

As to why Salmon jump in rivers, that is a great debate that comes up online a couple times a year. There are different theories. If the loosening of egg sacks is true, this would make sense why Steelhead don't jump. From my understanding, they will stay in the river quite awhile before spawning which would give time for their bodies to get ready. If for one still believe the reason Salmon jump is because they don’t have a middle finger! wink:
 

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the loosening egg part doesn't hold water because:
Males jump too
Juviniles jump too
They jump in the salt as well as in the fresh
They jump even when the eggs are not mature
They jump even after spawning

Bottom line - Salmon just jump. I think it is just a mix of instinct (practicing for climbing small water falls and escaping predators) and rampaging hormones and the aggression and excitement it brings.
 

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Steelhead dont jump to loosen the skeen because they stay in the river system longer and their internal clock is not crazy like the salmons. Salmon have to speed things up because they know they have little time to pull off their spawning act! Steelhead come in the river and can go up and down depending on water levels etc...They have more time for their skeens to loosen and therfore no need for the smaking on the surface to get things going. However, steelhead go nutts when you hook them in the beek!! Their tail is designed to propell that fish thru ANYTHING!! And with that, they've got MAD HOPS!! Just what I've been taught over the years. :roll:
 

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ive seen full size steelhead rise to get flies in the summer that were two feet off the surface of the water (large fly of some sort)...summers roll quite a bit in certain systems and certain times of the day... also seen quite a few winters roll... or surface...but not nearly as often!... or as often as salmon.. especially not as often as silvers and pinks.
 

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I would say no, you can be steelhead fishing and not see any fish, but people are catchiing them :?
 

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Not necessarily goose. Sockeye and coho leap some mighty tall obstacles as well.
 

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Watching steelhead jump out of the water when hooked is the coolest thing you will ever see. Especially when they're doing tail walks for 10 feet back flips 6 feet high. I've had a few of those red on the cowlitz. It seems to me that Cowlitz fish are just hot pissed off fish when you shove a hook in their mouth.
 

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kingcracker said:
It seems to me that Cowlitz fish are just hot pissed off fish when you shove a hook in their mouth.
This describes generally most fish that are flossed such as the Cowlitz fish. They are caught off guard while getting flossed and then must react with a vengeance. However, if they were in their predatory mode, they would fight totally different.
 

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I realize this is old thread but I caught my 1st Summer Steelhead a few days ago and was wondering if it was normal for them to jump like crazy, aparantly it is. Here is footage from my kayak. I will post this on new thread as well. Thanks for add.
 

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They all have a signature jump, and you can tell what kind of salmon by the way it jumps. A big King will breech like a whale and come down on it's side. It's an unmistakable sound that echos across the water turning heads and eliciting the comment "wow, that's a slab" just from the sound of it. Coho porpoise like a dolphin then roll under water. Chum go crazy Helter-Skelter and are more similar to steelhead getting good air and tail walking, although much tougher and will not stop fighting often uprighting themselves and squirming back to the water after being landed.
 
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