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  • Writer's pictureBMO

First winter steelhead of 2023

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Mark it on the calendar, Jan 26th - the date I caught my first Winter Steelhead of 2023. I was fishing with Mike Codino of Tim Bailey and Associates, and Guide Chris Vertopoulos - one of the absolute best guides in the Pacific Northwest.

We drifted the Nestucca River, near Pacific City Oregon. The river was in good shape, clear but not too low. It was a beautiful day with the low around 35 and a high of 48, perfect steelhead conditions. It was still early in the season, so there were not a lot of fish in the river, Chris had only been catching one or two per day, but we were up for the challenge.

Mike Codino and I with a Nustucca River Hatchery Winter Steelhead - My 1st Winter Steelhead of 2023!

We met Chris for breakfast at the Village Coffee Shoppe in Pacific City Oregon. I highly recommend stopping here for breakfast, the food and the atmosphere are a perfect way to start your fishing day.

Village Coffee Shoppe in Pacific City is a great place for breakfast! Remember to bring real money because it is cash only.

We launched Chris' drift boat, and started off the day back trolling Luhr Jensen K11X Kwikfish, coated in Pautzke Fire Gel. We fished through some beautiful water, but the fish were not snapping in the morning.

We started the day back trolling K11X Kwikfish coated with Pautzke Fire Gel.
Pautzke Fire Gel with some "Fire Power Krill" Mixed in - Great Combination!

Around mid day we made the switch to B&R soft beads. rigged with a size 1 VMC Wacky Hook. I caught a smolt right away, so things were looking up. We fished the beads for a good hour before I finally had a bite, and landed a beautiful hatchery buck. As it turned out it was the only bite of the day. We saw many other boats on the river, and none had landed a fish, so we felt fortunate to have the only fish on the river that we knew about.

VMC Wacky Hooks work great for bead fishing.

Thanks to Guide Chris Vertopoulos, I was able to land my first Winter Steelhead of the year on Oregon's Nestucca River.

It was a great day, made better by fishing with good friends Chris and Mike. If you want to book a trip with Chris, which I highly recommend - you can contact Chris Vs Guide Service Here.

Thanks for reading



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