Every summer as the annual run of steelhead starts to build over Bonneville dam, one of my favorite time wasting activities is checking the live feed webcam from the dam. From now until the end of August the peak of the run will pass over Bonneville, giving fish porn enthusiasts the chance to get a glimpse at literally thousands of fish as they undertake their long migrations to the distant tributaries of the Columbia and Snake. Granted, easily 4/5ths of the fish that pass through the fish ladder there are nubby finned hatchery drones headed for the mass production facilities designed to "mitigate" the effects of the dams. However mixed among the clouds of hatchery fish are some of the most beautiful wild steelhead on earth. From 4 to easily over 20 pounds, blushed rosy on gill plates and hardened in their determination to reach their natal stream. These wild steelhead will spawn in the desert tributaries of the middle Columbia and Snake, in the dam battered rivers of the eastern cascades or in the high elevation rivers which drain the distant rockies. They are as resilient as they are aggressive towards surface flies and while many of us are still lucky enough to catch a few every year its always a wonder to see them, there in the man made fish ladder, just long enough to have their picture taken and sent across the world on the intraweb. Check it out.
Roll Down Your Wading Socks
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