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Slide Show: The Oregon Steelhead Train

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April 21, 2010

Slide Show: The Oregon Steelhead Train

By Tim Romano

Here are a bunch of photos I took six weeks ago while traveling to eastern Oregon, where I rode a train for three days up and down 9 miles of the Wallowa River, hopping off to catch steelhead and getting back on when I wanted to find new water.

The Wallowa, a tributary of the Grand Ronde boasts a healthy run of hatchery fish as well as many wild steelhead. The train leaves the tiny hamlet of Minam and slowly sprinkles out thirty or so anglers that board the train each morning, making a slow amble to the Grand Ronde and then up and down the length of the track a couple of times throughout the day, picking up anglers and dropping them off to new water. It runs only about six weeks a year, from February through the middle of March.

For more information on the train check out, The Minam Motel and Tom Farnam (a guide) at Winding Waters River Expeditions.  We stayed about 40 minutes away in the tiny town of Enterprise at the Ponderosa Motel (which was great) and ate fantastic food at Lear's Pub, and drank one of the best IPA's I've ever had at Terminal Gravity Brewing Company.

Enjoy the show,

TR

Comments (11)

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Good show TR.

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from MLH wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Looks like a great way to fish. If there are already tracks next to a stream might as well take advantage of it.

Looks like a great trip. Nice work. I reserve my judgment on beer consumed after a long day - most taste special to me.

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from timromano wrote 4 years 4 days ago

thanks gentlemen.

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from -TK- wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Hey Tim, what Kind of camera do you use? Those are some beautiful pics.

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from Johnnyras1624 wrote 4 years 3 days ago

What was the ratio of hatchery to natives on this trip? Catch many on the swing? Most guys using spey rods or switch rods? I've fished the ronde quite a bit, nothing like it. Makes me miss home, thanks for the pics man.

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 3 days ago

I got it! India Pale Ale. I must be getting old.

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from timromano wrote 4 years 3 days ago

TK - these were shot with a Nikon D700

Johnny - Not sure of the ratio, but a lot of hatchery fish - caught quite a few wild fish though.

Most guys were throwing single handers. I was throwing a switch and there were a few spey rods too. Only one fish was caught on the swing in our group.

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from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 3 days ago

awsome pictures, not only of the fish but of the whole expierience, I love that part of the fishing trips. The people, places, hardware stores,restaurants, all of it. I think some people kinda forget about all this in the quest for big fish, deer, turkey or whatever they are after.

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from countitandone wrote 4 years 3 days ago

Hey...thanks for the slide show. I always enjoy your documentaries, no matter where you go! So, what was the "go to fly?" Any consensus on that? Wooly Bugger in Purple?

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from mattguho wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

TR, great pictures. Myself, along with 9 others in our groups, were fortunate enough to be on the train trip the same weekend that you were there as well. A few of the fish stringed up at the end of the slide show were the ones we landed. This was our groups 3rd annual trip over to take the train, and each year it seems to get better and better. The hosts at the motel are more than accomodating, and the conductors of the train do a great job of making the trip memorable.

Going just once this year wasn't about to satisfy my appetite for steelhead, so I headed back over for the final day they ran the train, March 20th, and the fly fishing was phenomenal. Looking forward to next year on the Wallowa!

Matt

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from Supermax wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

TR Thanks for the great pics. For the season I think the ratio of wild to hatchery was about 4-1 hatchery. FYI I stopped at the hatchery a week after the season and they had over 600 fish that had come in that day in one tank. Whole lotta fish.

Max

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from buckhunter wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Good show TR.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Looks like a great way to fish. If there are already tracks next to a stream might as well take advantage of it.

Looks like a great trip. Nice work. I reserve my judgment on beer consumed after a long day - most taste special to me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 4 years 4 days ago

thanks gentlemen.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from -TK- wrote 4 years 4 days ago

Hey Tim, what Kind of camera do you use? Those are some beautiful pics.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Johnnyras1624 wrote 4 years 3 days ago

What was the ratio of hatchery to natives on this trip? Catch many on the swing? Most guys using spey rods or switch rods? I've fished the ronde quite a bit, nothing like it. Makes me miss home, thanks for the pics man.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 3 days ago

I got it! India Pale Ale. I must be getting old.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from timromano wrote 4 years 3 days ago

TK - these were shot with a Nikon D700

Johnny - Not sure of the ratio, but a lot of hatchery fish - caught quite a few wild fish though.

Most guys were throwing single handers. I was throwing a switch and there were a few spey rods too. Only one fish was caught on the swing in our group.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kyka1865 wrote 4 years 3 days ago

awsome pictures, not only of the fish but of the whole expierience, I love that part of the fishing trips. The people, places, hardware stores,restaurants, all of it. I think some people kinda forget about all this in the quest for big fish, deer, turkey or whatever they are after.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from countitandone wrote 4 years 3 days ago

Hey...thanks for the slide show. I always enjoy your documentaries, no matter where you go! So, what was the "go to fly?" Any consensus on that? Wooly Bugger in Purple?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from mattguho wrote 3 years 51 weeks ago

TR, great pictures. Myself, along with 9 others in our groups, were fortunate enough to be on the train trip the same weekend that you were there as well. A few of the fish stringed up at the end of the slide show were the ones we landed. This was our groups 3rd annual trip over to take the train, and each year it seems to get better and better. The hosts at the motel are more than accomodating, and the conductors of the train do a great job of making the trip memorable.

Going just once this year wasn't about to satisfy my appetite for steelhead, so I headed back over for the final day they ran the train, March 20th, and the fly fishing was phenomenal. Looking forward to next year on the Wallowa!

Matt

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Supermax wrote 3 years 49 weeks ago

TR Thanks for the great pics. For the season I think the ratio of wild to hatchery was about 4-1 hatchery. FYI I stopped at the hatchery a week after the season and they had over 600 fish that had come in that day in one tank. Whole lotta fish.

Max

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment