20 pound steelhead

Chetco River - Brookings, OR (Curry County)

Photo Credit: IGS

by Mario Gomez

Well I did it, I finally reached the pinnacle of steelhead fishing. I got one of my long time clients on a 20 pound steelhead today. This is the first 20 pounder to hit my net and what a way to end my season on the coast. We hooked this warrior in a fast riffle and battled it out for well over 10 minutes, I had to ninja the boat around and fire up the motor and chase this fish up a rapid because he would not turn around for us. After I saw the size of the fish for the first time all I could think about was losing my second 20 pounder, last year I hooked a fish that made this one look like a young buck.

We fought and fought, lifted and reeled for what seemed like a lifetime. The fish finally came out of the current two holes below where we hooked it and started to show us his belly. With a rutter like the one this fish has he plowed through the water like you wouldn't believe and with just a small flick of his tail he pulled 6 feet of line out with a stout drag. After saying lift lift lift, ok reel down about 100 times the prehistoric looking dinofish hit the net.

I couldn't believe my eyes, i said holy @#$% this thing is huge wait till you see this fish. After we got the boat situated I hopped out and got the hook out and pulled the net away from the boat so Bess could see her fish. She still didn't realize what she had just accomplished, and the special place she just took her fishing career. Once I handed her this  monster and she tried to get her hand around his tail and hole this fish up for a picture she realized what she was holding.

We took some great pictures and videos and sent this genetic anomaly back into the river he lurks in to spread his seed and create more river monsters. What a day I have been fishing for 30 years and have been dreaming about this fish my whole life.


Mario Gomez is a Northern California and Southern Oregon professional fishing guide that chases salmon, trout, and steelhead on the most productive rivers in the Northwest. Pro guide Mario Gomez has spent his entire life fishing the Klamath River, but also follows the circuit and targets the California and Oregon coastal streams each year. If you are interested in fishing the Klamath River, Smith River, Chetco River, Umpqua River and Rogue River click on the website and book your trip today. To learn more about Mario visit Ironhead Guide Service, you can also find him on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, or call him anytime @ (530) 598-0530.

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