As I reflect back on this Winter Steelhead trip on the Salmon river a few days ago, there were so many things that stand out besides all the fish we caught! The day started with a 2a.m. departure time from my house driving 4 hours to the Salmon river outside of Amanda Park. I was heading to a pin drop on my Onyx maps in the dark to a place i have never been. This in itself was pretty exciting! When I got to where Matt and Ashley's rig was parked I was instructed to find the stick arrow they had placed in the road made out of twigs. This pointed me to the dark trail leading into the woods towards the river. So with my head lamp I put on my waders, grabbed my gear pack and rod, told Jewels the fish pup to lead the way in the dark and through the woods we went. Well lets reflect on this trail through the woods! Ummm well i guess the better explanation is what trail? I was basically just heading towards the sound of flowing water climbing over trees going through brush and well as about as excited as a 5 year old on Christmas morning! I found Matt and Ashley on the river bank and we sat there with our head lamps talking strategy waiting for it to get light. I decided i would start with a 14mm BnR soft bead in a Orange color. I tied on a #1 octopus hook with 15lb Trilene Fluorocarbon. I went with 15lb because the winter runs are averaging over 14lbs and its a small little river with lots of brush and things that i would like to keep the fish away from. I used a clear bobber stop on my leader to space the bead a 1 1/2 inches away from the hook. This allows for better hook ups as the fish grabs the bead. I was hanging the bead straight under the bobber so that it wasn't dragging the bottom, but i wanted to keep the bead nice and close to the bottom. So i put a small split shot in the middle of my leader to keep the bead down. Above that i had a 1/2oz bobber inline weight tied onto my mainline which was 17lb Berkley Nanofil. I really like this Nanofil for straight bobber fishing it wicks water and mends nicely. On my main line I had a 1/2 oz Beau mac slip bobber with a corky on top of it between the bobber and the bobber stop. Why the corky on top? The corky does 2 things. 1st it lets you know your fishing when you cast out. If your bobber hits the water stands up but the corky doesn't go to the top, your tangled somewhere and you don't waist drift. 2nd it gives you better visibility of your bobber for making long drifts. So this is my basic bobber bead set up. I had all this on a 9ft 6inch Fenwick HMX spinning rod that had a size 35 Pflueger president spinning reel. Last step now that its light enough to see my bobber is i dunk my bead in the graybills steelhead scent let it soak for a moment and start casting. 1st cast I am shaking with anticipation. I get to about cast 10 and I am still tuned up and ready! And there it goes bobber down and bang i give the straight up quick hard hook set and fish on! Ashley in the background says, "wow quick on the trigger I like it!" As I battle this great fish i told Ashley that the biggest Steelhead i have ever landed personally was 14lbs. Well 1st fish of the day went almost 16lbs and was my personal best. I continued on hooking 5 more that morning notching my personal best at 18lbs. As a group in 3 1/2 hours we put 10 Steelhead to the bank and loosing many more. Ashley got the biggest of the day with a 21lb fish! All these were just amazing gorgeous Steelhead. As a group we hooked most of our fish off of beads. But Matt did his damage with a flame and black Aero jig tipped with prawn. Ashleys monster 21 pounder came on a true egg cluster. Some times the big boys just want a real meal! What an amazing day with great friends finished up with lunch at the Quinault Resort and Casino. Cant wait for my next adventure back to the Quinault area!