Thursday, October 28, 2010
I plopped down on the first flat rock I could find, threw my pack down and laid my rod across my lap. It felt good to sit. I glanced at the sun peeking through gray clouds and tried to guess what time it was. The day felt full, almost complete, but deep down I was pining for one more fish. I scanned the run in front of me, a piece of transition water between two long, high-gradient shale stretches. It was tight, compact, and fishy. A log jam on the far bank provided the only real challenege to the angler.
Hearing splashing to my left I broke my gaze to find Nate approaching the head of the run. He looked the water up and down and then shot me a familiar glance, which I interpreted without much thought. You or me?
I thought about that last fish I'd been pining for and what a fitting end it would make to the day, silmutaneously remembering all the choice water I'd taken shotgun on earlier in my lust for a fix.
"Go for it" I conceded.
I was a bit suprised when Nate laid down his indicator rod and approached the run with a 12' spey rod. I have to admit, it made me feel like a bit of a Sally knowing that I'd have elected to nymph through such a close-quartered piece of water. I watched intently as Nate stripped the heavy skagit head off the reel along with a few feet of running line. Looking up, the big piece of slab rock in front of him made a perfect perch. He stepped up, worked the slack out past the rod tip and punched out a cast.
The first attempt fell a couple feet short of the log jam. He let it swing dutifully through the dangle, repositioned his anchor and pumped out a second cast. The fly checked in mid air, grazing the log just before it hit the water. The line came down in perfect succession, forming a downstream J-curve on the water's surface.
I barely had time to focus on the end of the line before I heard the "THHHHHWACKKKKKK" of a 400-grain floating line breaking the surface tension as Nate applied a two-handed powerset. It sounded heavy.
I couldn't contain myself. Watching the whole scene unfold was almost more exciting than hooking the fish myself. John showed up just in time to lend a landing hand and I went into paparazzi mode...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
That first fish of any trip gets the positive energy flowing. It lifts the burden of anticpation, inspiring confidence, allowing you to pat yourself on the back for a brief moment. Steelhead fishing is ultimately one big game of hide and seek, and while it's nice to win every once in a while, for reasons already alluded to it's best to do so at the beginning of the trip.
When fishing with your buddies, you want to build mojo not only for yourself but for the group. If your buddy hooks up first, you are in one way relieved and in another suddenly even more desperate; the last thing you want is for the whole group to get skunked, but the truth is you made the long drive, you tied the flies, you've been dreaming about this trip and, damnit, you want to catch a fish!
So when everyone in your fishing party pulls a mojo fish out of the same run, it's probably a sign of good things to come. And that's what we did on Monday.