Fishing Sunday and Saturday provided a true dichotomy as to how steelhead fishing can be. Saturday was very tough, with one brief hookup on a might-be steelhead and a few trout. Sunday faired much better, with us hooking up a good number of times and landing one steelhead in the morning, but nothing after 1 o'clock (probably because of the cold snowmelt). As my friend Kyle stated, steelheading can be just that: feast or famine.
Some lessons were also learned this weekend. (1) When you think you should not drive down an icy, snow-packed hill, you probably shouldn't. (2) Riding a bike on an icy road leads to falling on your butt (thanks Kyle for that one). (3) Finally, thank god for locals, sometimes they can help you out of a pretty sticky jam. Overall, the fishing was good, the company was better, and the scenery was impressive.
One fish I hooked and lost sticks in my mind because, well, it was just an epic battle. After watching my bobber drop, I set the hook and the fish immediately ran under the log along which my bobber was just floating. Somehow, I managed to keep him free of the tangle. As he ran strongly upstream, I knew I had a battle on my hands. Then, as soon as it ran upstream, it ran back at me at full throttle. As I struggled to pick up line, the fish shot downstream like a bullet towards the next log jam. As I steered the fish away from the logs I was feeling pretty confident. Steelhead don't usually have more than two strong runs (if that even) in the winter, but this fish was different. After avoiding the log jam I positioned myself and the fish in the flat at the end of the run, right upstream of a heavy riffle. The fish decided it had enough, and headed right into the riffle, bending a 2x strong scud hook to the point where it lost its hold and the fish came off. These fish are why we come back, why we chase these chrome bullets in the freezing rain and sleet. Its all for the battle my friends...
Here is a beautiful hen taken on an egg pattern from this weekend