Sunday, December 20, 2009

Small Stream Steelheadin'

I took off early on Saturday morning in order to meet Keith at the river. I finally arrived and quickly strung up my ACR with a new 450 grain compact skagit. I headed down the path and met Keith streamside. We chatted for a second and he showed me a few quick pointers on the run we were fishing. The new line felt great and cast my 15ft type 6 pretty easily.

Keith was kind enough not only to meet me, but he also took me down the road in his vehicle pointing out every spot he could in order to keep me fully informed. This is something I don't take lightly. I think the Steelhead reward this kind of behavior. I wouldn't be surprised if Keith hooked up on his next few trips.

Well, we fished a few good runs until Keith had to leave. The water was big enough to cast the spey, but many times, I found myself leaving part of the skagit head in the rod on the smaller runs. Fishing this mountain stream was quite the contrast from the river I fished last week.

After Keith took off midday, I headed upstream and fished a few spots he had suggested. One of the runs looked perfect. I put on a black and blue intruder and ten casts in my line just sort of stopped. I lifted pretty hard and sure enough, it was a fish. He left the top of the pool and headed for the bottom. He stopped at the tailout and I was able to work some line in and get a good look at him. It was a really nice sized fish. Just as I was making some ground, he took off back downstream, splashed on the surface and my hook popped out.

I fished another hour or so with no grabs. I wanted to get out of there before dark so I called it a night and headed back via some logging roads. I think its safe to say, I'll be back.

Keith throwing some line at a likely spot

The scene of the crime

Check out this view. This is from an old logging landing.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

One more shot

This picture embodies what the title of the blog is about. The Tug Is My Drug!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Success Tastes So Sweet

With the summer fish in the rear view, it's time to put the focus on those beautiful pesky animals we call Winter Steelhead.

Chad "Dec" Potter and I tried to fish on Thursday, but after 10 minutes of throwing our skagits over sheets of ice, we called it quits. The plan was to try and fish either Saturday or Sunday when the water and weather warmed. I ended up driving down myself to do a bit of water searching. I found some water and even ran into "Dec" who was doing the same. We firmed up our plans for Sunday and it was game on.

We got to the river early on Sunday and were fishing by 8am. After casting for the morning and coming up fishless, we moved spots and warmed up our toes. The water was hanging steady at 35 degrees. Not exactly perfect temps for getting fish to move to a fly.

After moving downriver we hit a couple of great runs that looked promising. One of which, was probably the slickest wading I've ever encountered. I don't think I have ever feared for my life so much in 2-3 foot of water!

The day was winding down and then it happened. My loop went out and raised my rod. The 7133 Burkie I was test driving came under tension and a bit of line tore off the reel. I was actually hooked up! After a few nice runs, the beautiful 33" Hen was landed and released. We estimated her at around 12lbs. It was the prettiest specimen of a steelhead I had ever held.

Jacked with joy I kept casting and hooked up about a half hour later. It was not to be as the fish quickly came to the surface and spit the hook. No worries, I had already had my prize for the day.

Dec Potter and I pictured with the chrome above.