Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm addicted to steel

Ok, I already knew that right? On Friday, I used my lunch break to scramble down to the river. The sun was in full effect on the water and a Jet Boat was parked in the middle of the run, but it didn't matter apparently.

I started upstream and worked my way toward the Jet. Before I got to them, they pulled anchor and moved upriver. I had about 10 casts left to make when my loop went out and my reel started screaming. The fish ripped off a ton of line and then charged back at me. After 3 or 4 more bursts I was able to get the nice hen on the beach and into the cooler. Slipped on the business casual and was back at the desk within the hour. That's a sweet lunch!

Ended up back on the river this morning with Casey. We took the Clacka out and had some fun. I hooked up on the first run and after the 2nd jump, the hook popped loose. We caught plenty of smolts after that, but no hookups on the drift. After the shuttle Casey gave a roadside run another try and ended up beaching a nice hen. Another successful day for early summers.

Lunch hour chrome

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I had a feeling.......

Last week I mentioned that I had a good feeling about getting the first summer steelhead of the year. Enough fish have been over the falls and I felt it was about time I hooked up.

I headed out to the river after work to see if my feeling was correct. The first run I hit was a nice long tailout I had never fished before. I did get a grab about 2/3 of the way through, but it didn't stick. After stepping out of the run and back to the rig, I drove to another spot I knew held fish.

The water was high and off color. I threw on the only pink fly I had in my box. My confidence was shaken with the sun breaks that kept appearing. I knew it probably didn't matter, but I wanted overcast skies! About 1/4 of the way through the riffle I hook up on the bottom. Got my fly pulled free and considered going to an unweighted fly. I decided to keep the Pink PYP out of sheer laziness. About 5 cast later my line stopped and I felt the smallest of tugs. I let the loop go taught. I thought to myself fish or bottom? Well, the line started ripping off my reel in a hurry. My heart started racing as the fish took its first aerial of the fight. Yes! My first summer was on the line. After a couple of other blistering runs I got the fish close to shore and tailed her. Adipose in tact........uh, this isn't a summer, it's a wild winter. Sweet! Got a quick shot on the camera and let her go.

I started back in where I left off. After another 4-5 casts, same deal. Line went taught, weight, ripping run. I was hooked up again! I couldn't believe it. I had gone a month without having a hookup, and I had 2 in 10 minutes. This fish took off hard downstream and ran off close to 40 yards of line. At the end of the hard run it jumped, ran towards me and jumped again. I was able to get him close and spot the missing fin. I grabbed him by the tail and arranged for a meeting with the BBQ.

The Summer

The winter

Friday, April 16, 2010

A break from the move

I've been in the process of buying, remodling, and moving into a new place in the last 3 weeks. Those things tend to keep a guy pretty busy. I had a chance last Sunday after some demo work to get out with Chad and Simon. The clouds were right, the temp was right, and the hatch came off. We found a few fish including the nice one below that Chad is holding. The hatch lasted most of an hour and we were able to NIMP a few fish after as well.

I did learn one valuable lesson during the experience. Simon and his wife had just delivered their 2nd baby no less than 4 days earlier. He thought he was in the clear when he wife gave him to go ahead to fish. UH........NO SIR, not a good idea Bernie! She may have said "sure, go fishing", but that isn't what she meant. The evidence was in the 5 phone calls he got during the afternoon. Simon is still learning to read women. I thought having a 4 day old baby, he would've used better judgement.

All in all, good trip. Be on the lookout for my first summer fish of the year. I've got a good feeling about the next two weeks.