I'd prefer to fish for summer steelhead on a dry line, but there is something exciting about catching a fresh wild winter that gets me going as well.
Winter steelheading is crazy by itself. Add in the fly rod and the fact that you won't be nymphing, it appears futile. That is part of what makes winter steelhead so great. The chance to feel that large wild winter on the other end of the line is what brings me back every time. Even if that "chance" almost never materializes.
Being a NW Winter Steelheader seperates you from a regular resident is many ways. Here's a few I've thought about:
- You don't complain about cloud cover and a little rain
- You don't mind 2 1/2 hour drives on a wet Saturday to get skunked
- Your "river levels" internet page is the first and last thing you check every day
- A missed grab from a fish will haunt you for at least a month
- Holidays are perfect for getting away from river crowds as opposed to spending time with family
- Your idea of a great winter weekend is spending time in the most rundown, depressing coastal towns the state has to offer. You might even consider a night in the local motel if the fishing is good.
In about a month, it will be time to let go of the floater and pick up the tip. Let's hope that big winter pull happens a lot this year.