Classic styles and modern infusions of special flies to swing for steelhead in the Great Lakes tributaries and around the world.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Monday October 31, 2011
Jessica decided to head to the 2A area in the morning so I did the same. I got the Compactor before her and it was empty so I put the 6.1 ips polyleader back on. This time a purple Mahogan was tied on and put to work. Confidence in place, I began at the head and worked my way down.
About ten minutes later, Jess showed up and got her rod strung together. We chit chatted as I kept fishing since I was getting to one of the sweet spots. There wasn’t any need to bomb out casts past the main flow so I kept it fairly close an stayed focused. Second swing through the sweet spot and I feel a nice solid bump so I drop the loop…..here we go!!! The drag starts singing and a gorgeous steelhead came thrashing to the surface. It made a few short runs, but stayed fairly close and fought deep for the most part. The steelhead did make one nice jump and I could see how clean and how deep the body was. “Nice Fish!!” I said out loud as I kept up the side pressure.
After a few minutes the chrome was tuckered out and I had it in the shallows for some quick photos. Jess was on point and ready with the camera. I think we barely took a minute to get a few good shots and the steelhead was back into the run. Yeah baby!! That one made my trip, everything else was a bonus after that.
Dad arrived a little later since he took it easy in the morning, plus he needed to get his license. They stayed up top and I worked my way down to the tailout. I decided to put on a Drake Wing which is a Francis Francis pattern and one I tied for Michael Radencich’s upcoming book. It looked to cool not to fish and the Wood Duck wings really brought it together.
I managed to get one more tug in the tailout but that was it. It was good pull too, but the hook never found purchase. Oh well, Dad and I headed out early to meet our buddy Dave who had just gotten into town. On the way back to the truck I could tell the water was lower than it was a few hours ago. Got to Whitaker’s and found out the power company dropped the flow to 335 cfs……DAMN!!
Once Dave was settled in, we all decided to head up to Pineville to fish a run we all like. It was a little crowded so I started above everbody while Dad and Dave headed downstream around a slight bend where I couldn’t see them.
About a half hour later, they are coming up the trail laughing their asses off and my Dad yells, “You’re not going to believe what just happened!!” I waded out of the river so I could hear better and get all the details.
This was Dave’s first afternoon with a brand new spey rod he had just bought at a great price. On about his fifth or sixth cast he hooked a big steelhead and fought it to the shore. As he was guiding it to my Dad, the top of his rod snapped in half!! The fish took off but he was able to get to my Dad, but as they were just getting ready to get a picture, the hook broke and the steelhead took off out into the river. What are the odds of all those things happening his first afternoon out, and that quickly as well?
Dave went back to the room and got another rod, so my Dad and I went upstream to find some room. With the water being dropped mid morning it seemed like some fish were caught at in between spots and had to high tail it to deeper water. Which I also think triggered some other fish to move since they were being pushed by new fish entering their zone.
I decided to skate a dry since quite a few fish were jumping, splashing, and boiling, but I couldn’t make it happen. It sure was fun though!! Dad and Dave stayed in the riffs below me and they each had a tug or two a piece, but they couldn’t seal the deal. All in all, a fun and eventful evening. We headed back to the room and Dave made chicken and Rice with Picante sauce. It was delicious!!