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
Saturday October 29, 2011
Decided to head below the Trestle for the AM session and to also check out the river from last year’s floods. Surprisingly, I had the whole flat to myself for most of the morning. A few trees/branches were down that I didn’t remember from last year, but they didn’t seem to be a problem for swinging some flies. The only problem was I forget to put a few skaters in my box!!
Started out just above the uppermost tree that was in the water and began working downstream. I had only been in the water for about 30 minutes, looked upstream and saw an empty plastic soda bottle floating downstream. I focused on my cast and began the next swing when I heard I nice boil, just upstream of me. I look towards the noise and see the plastic soda bottle bobbing up and down inside the rings of the boil. Nah it couldn’t have been, did it really come up and hit the bottle? I’ll never know but the timing was awfully coincidental if it rose to something else.
I worked down the run and couple of other fly anglers did the “elephant walk” into the run below me so they could fish a grand total of 15 minutes before heading elsewhere. Oh well, at least they gave me a little room to step down and swing. A few more fish boiled here and there and I really wished I had my skaters. On to the next run. Isn’t that a Jay-Z lyric?
Hit the choppy water and decided to put on a purple conehead Swarn-a-Bugger with a pink egg bead in front of the fly but not pegged. I also had on a 3.9 ips poly leader with 12lb fluoro for the tippet. Started working down through toward the next bend and a guy came down the trail and spotted some salmon near the bank. Tuna stick in hand….ah you know what’s next. Anyway, he starts waving to me and giving me signals about the number of kings he sees moving up, then he does it again a little while later. I was casting to the far bank and he was barely in the water because the kings were so close, so I kept working down.
About the time I was almost down to him and ready to ask if I could keep working downstream in front of him, the concoction was on the dangle and bam!! A hot little steelhead starts thrashing around and makes a nice run. I played him out mid stream and tailed him so I could get the fly out, but he flopped away. I lead him to shore and the guy was nice enough to take a quick pick even though it was a skipper. He was real nice and we chatted for a bit about the river, I bummed a smoke from him, then he took off to get his brother to bring him back to the spot where he was trying to snag salmon. I fished a little longer then headed out for lunch.
After lunch I went to the 2A bridge area to fish and to wait for my buddy Paul to get done with his guide trip. My friend Jessica was there, so we fished a run together and took some pictures of each other tossing out some line. Jessica left since she had been there for a while, so I decided to stay and keep fishing until Paul arrived.
I went up to the Compactor and it was empty so I hopped in at the top and started doing the steelhead waltz. I decided to try fishing a bit deeper and switched to a 6.1 ips polyleader and put on a copper Irish Crayfish…..basically a poor man’s General Practitioner.
Nothing happened through the top end of the pool, but I was eager to get to the slick tailout. I got one quick tug that pulled some line out of the reel, but no hook up. I kept fishing my way down the tailout and I was almost to the end and WHAM!! The line was ripped out of my hands and the rod starts bucking heavily. A nice chrome comes flying out of the water, then jumps again…..I try to get the line tight…..an awesome cartwheel…..reel reel reel….one last jump and it was gone…all in about 10-15 seconds. Man what a rush that was. I just stood there chuckling trying to replay it all in my head. Paul had floated by a little earlier so I headed downstream to meet up with him.
Paul and I went to Pineville to share a run and fish the evening session. Paul hopped in the riffs so I decided to start in the tailout since no one was around. We fished hard for about an hour and a half but didn’t have any solid tugs. Paul had one pluck at the fly and not long after he had a tug while stripping in line for the next cast. Neither one got hooked though. I only had one half hearted tug, but it was a great time sharing water with a good friend. We left at dark while the few kings that were around started doing there thing.