I hustled down to him and got my camera out to take a few pics. This steelhead was truly ticked off and did not want to play nice at all. Paul would gain a little line to work him upstream, but the steelhead would turn around and take another run. Paul did his best but the steelhead won when the fly pulled loose.I sat down and slide off the bank as quietly as possible since there was some good water very close to shore. I snuck upstream about 10 yrds to tuck in against a fallen tree that was right where the riffle started. I also looked around to see how much casting room there was and where there would be a clear rod path during the cast. Since I only had the poly leader and a foot or two of line outside the rod tip, I could do a reverse single play. I was having fun with the switch rod, and this particular spot really showed me the value of a shorter rod. A 13ft rod would have never been able to work in this location.
I made three casts and swung through the pocket closest to shore, then i stripped out a few more feet of line to cover more water and the rest of the seam that was downstream of me. On the second cast after stripping more line out, the line came tight and a hot steelhead was going nuts. While this fish was raising heck, I was watching the tip of my rod and dodging tree branches. At the same time I was looking for a little open slot to land this fish. Lucklily the steelhead stayed close and didn't head into the little log jam below me. After alot of thrashing around at my feet which sprayed water all over me, the steelhead calmed down and I was able two get two quick pictures of her. Thank you sweetheart!! You are the nicest one of the year so far!!
There was about an hour and a half of sunlight left so I started back down the trail to see how Joe made out and if he got his first steelhead on the swing yet. I was about 150 yds away and I happened to look up at the same time Joe set the hook and raised the rod. I could see the rod tip dancing so I ran down the trail to help Joe land his prize.
I made it to Joe just when he needed a hand and we landed a nice little steelhead. I thought it might have been his first steelhead on the swing, but when I asked him he said, "THIS IS MY SECOND ONE CHIPPER!!" We took a break on the bank and Joe told me everything from beginning to end. It was great to hear about his success and how everything came together for him. Welcome to the club Joe!! There is no turning back now!!!