|can you tell its the early part of the spring run?|
7:15am We pull in, maybe 4 other cars in the lot. We decided to work our way south this morning. Above the first bend was a group of three guys floating spawn on slip bobbers so we pushed around the bend past the group. We saw some movement in the water but nothing surfaced. Here clarity was poor, water was deep, slow and looked more like chocolate milk. The wakes we saw tempted us into throwing flies into less then desirable water conditions. So with our backs to the wind we started casting. I had a black esl pattern tied on. I varied retrieves from a no drag drift to a fast paced strip retrieve. We worked our way down the river with me casting right behind Neal. We passed a couple of foot bridges and came to a sweet looking run. The water here was thinner and clearer so we stood for a couple minutes just to see if we could spot some fish. Nothing cooking. A couple guys came walking up river and offered a report of no fish caught or spotted down stream. At this point we decided to push back up to the first bend where we at least had seen some signs of life.
The group of spawn floaters had left so we started fishing their run from earlier. Just when it seemed like my toes were frozen a small buck pushed up in front of where Neal was fishing. I stopped casting and watched... just happy to see a fish in the water. Neal made some nice drifts to the fish. Fourth drift to the buck and the line came across the fish and he spooked. He’s gone quicker then he came. A little more then 2 hours and all I’d caught was a head cold.
9:45am. Time for breakfast and a break in a warm truck. Did you know that Wendy’s serves breakfast! Neal went for two of the bacon egg and cheese biscuits with an orange juice. I had a chicken on a biscuit, hash brown and black coffee. We came up with a new game plan over breakfast. No more wasting time fishing the slack, deep, poo-colored water. We were going on a nature walk and we weren’t stopping until we saw good water and sighted fish. After our thirty minute break I felt warm again.
10:15 am. We pulled back in to our access point and we took ten minutes to see if the buck moved back in the last pool we fished. No luck, so we were off on a nature hike. North we went up river through the trees. Thirty minutes of walking and we finally came to some nice looking water. We went down closer to get a better look. We were in luck, we got down to the bank and we sighted at least three nice fish sitting in the pools. There was some deeper water above the run and above the deeper section was a nice gravel bend. This was the best 100 yards of water we had seen yet.
Neal started working the pools and I took the deeper water just ahead of him. It took me 5 minutes to realize that there were fish everywhere. I made a switch to a purple esl with a bead head. On my second cast I stripped the fly and the rod just loaded up and I set the hook. The fight was on! After a few nice aerial displays we landed a nice hen right in the middle of the pool Neal was fishing. Photo time followed by a quick release.
|working a fish|
|nice small hen steelie|
|omg what a donkey!!|
|neal's turn at a trophy steelhead|
|as fair as fair hooked gets|