December 3, 2006
Back out I went once more when I saw the water levels lowered, after a long series of high water days. The fish were going to bite, I thought! I arrived on the river around noon the first day and was into a beautiful, dime bright bullet of a fish on my second cast. This was going to be another one of those days I thought as I soon released the 10-pound female chromer! Unfortunately, that was all there was going to be in that area and I moved on. I spent the rest of the day jumping from hole to hole and picking up 4 fish by days end. The second day wasn’t much different with another 4 fish being the best I could manage once more. One fish however, gave me quite a battle as I had to relive a grueling battle almost identical to the one Tom had on the last trip. This fresh steelhead had no intentions of letting me land her as she headed down river, spooling line from the center pin reel at an unbelievable rate. Seeing as how this was the exact same area that Tom got spooled, I didn’t have much faith in winning this battle. Amazingly, I did manage to win though and was rewarded with another 10 pound silver bullet. She must have come up from the lake overnight I thought as I quickly photographed & released her to battle another day. The fish may have been few & far between, but the average size was definitely bigger on this trip. They were mostly in the 8 to 12 pound range and incredibly stronger in this higher water level. The third morning was a little different with the wind being the toughest battle I was to fight today. It’s never easy fishing a float with winds gusting at 30 MPH. There’s really no control while trying to present the bait naturally to the fish and today was going to be a challenge. I actually had to use the bends & islands in the river to shield me in certain areas. I figured I would take advantage of the situation and do a little exploring in new areas of the river. I was rewarded with a couple of fish from places that I never knew existed. A third fish came from another area that had never produced even a single hit in all the times I had tried fishing there. This was an amazing fresh 12-pound female steelhead that fortunately never left the pool she was in. She did however; travel up & down the entire area several times, giving me a ten-minute battle. With the weather changing from freezing rain & snow, I released this fish without being photographed. Setting up the camera with the tri pod & timer just takes too long when the conditions are miserable. This was to be the last fish as I was about to pack it in & head home. The weather was getting worse and the temperatures were falling throughout the day with snow & freezing rain in the forecast. All in all a pretty good trip with every fish having to be worked for! A total of 11 fresh steelhead were caught ranging from 8 to 12 pounds. Once again, I can’t wait to get back!!!!