February 21, 2007
After a lengthy period of cold weather, we finally saw a break in the weather enabling us to fish for steelhead again. Jay had been thinking of catching more silver bullets since our last trip some three weeks earlier and couldn’t wait to get back. We decided to arrive the night before and take advantage of the two mild days forecasted before the cold settled back once more. The morning saw temperatures in the upper 20’s with even warmer temps soon to follow. Sunshine and no wind was an added bonus we could definitely live with as well! Float fishing with fresh roe would definitely be the ticket needed to entice these chrome beauties I thought and just how right, I was soon to find out. Jay was soon tight to a fish and well on his way to having a day of incredible action. Many more fish were to follow as he hooked fish in every spot we were to fish. Most of the steelhead were dime bright, but a few of the larger males were putting on their war paint in anticipation of the spawn soon to come. Jay got to hook into 15 fish today with the largest landed going around 12 pounds. As usual, there had to be a couple of fish that were too big to handle that just got away! He even landed a beautiful brown trout of about 5 pounds as an added bonus fish! In the end, Jay was to go 11 for 15 landed today. What an incredible day for lots of action. Day two saw the weather changing considerably with clouds and dampness in the air. There was a wind from the S/W at 5 to 10 knots as well making line control a little more challenging. The fish weren’t as cooperative as the day before and Jay had to work for every bite he was to get. Some smaller steelhead were eager to take the egg sacs as he landed a couple of skippies before hooking into a decent sized fish. Unfortunately, it was to be short lived as the steelhead just came up to the surface rolling and then pulled off. I believe it was to have been around 7 or 8 pounds, but we’ll never know! A little while later, Jay hooked into anther monster of a fish and was soon about to see just how quick this fish could move. In less than a minute, the fish covered so much water back & forth that it was almost impossible to keep up. Soon he tucked in behind some larger rocks and rolled on the surface, breaking the 6-pound leader. I estimated this one to be in the 15- pound class when we both got a pretty good look at the beast. Too bad, as it would have been a personal best! After a quick lunch I thought we would try a little walk into an area that might have untouched fish. It was to prove to be very interesting! Along the way, Jay stumbled and stopped himself from taking a header by submerging his arm in the water to the elbow. He had the rod & reel in the same hand too! It was a partial baptism, but a baptism nonetheless that usually follows with some sort of reward. It wasn’t long after we regained our composure that Jay was once again locked up on another large fish. I decided that the net wasn’t needed with this long hike and was beginning to second-guess myself when I saw just how powerful the fish really was. Fortunately, Jay had played with enough fish this trip to be able to muscle her out of the current into a slower pocket of water where I was able to tail her with a glove. She was a little darker than hat we had been seeing, but had a beautiful purple lateral line that made her just spectacular. I knew that the day was not to get any better and ended it on a high note! In the two days of fishing Jay had hooked into 21 fish and landed 15 of them. Our timing was bang on once more! I can’t wait to get back there again and tangle with more of these special winter steelhead myself!