Monday, October 25, 2010

Steelhead (Part 4)

Saturday morning, the Jen and I left home about 4:30am to chase steelhead up north.  It was pretty overcast, and windy, but the rain didn't start until 2pm.  We were on the water fishing by 8am, and generally enjoying the day.  Jen snagged one in the rear pectoral fin and it gave her a pretty good fight.  When it got close enough to net, about the same time that I spotted how it was hooked, the steelhead turned down river into the rapids and broke off. It was gone, with a very upset Jen on the other end!  On the ride up we had mentioned that we need to start landing more of these guys.  Guess we were foiled again.  We messed around on a few other spots throughout the day, and then drove down river to a different stretch of water.  About a half hour in, I hooked into a steelhead and it fought pretty good until it jumped out of the water and spit the egg fly out at me.  Seriously!  We really need to start landing these things!  The only things landed were three smolt I caught, and well....that's not exactly what we were looking for.

The three of us ended the day at the Twin Gables for supper, with a quick stop into the Kro.  But the long day got the best of us and we were sawing logs by 9:30pm, maybe it was 9pm.  Either way, it was way  early by our usual standards.

We arrived to our first choice anglers parking lot, but it was full, so we headed down river a couple spots and found a pretty empty parking lot that I expected to be full. So we wadered up and headed down to the river in the drizzle.  It pretty much rained constantly all day, classic steelhead weather.  We found Peter at the first place we went to.  He insisted Jen and I take a few casts so we of course did.  Peter laid out a bet that we would buy a shot for whoever caught the first steelhead.  Within ten minutes, the Jenorator hooked and lost a steelhead and then landed a very nice and chunky 22" brown trout.  Guess she won the bet!

About mid-day and a few spots later, the three of us were fishing a spot when two guys we saw earlier walked by.  Which meant that their fishing spot was open, so Peter hopped up to try his luck and he did pretty good.  He hooked into two steelhead with in minutes of each other, but wasn't able to land either.  Jen was no longer the only person on the board now.  :)  There was hope for the guys!  Which was nice, cause the spot we had just spent 45 minutes fishing and chatting with guy had ended the convesation with "I've never seen anyone land a steelhead here, and I've been coming up here since the fifties."  It would have been nice of him to mention that earlier, but I guess he liked company.  Anyway, maybe those two fish wouldn't have been there for Peter had we just skipped the steelhead-less hole and not chatted with the nice ol chap.

We moved on to another angler's lot,  Jen and I went to one spot, and Peter went to check out another favorite hole he wanted to fish.  I hooked one about a half hour in, but it wasn't able to get a good hook set and I lost it about ten seconds into the fight.  Didn't they get the memo?  We are supposed to be landing these things!  In the last two hours of light, I tried to coax another strike by calling the steelhead "chickenshits" and making various clucking sounds at the river in front of me.  Trying my best to taunt them, the Jenorator just shook her head at me and kept casting her fly.  I guess it didn't work, because I didn't get anymore action before dark.  They were too afraid to battle me I guess.

We hung up the wet waders, soggy clothes and changed into dry cloths, and the three of us met up with Mike, Rob, and Kurt in Iron River.  Mike took us over to Deep Lake Lodge for dinner, and we knew it would be a good place when they had the bartender yelling at the tv.  Yup, the Packer/Viking game was on, the bartender was openly biased.  Jen was happy. The menu was awesome too, if you are in the area, you must stop by and try them out.  The Blueberry ribs were very good, and everyone else's choice looked great as well.  Mike had the hot hand, he landed five of six steelhead!  Way to go Mike! Show off.  ;)

Egg flies still seemed to be what they were hitting on.  The water was clouding up pretty good and slowly rising.  I took a temperature reading of 44 degrees on Sunday.  The rain was much needed as the guy in town said it had been 22 days since the last rain.

Next week, we are going up again, and hopefully landing some steelhead for a change!  I'll keep you posted.

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