Narrowly escaping a delay at work Friday, Jen and I headed up north for another weekend of steelhead fly fishing. By chance, a couple of buddies (Mike and Phil) saw us as we passed through Superior, WI and they called my cell phone to say hi and we pulled over for a couple of minutes to say hi and take a little leg stretch. We caravanned the rest of the way to the motel and after checking in, stood outside in the dark brisk parking lot looking up at an almost full moon taking away about who had heard what for fishing reports and what everyone's plan was for next day.
I could have stayed in bed all day Saturday instead of fishing. But we got dressed and ran the truck for a awhile to get rid of the heavy frost on the windows and ventured out. All the normal parking lots were pretty much full and that was causing me to get frustrated in trying to get away from the crowds. We went back to the least full parking lot and thought we would give it a shot. Even though there were many cars at this lot, we pretty much only saw one fisherman who had a European accent. But, we saw him over and over and over again. And that got on my nerves trying to get away from him. Whatever. Jen caught and landed a nice 18" skipjack that day so she was doing pretty good. Myself, not so much. I hooked and lost one fish, hooked many rocks, logs, branches, trees, and my rain jacket. At one point I lost my composure and threw my rod on the bank in the mud. Pure frustration coupled with annoyances of not being able to get way from euro-dude and not being familiar with the stretch of water were were on and not catching steelhead made for a short day. We called it quits earlier than normal with the idea that I just needed to stop fighting with whatever forces were at odds with me.
The evening went much better, after we changed and grabbed a beer at the hotel room where we were found by the Bob's (who just pulled into town), Peter and his wife Kris, Crazy-Luke, along with Mike and Phil. They had better luck than myself and a more enjoyable day when it was all said and done. We went out to dinner together for the evening since it gets so dark so early now to catch up and make plans for the next day.
Sunday was a better day for my disposition in spite of the thick frost on the cars on a crisp 26 degree morning, and our fishing luck improved....sorta. Jen hooked a larger skipjack that had it not been for my slow response and her quick landing would have been a netted. But since I was slow on the draw, fish spit the hook where she had almost beached it and it swam off. She was kinda not happy with me, even though she tried to cover it up. We both know, that I screwed that up as net man. In my defense, I do think that was the quickest landing of a steelhead that she ever executed. I hooked three that day and landed none of them. The Green Bay Packers won. Yoda, hooked and landed a 25" up river from us; Mother Feiker lost a nice one on his last cast of the day. Yoda was able to get a lot of the battle on his Go-Pro, but in the end the Steelie spit the hook and gave Bob the fin. Crazy-Luke caught four on Saturday and one on Sunday. I don't remember the numbers for Mike and Phil, but I do recall they did really well, especially in one particular hole.
Jen and I spent the night there with the Bob's instead of hurrying home since we had taken Monday off to just chill out with each other and to go to an hour long appointment I had set up after I had taken the day off. More about that later....maybe.
Tuesday morning I had taken off to go fishing with Mike and Dad for small mouth bass in Location X. Dad however called last week and cancelled his spot. But since it had taken so long to work out a date and get time off, I went anyway fishing with Mike anyways. We met at Mikes place and we kind of dragged a feet a little as it was another balmy 28 degree morning. We got the boat launched and did some fishing. The first half hour we kind of battled the thin layer of ice that had formed on the water trying to cast over or through it with our flies and fly line. But the once the sun came out and waves picked up the ice broke up. Mike ended up with two smallie's landed, and I caught two very small pike. So my streak of small mouth fishing success continues to be not exciting. That change, someday.
Now I'm on the countdown again. Only three days until we head up again for another chance at catching AND landing some good steelhead.
|A new form of "Ice Fishing"- fly line on top, fly dangling down below.|
|A cast where the fly didn't make it through the ice.|