Saturday, October 29, 2011

Steelhead Camp Part 2

Justin Koller working the run.

It is always nice coming home to water you know well, though this year with rain and wind it wasn’t the same and challenging in new ways. Fishing the same water for years, the water conditions this year was not the same. Water clarity was not as good and water flow was almost twice that of years past and thus lies and patterns learned over the years changed. Fish were still in many of the same places, but consistency with a dry line was not the same and methods were needed to change over the days to find what we were looking for.

Keith picking my pocket like always.

Day one brought many fish to a dry line and even the surface, but as the water rose and the clarity started to change the fish were moving though in waves. It was not consistent and by the second day, much of the water that held fish did not hold as many the next day, or at least did not come to the consistency of anything with peacock and gold like years past. Still fish were found, but tactics and fly size really started to become a factor.

I got hammered three times skating this little one in pocket water before bringing this one to the beach.

By day three large flies were the ticket but as the clarity started to come back we were able to find more productive holding lies and dry lines started to come back into play. Day four produced the same and by the time my father and I left, it was perfect. Fish were there and starting to hold more consistently.

One of several fish my dad caught.

Despite drinking less and being first on the water, each day just seemed shorter then in years past. Sharing water with my father and good friends was a blast. My dad finally got to see why I travel around the Pacific Northwest in search of these anadromous trout and he even got to catch a few in the process. Watching his hands tremble while holding up his first steelhead was well worth the price of admission and a memory I will always remember.

Josh Mills from Chucking Line and Chasing Tail lighting up the place.

The traditional last day skated fish on a new creation.


Mark said...

Nice story and pics Mike.

Curious as to what camera and lense set up you use.

Justin T. said...

Sounds like you guys wrecked em! Your dad haas a little mark bachman on him. :-)


great post Mike! really enjoy the photo and writing!