Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Fishing With a Northwest Legend

Trey Combs working the bucket. 

Many Years ago, I read in this book a story about two guys fishing together. The author was fishing with Randall Kaufman, former owner of Kaufman Streamborn and a well known tyer here in the Pacific Northwest. They were fishing on a river in the Olympic Peninsula and despite conditions, Randall was able to swing a beautiful chrome bright twelve pound native steelhead. So last week, standing only a half mile or so above this location, I could not help but think of that while I stood next to the author of Steelhead Fly Fishing, Trey Combs.

Jack Mitchell on the sticks. 

I was very fortunate to get invited to fish with friend Jack Mitchell from the Evening Hatch Fly Shop and Trey Combs last week, and despite my work schedule, was able to make it out one day on the water. When I got to his place, early in the AM, he suggested a change of venue and we ended up on one of my favorite pieces of water. With rain coming down all morning on the drive up, I had no idea what we were in for,  but a day on the river, especially with a Northwest Steelhead Legend, was worth the cold wet downpour.

Trey with a chrome buck. Photo: Jack Mitchell

All morning, Trey kept on mentioning it was going to be a wet day. And he was right, the rain was relentless and though never dumped on us, maintained a least a gentle mist all day. Despite the rain and raising river level, we were able to cover some water.  Jack told him to say when if he wanted to get out and swing, and Trey called his shot floating down the river. Minutes later he proved to all of us why he's the guy who written some of the most well known books on the sport of steelhead fly fishing.

Trey and a fan. Photo: Jack Mitchell

Trey is one of those guys who you have a hard time not listening to when he speaks. While driving to the river, Jack had problems keeping the rig on the road because he was leaning over listening to Trey talk about fishing around the world. Hearing the history behind what is now the Atlantic Salmon Reserve and what happened when the Soviet Union fell was a great history lesson. Stories of 40 pound dry fly salmon and steelhead up and down the West Coast and the guys he has fished with over the years kept us asking more questions.

Fishing with Trey and Jack was a blast. It is amazing how much I learn from Trey ever time I get a chance to talk to him. Though I have chatted with him a few times, this was the first time I could spend some time on the water with him. I am glad to see and hear about him fishing again. After a hiatus spending time with his family, it is really nice to see this legend out on the water again. We have learned a lot over the years reading Trey's words and hope to learn more in the future.

My consolation prize for the day. 


Lester Kish said...

Now that's a day to remember

mike doughty said...

that's awesome mike. i would love to have that kind of opportunity

Althea Wilson said...

Awesome! It is actually a memorable moment. Looking forward to experience that opportunity.

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