3-8-04 - I will not quit until I have my first
chrome for 2004.
Waters Fished: Pike River
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 3-8-04
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Air Temp: Low 30's F
Water Temp: 36F
Water Level: Still Up, about 100 cfs
Water Color: Visibility back to about 1 foot
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Polar Shrimp, Goo Fly, Glo Bug
Pattern Color: Small and orange was the ticket
Fishing Quality: Slowly improving
Once again, another "way too early" morning
wakeup call came from Rich Brown about 4:00 am. I showered, gathered
everything up, had to stop for gas, and eventually made it to the
When I found Rich I also found our camp chef from
FAT FEST 2003, TIMAAAY! Pretty sure it was his first trip out for
2004. Thankfully it was the three of us and one other angler...fair
amounts of room today.
Flows were still up, and all morning I watched
Timaaay and FAT hook up with the fish. Most all of our early morning
fish came to shore foul. Meanwhile, the other angler was drifting
spawn and had no luck as well.
My first hookup came as I drifted far back into
an eddy and felt my line go tight. Instinctively I set the hook
and the fight was on. I had to shout "fish on" over the
roar of the river so the guy drifting bait would know to get out
of the way. I don't think he heard me, so I had to shout "PULL
YOUR DAMN LINE" which got his attention.
We got the fish to shore but found out the hard
way that it was fouled in the dorsal. Nice small jack with a hard
kyped underbite. It was truly a beautiful steelhead, so I did take
his picture anyway before releasing him.
FINALLY it came together...we always fish different
patterns until we figure out what's working. Despite the still relatively
high flows the fish had keyed in on small orange eggs. FAT was the
first to confirm this with a NICE hog, another 12 lb. buck. Good
fight, I believe Timaaay got the netjob on this one.
After shooting the pics, I came back and wanted
to THANK our other angling friend for pulling his line during my
earlier hookup. I think he thought I was being sarcastic, but really,
I again want to drive home that I was very sincere, I TRULY appreciated
it. THANK YOU.
Well our other angling companion drifting the spawn
must have been frustrated; all morning without a bite while FAT
had just faired on the fly in 36F water. He took off; meanwhile
I added on a dropper glo bug, #12, in hot orange. After only a couple
drifts my line went tight again, and another battle started.
I should probably tell you now that on Sunday and
this morning I had been fishing a new concoction; a 10' 10"
6wt that I built with the help of Dave Dyer (Creekside
Outfitters). The fight on such light, long tackle was fun, almost
scary at times, but I am so addicted to this rod! At one point the
rod was entirely doubled over into a 180 degree bend as the steelhead
dove into a 5' deep eddy that was within two steps from where I
stood, all the while pulling my line through thoroughly iced up
Tim and I were scared that this fish was foul...I
had a terribly difficult time controlling it..I couldn't lift it's
head. The first time I got it up to the surface all I could see
was my lead fly, a large goo fly. But by this time I had head control
and managed to turn her around and into the waiting net.
It was over. My first chrome steelhead of 2004
came in on a #12 Orange Glo Bug. Quite a STUNNING FISH...that light
and long tackle really gives the fish an advantage...good at times
it felt like I was pulling up a LOG. The downside was that the fish
weren't fighting like they were a couple days ago...the 36F temp
produced slower, more tugging fights with no jumps. Who cares, it's
Well we kept fishin' for another 45 minutes or
so, but I honestly was done. FAT hooked up again and got schooled.
The fish walked him all the way downstream...turned out to be nothing
but a GIGANTIC sucker.
Timmayyyy continued to hook up but kept losing
them. around 8:15 am he had yet another fish on...I ran across with
the net and saw that this one was FAIR and had also fallen for a
small dropper fly. Unfortunately I couldn't see this fish as it
continued to pull down deep. Then it turned and ran downstream.
I was going to chase it, but FAT was right there
sayin' "Give me the net". Sorry this story doesn't have
a happier ending....FAT didn't get a chance to properly complete
another net job as the fish pulled Tim's line over the rocks and
I had PLENTY of other things to do this morning,
so at about 8:30 I packed it up and headed to get the Bitchin' Camaro
yet another coil replacement! Not bad for less than 3 hours of fishin!