So close to steel!

It has been my mission this winter to get a steelhead on the fly. I have dedicated at least 40 hours of my limited fishing time to that pursuit and so far I have been zero for zero.

I planned on changing that over the weekend as the reports of big steelies during the week were plentiful. As luck would have it, mother nature decided to throw a curve ball with a downpour of rain. With heavy rain, you get high water and muddy water; A.K.A - blown out creeks. Having already planned the whole day, I decided to make the trip anyways. 

Upon arrival to spot one, I could clearly see that half of the reports I was hearing were accurate; the fish were definitely there. As I walked the bank, massive wakes would erupt as the fish became uneasy by my presence. Instantly, I was electrified with excitement as I knew they were there! 

Several other bodies of water were visited and many of them had fish. These fish were generally pretty fresh and very easily spooked. It seems that no matter how stealthy I was, the fish knew I was there and that was enough for them to hurry off. 

After a while, it was back to the original creek as it seemed to have the best numbers. Since it was later in the day, other "anglers" had made their way out and the typical barrage of whale poles and giant spoons were being chucked in the water and quickly burned back across the stream. This is something that I encounter practically every time out and it aggravates the heck out of me when I see multiple big fish tethered to the stringers of these people.  

Why is it that all of my stealth and gentle presentations are ending up with nothing, but these people with their giant deep sea rods and huge lures are catching fish after fish? At times, it can be discouraging and makes it difficult to continue this pursuit of fly fishing addiction. It would be so easy to grab my casting gear and go do what those guys are doing. 

As the day was wrapping up, one last spot needed to be checked. Upon arrival to the spot, it was easy to see that at least a couple of fish were in this pool. I slowly got in the water just upstream of them and started casting. As I watched a big dark shadow make a big wake, I presented my bunny leech a few feet ahead of him. I started some quick strips back and it happened!!! I ripped the fly line through the guides and reared back on the flyrod. Every kick of this things tail resonated through the nine feet of high-modulus graphite into the cork handle that my right hand held on to.  As the fish rose slightly to the surface, he turned on his side to give me a glimpse of what I had on the other end of the line and what a beast it was! It was at that moment that I audibly laughed in disbelief and excitement. It was also at that moment that the ride ended. No longer was my flyrod bent in half and no longer was that fish fighting against the very thing that I wanted.

Although, he was gone, I was more excited than I have been in a long time. All of the sudden, my excitement and drive towards the pursuit of becoming a fly fisherman was re-energized

Although my goal was not completely met, it was SO CLOSE!!!!


  1. Nice job with the patience... I have a feeling you will be rewarded soon. I find myself grabbing the spinning all too often as it makes me the most comfortable with my prospects of landing Steelhead. I've caught trout on the fly but never a Steelhead, you make me want to give it a go again!

    1. Thanks, Adam! I sure hope you're right. A few short months ago when I started this fly fishing thing, I found myself in the same exact situation. I would also go out with the intention of fly fishing, but the flyrod would just sit on the bank while I used the more comfortable set-up. Finally, I said forget it! I am going to force myself to fish with the flyrod and since then, I have left the conventional stuff at home.

      I hope you get out there on the fly and get one!!

  2. Good story, don't worry you'll land one sooner than you think.

    1. Thanks, Ben - I keep telling myself that exact same thing

  3. I wonder if the other anglers are simply foul hooking a few fish. Burn things through the water enough times and that's bound to happen.

    Looking forward to a future "rod snapped in half" story. That's bound to happen too.

    1. Good - I wasn't sure if people would pick up on my subtle hints at what I think happens.

      I won't lie...I look forward to that story too!

  4. Patience....and I can say, I've been there where it seems like the gear guys are catching all the fish and I'm over 'there' swinging my fly to no success. But sometimes, the pendulum swings and I'm the one catching them all. Some days it seems even...

    Stick with it! It'll happen...


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