Winter Steelhead Off the Beaten Path, February 16, 2011

Not satisfied with catching truck-loads of winter steelhead on swimming flies, some stubborn individuals insist on forging into waters where the likelihood of catching an actual fish is even slimmer than usual.

So be it.

A thousand casts. No one really counts.  Days gone by with nary a pull.  A pull.  Another pull.  Then a grab.  Solid.  A big steelhead swirls, shows a tail, and swims free.  Step down, cast again.  Step down, cast again.  And again.  Another pull, and another, before the fly hangs down.  Step down.  A quick pull and a steelhead is  on solidly.  Solidly enough – for several minutes, and swims free.

Finally, one of eleven almost winter steelhead comes to the beach.  One fish is sweet.  The days in sun and rain, calm and storm, are well repaid by one simple, complicated fish.

Thank you, Salmon Gods.

Jay Nicholas, February 16, 2011

5 thoughts on “Winter Steelhead Off the Beaten Path, February 16, 2011

  1. Dale my dear friend, this a photograph of heavy raindrops splooshing forcefully into the water, while I made cast after cast, after cast. More of my usual attempts to see the unusual that we so often take for granted. Glad to hear that you are well. Hope to see you this winter. JN

  2. Great post, Jay! Great pictures as well……….glad to see you’re nesting again. Ha! It’s supposed to start snowing tonight and then go for two days. Nice. Have a great week. – Mitch

  3. Greetings again Jay. I was looking at the bottom photograph, the one with the two eyes.
    but I think I have it, bark on an old alder tree. Yes, I’d love to fish with you this winter. Starting tonight, I’ll be house sitting at Idlewyld for the next couple of weeks. I’ll be done just before the Steamboaters annual banquet on March 5. Keep me posted and we’ll fish again. Also, the South Umpqua hasn’t been terribly bad to me this winter, (as in not so good), but worth the effort.

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