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