SAO Pages

Monday, October 27, 2008

Steelhead Alley's Singing Reels and River Carrolls

Conner and Parker Carroll on a Steelhead Alley Tributary.

Those of us who keep our eyes glued to the regional weather forecasts in order to make good fishing decisions sure know how frustrating it can be to get our hopes up for either the rain or the shine that the river needs , only to have them dashed to pieces. An otherwise well-planned and much anticipated trip can end up completely useless.

Father & son with a fine Lake Erie Steelhead

So I was feeling this week when our forecast for generous rain amounted to not much more than a trickle. Someone forgot to turn on the faucett ! ..... After a day scouting on Sunday I was worried that we were in for a real tough day of fishing on Monday. This was one of those times that the surprise was a good one.

Parker with a slab of fall silver.

We arrived on Monday morning to find a river that had a little more water than the previous day. The fish that yesterday had been skittish and spooky were behaving naturally and had definitely brought their appetites. Minnows and streamer patterns were the hot card and we had little trouble convincing fish to eat.

Conner was not going to be out done! Landing this beautiful Chrome Buck.

The real challenge was in getting them to the net. After spending the last couple weeks hiding and avoiding "predators" , fish were full of fight as they leaped and cartwheeled, throwing their immense bodies around the river , fully reminding us of why we love them so much and regard the steelhead among the greatest of freshwater gamefish.

Conner with another fine Lake Erie specimen!!

My special delight this day was in fishing with two new clients and friends Parker Carroll and his son Conner. Though Parker is an experienced and accomplished fly angler , and fishes around the world , his 12 year old son Conner is new to the sport and had never before caught a steelhead. Conner was a fast learner and a talented young angler as he quickly picked up on how to roll cast and mend line in order to drift a fly that would fool a steelhead. After a few stabs at very hot and fiesty fish, he hung in there on a tough one and brought it to the net. His pride was surpassed only by that of his Dad's . Great job Conner!! ... welcome to the club. It was great fun to fish with both of you. Have fun in Patagonia.

John Clouser
SAO steelhead guide

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