Well, the first full week of our season is now complete. I will say, that this was one crazy week. Our weather went from lake effect snow squalls with 40 mile an hour winds to 65 degrees and high blue skies today. We went from optimum conditions on day one to less than ideal by weeks end. Needless to say, it was a very interesting time....but isn't that what steelhead season is about?
The best story of the week came on Wednesday. I'm sure you have heard it said that a photo is worth a thousand words? Well, if that is the case, then the photo below is worth multiple thousands. I like to call it the Steelhead Waltz photo.
The story goes like this....the gentlemen on the right (Warren) was with Greg, while the gentlemen on the left (Jason), was with me. We happened to have them side by side in a hole toward the end of the day when all at once Jason hooked up. I was thinking "awesome!" Then Warren hooked up seconds later....."Super cool!" Two fish, two clients, we have a double going.....It doesn't get better than that!
That was really cool, but when my fish headed down stream and Greg's headed up, my "awesome" and "super cool" turned to "Crap!!! This can't be real!" You see, Greg's client was still trying to put his first fish in the net and only had moments before needing to leave. We wanted him to land that fish. Fish tangled up in another is not productive in that kind of moment! So, Greg and I both looked at each other and moved with certainty to help orchestrate the dance :) We moved quickly to position our guys and the waltz ensued. The moves came off as though we had danced to this song many times. After ducking lines and moving with and around each other, I ran for the nets. I tossed Greg his to ensure he would be prepared for the moment and we parted ways going for the fish that had now decided to put some distance between themselves. Inside of a few minutes, Greg and I were standing by the shoreline with ecstatic clients.....fish in hand mind you. Way to dance guys....YOU DID AWESOME!!!
Jason and Warren Smile with Their Steelhead Waltz Fish
We had a number of guides on the water this week and all were successful. We had some moments where the morale was waning, but we managed to pull through even the toughest days thanks to a top notch team who helped everyone be as successful as possible.
Greg Pauses for a Shot While I had Camera in Hand
This gentlemen was also with Greg on the day the Steelhead Waltz took place. He also had not been successful with landing a fish despite many hot fish being hooked throughout the day. Let me just say that when this fish was hooked and landed the sounds of joy filled the air and was super sweet to any river guides ears!
Greg Poses with his Client with a Much Deserved Fish
As many know, I enjoy photography! With that being the case, I made sure to keep the camera on hand and shoot the uncommon shots as often as possible. I like to call the photo below, "Capturing the Captured."
Greg Grabs a shot of a Much Deserved Fish!
The First two days of my week were spent with these two gentlemen (below), Mark and Jason. They were great to fish with and despite some crazy weather, they kept their chins up and lines in the water. They made up for some slow moments and came out smelling like roses each day.
Mark Smiles with a Nice Pennsylvania Fish.
Jason did a fine job in the two days he fished. He lost his fair share, but landed more than most as well. Below is a nice fish he caught on day two.
Jason Smiles with His Fish After a Slow Day.
One of my favorite photos of the week came with Jason and Mark. Here they fish some cuts as we go in search of fish.
Today, I had the joy of fishing with Pam and Tom. I could tell in conversation over the phone in past weeks that Pam and Tom had infectious personalities. When I met them, I knew I was in for a great day....and a great day it was!!!
Tom has a decent amount of experience with a fly rod, but Pam's was very limited. The goal for the day was to help Pam land her first Steelhead. Tom has caught Steelhead and Salmon and many other fish of varying species in his travels around the country, but watching his wife do so is what he wanted. Knowing that, I made it my pursuit to get the job done as best I could.
I started out teaching basic casting and mending techniques. Pam was a great student and very quickly started to make good drifts. After being on the water for about an hour, I heard the excitement and the drag screaming. I looked down river to see Pam's eyes as big as saucers as she now realized the power and fun that these fish are. Within several minutes, we were walking back to shore with a fish....and not just any fish, but a first fish....and on a day that had very sketchy conditions and reports. The goal was for Pam to catch a fish and we had achieved it early....the rest of the day was now icing on the cake. The good news is that the cake on this day came with icing too.
Tom Nails a Big PA Fish and takes time for a photo with his wife.
Pam with the magic fish of the day!
In closing, I would like to say thank you to all who fished with us this week. You all did a fine job...and Pam, keep up the great work. I look forward to seeing you and Tom again.
Until next time, Tight lines,
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters