It's good to be back in the saddle after a long winter stuck inside. And superstition be damned, I was raring to go for the first trip of the Spring season on Friday.
I had the opportunity to fish with Matt Akers, a super nice guy and surgeon from Tiffen. After a quick stop to pick up a license we headed over to the river to see what was happening. With the super cold nights we've been having I decided to get a slightly later start than normal. And it's a good thing we did.
From the road we could see the water had good color and looked clean, but once we got down to the river we could see there was a good amount of slush and ice chunks.
Matt breaking in his new steelhead rod!
So, we headed downstream to set up shop and wait for the slush to burn off. Lucky for us, the weather was cooperative and within a few hours the river was clear and the fishing was on.
First fish to hand.
A trout fisherman, Matt was new to the steelhead thang' and it took a few "trial runs" before we got one to the net. And what a beauty she was. With a little bit of expert coaching throughout the day he settled into a nice rhythm of cast, mend, drift... and set the hook!
Chrome female full of eggs.
We had to work pretty hard to keep things interesting throughout the afternoon, but by this time Doc Akers was flinging out the indicator with a double spey cast. Yep, a double spey on a single hand rod! I admit, I was proud. He was having a blast. And the fish were impressed also.
A double spey too good to refuse.
Another one in the net.
At the end of the day we decided to fish a spot we hit earlier. The Doc was feeling pretty good with several steelhead to hand and was determined to give those fish a taste of their own medicine. After a couple dozen drifts a big female took the fly and the fight was ON!!
Saving the best for last.
Remembering to keep his rod parallel to the bank and a low rod tip, he jockeyed for position to maintain as close to a 90 degree angle between the line and rod and keep the most pressure on the fish. After a tough fight, he landed the nicest fish of the day.
Although we were a little bummed out we didn't run into any masked ax murders, it turned out to be a pretty good day on the stream. Even if it was Friday the 13th...
SAO Steelhead Guide