Today I had the privilege to be on the water with some guys that were quite honestly a whole lot of fun! I'm sure you have found yourself around guys who don't take themselves too seriously? Well, Mark and Allan were those kind of guys.....and it was a good thing, because today was all about switch rods and swinging flies!
For those of you who have fished this way, you know from experience that when you are first learning it is a good thing when you can laugh at yourself!
The day started out in a very exciting manner as Allan started throwing the fly. First he nailed an Erie Rooster Fish (Quillback). Next was the Brown Trout which I failed to get a photo of due to the rigging of equipment that needed done. Not to long after that, Smallmouth starting coming to hand.
MARK BUSTS HIS FIRST PIECE OF BRONZE ON
A BEAUTIFUL MORNING!
Smallmouth are now in and they are around in force! We saw a number of fish hitting nests and ignoring flies. However, those that weren't were slamming flies. I love willing players on swung flies!!!
ALLAN WORKS EARLY IN THE DAY TO PERFECT HIS CASTING
WITH THE NEW REDINGTON CPX SWITCH ROD
Allan was working hard at perfecting his cast and understanding the dynamics of a swung fly early on. But after a short time, Allan was bringing his own players to hand. Here the smile says it all.
ALLAN HAMMERS A NICE BRONZEBACK!
After some time of looking for Steelhead further up river, we decided to hit the last pass before the big water. Unfortunately the forecasted wind showed up about 5 minutes after we arrived, so we headed out and looked for the shelter of upstream lies.
THE GUYS WORK THE MOUTH TO CHECK FOR DROPBACKS
AND HUNGRY BASS.
As we were bearing down on the end of our day, this beautiful Smallmouth Bass decided to play with my "Live Shiner" pattern. It is a good looking pattern and idea, but is just now getting it's testing. We will see how it fares.
ROBINSON'S "LIVE SHINER" TAKES BRONZE
So, after an all day pursuit of Steelhead and none found, I decided to hit one last spot that I thought may hold some drop back Steelhead. We had caught bass, trout, and forage fish, but hadn't even seen a Steelhead.
Upon arrival to our last spot of the day, I spotted two fish on gravel and that was it. Shortly after seeing them, they moved out and were not seen again. I knew two fish on gravel was a sign that there would be a shortage of fish in the holes below. Nevertheless, we were on location....we were in the game and this was the fourth quarter. It was a now or never venture.
It was a totally stress free day though. I mean these guys only drove 3 hours to get here to catch their first Erie Steelhead.....so, no sweat Mr. Guide :)
With mere minutes left in the day....in fact I just announced "give it a few more casts and we are out of here," I had Mark move down below Allan to finish swinging out the bottom of the hole. Before doing so, I had Mark hold up so I could change his fly. In a few seconds, I had the Eumer tube tied on and he was set.
Within just a couple of minutes, I heard a commotion and looked downstream to see a rod bent bigger than it had been all day long.....it was a Steelhead no doubt!!!
ALL DAY WE HUNTED AND LOOKED
AND THEN IT HAPPENED :)
A FACE EVERY FLY ANGLER LOVES!
Mark and Allan fished hard today and gave it all right to the end! Thanks for giving it your all guys......that was quite the fourth quarter rally!
Oh, and about that title......."Of Songs and Smallmouth".........you probably get the Smallmouth part of things as we are catching them every time out. However, I thought I might give you a little more to go on with the "Song." Very simply put, as Head Guide, I am declaring that the fat lady sang today folks!
For Steelhead Alley Outfitters, our spring Steelhead season is officially over! Thank you to all of our great clients, to MRO for a banner Spring, and to all those beautiful fish who came out to play. You all truly enrich our lives and make doing this a whole lot of fun.
Until next time, tight lines.....
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters