“Now the virtue of trout fishing is that it, of all pursuits, rewards the dreamer with the realization of his dream. The trout are more beautiful than he remembered them as being, and the day, the scene and the occupation are the harmony. That is why men go trout fishing. “ Ben Hur Lapman
“It is the glory of the art of angling that its disciples never grow old. The muscles may relax and the beloved rod become a burden, but the fire of enthusiasm kindled in youth is never extinguished” George Dawson
“You will search far to find a fisherman who’ll admit that a taste for fishing, like a taste for liquor, must be governed lest it come to possess its possessor.” Sparse Grey Hackle
This is the first year that I have really tried to go out and find a Steelhead here in Oregon—I mean REALLY try to find one. I have made half assed attempts in previous years, but this year I really went for it. Day after day watching river levels and driving out an hour before the sun came up to stand in a line up of bait casting guys. I hit up the N. Fork of the Nehalem several times and hiked large parts of the river scouting for fish. Several times there were fish right near my feet but I still could not get them to bite.
Now we are into March and the wild Steelhead are in several of the coastal rivers so I got Alex to go with me to try and find some. After hiking a good distance up the washed out railroad tracks of a river near the Nehalem I found a great hole right behind a bend in the river (see photo above). I cast through it several times and nothing. I added two large split shot to get my flies down and on the first cast my 9 weight rod buckled over on itself. I have pulled some large salmon in before on this rod but I have never felt anything like this. I got to see the beautiful fish come to the surface several times as I held on for dear life. There was no stopping this fish from doing whatever it wanted. After thirty seconds (which felt like forever) the fish broke my line and I was left breathless.
I learned a lot from that one time about what I should do next time I get into a monster like that one. I hope to find one again soon. Thanks for the good time fish!
I will never tire of finding beautiful fish like this on the Deschutes. They fight so hard because they have to fight against such a massive river.
The only fish I found were hanging in the faster riffles and they were taking big flies. The one in the fishes mouth above is a size 8 Ice Dub Prince (learn to tie it here). I have had a great trout fix, now I am off to try for Steelhead again.