First Winter Steelhead of the Season

Cast, mend, mend, drift. Cast, mend, mend, drift. Fish on! Oh damn. It’s a snag. Pull. Pull! PULL! Than the sound of 12 lb line snapping. Reel in the line and take an assessment of whats left. Not much. Start the rigging process. Nah. Time for some sunflower seeds on the side of the river taking in the beauty of this little coastal gem. I look over my shoulder and spot some bait casters that had been watching me in the run. They walk by “Damn, sucks getting broke off”. “Not if you caught one of these in that run” I reply and lift a 28 inch super chrome steelhead up. “Damn!” was all they could muster.

It was a fun moment on two counts:
1.) Usually the bait guys have the steelhead

2.) It is super early in the winter steelhead season and I already found one.

Alex and I had been out a week before this while the water was dropping from the heavy rains we had, but the river wasn’t in good enough shape yet. I thought there was no chance on this weekend as it has remained totally dry since that heavy rain and the rivers were low and super clear. Ok, fish the deep pools I thought. Nothing. Ok, I’ll try deep run. Nope. While, lets swing some flies through those sexy looking riffles. Score. The fish took the fly with a vengeance and leapt in the air. My scream of excitement rang out down the river as I fought to keep the fish from running down the large rapids just below. The new Beulah Platinum Switch 10’8″ 7 wt was a dream to fight the fish with (and to cast on the smaller river). A little later the two fly fisherman that had been down river from me came by and said “We could hear you all the way down there”. Yeah, sorry guys I was just that excited to land this chrome beauty.

The hatchery fish came home with me and I poached them with a delicious sauce of garlic, brown sugar, toasted sesame oil,  lemon, pepper, and other yummy things that my wife made. She whips up the most delicious sauces!