Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wading Wet for Winter Steelhead?

Sometimes looks can be deceiving.  

I was fishing a small coastal stream near Astoria called Gnat Creek. In December and January it had decent runs of hatchery steelhead, but it was not very easy to fish. It was located in a forest of tall Hemlock trees, some of which had fallen across the creek, and its shoreline was entwined with old snags and brush. This called for the need to cross the stream in many places, as well as hiking through wader puncturing sticks, branches and briars. In order to protect my waders from this potential hazard, I put a pair of old jeans on over them.  At this time I didn’t realize the curious interest it would cause. 

It was just breaking daylight when I reached the stream. Six inches of snow already covered the ground and light powdery flakes were still falling. It was going to be an interesting challenge. As I headed out another angler approached me. When I greeted him I noticed he gave me an odd double take, but I thought nothing about it. I finally reached a pool that I had fished before and covered it for an hour without any takes. To reach another hole I waded across a shallow riffle and headed downstream. Just then two spin fishermen approached me with quizzical looks on their faces. We stopped to talk.  

“How’s fishing,” I asked.

The taller one said, “Not too good today. Just losing gear mostly.” 

“How about you?” the other asked.

“Not much yet. I just fished one hole.”

The first one looked at me again and said curiously, “Pardon me for asking, but ain’t you getting a bit cold in those pants?” 

“Nah,” I said. "I’m warm as toast. What makes you ask?” 

As they left I heard one of them mumble something.  Then it suddenly dawned on me. They obviously thought that I was some kind of fly fishing diehard in jeans and wading wet. 

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