Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Landing a Steelhead the Hard Way.

Fly Fishing on Oregon's North Fork of the Trask River
My friend Bob Wiley and I were fishing the upper Trask River on the Oregon Coast. We hiked into a good piece of water just below the deadline and began to fish with homemade Glo Bugs. The water was slightly off-color, and Glo Bugs work well in this condition. We quickly started casting and hoped for action.

We weren’t disappointed as Bob quickly hooked and lost one. I hooked one solidly but it started to surge downriver. I tightened the drag and, as I started to put pressure to turn the fish, my rod suddenly broke in half at the ferrule. I quickly grabbed the tip section and handed the butt section to Bob and yelled, “You start reeling and I’ll play the fish."

Well, the next few minutes were like a Three Stooges movie. When the fish started jumping, we started yelling, stumbling and bumping into each other as we tried to maintain our balance. Somehow, after 8-10 minutes the fish submitted to our awkward technique, and we finally slid a nice bright eight-pounder onto the bank.

Catching steelhead is sometimes a matter of luck. You can do everything right and lose a fish, or you can do everything wrong and land one. That’s why it’s called fishing. 

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