Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fly Fishing at the Twilight Hour

Dave Stewart with his 14 1/2 lb. Deschutes River Steelhead
It was almost dark when I stepped into the Deschutes River to make a few final casts to try and catch a few trout that were rising. With my 9 foot 5 weight St. Croix fly rod, I waded a few feet out and made a quick, short cast with a #12 Dark Tied Down Caddis. Suddenly, the line stopped. Thinking I was snagged, I gave a quick pull and a large steelhead erupted from the water and tore downstream. My footing was tentative in the low light, so I yelled to my son David to grab the rod and play the fish.

I stayed near the bank and followed the action in the diminishing light as he fought the fish. The St. Croix rod was almost bent double. Finally, after going down river 50 or more yards, David stopped it and began to work it toward the bank. I thought the fish was spent, but it suddenly made another run and we continued to stumble after it. Finally, the river shallowed into a riffle, and the fish began to submit to David’s constant pressure. Using a flashlight, I lit the water and David finally brought the fish in and landed a nice 14 1/2 pound hatchery steelhead. Amazingly, the four pound leader did not break.

Oftentimes, I have had steelhead come in near the shoreline as the light begins to wane. I’m not sure if it’s to feed or just to rest out of the main current. In any case, from that time forward I’ve always made it a point to make a few casts before dark just in case a steelhead or a nice trout is lurking nearby. 

1 comment:

  1. I will never forget this fish or the fight. Almost as big as the first time you hooked a steelhead and let me play it when I was a very young kid.
    And we will be back on the river for the deer trip very soon. The world is a pretty good place when catching steelhead.


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