We ended up making up to the “holy water” of western Steelhead fishing after about 22 hours of driving from Bozeman. Steelhead fishing, specifically Pacific steelhead, is characterized by hours and hours of nothingness accompanied by cast after cast of nothingness. Kind of like fishing the upper Madison, except the steelhead is going to be little bigger and a lot stronger than anything you’re likely to find on the Madison. Anyway, so here I sit, waiting for the sun to come up.
Yesterday was a mini-mess in getting started, as we didn’t have a place to stay for the next several days, needed to get licenses, and some gas before we headed out. So we didn’t get onto the water until around noon. River looked in good shape to me and we had reports that there have been some grabby fish. I’m here more to try to take some pics than catch fish, but I really want to get just one of these MF’s and do it “properly.”
I’ve made a few trips to the Clearwater over the years but those days were before the started seeing the big runs of the last several years. I’ve hooked one western Steelhead for about a nano second in my life. I’ve caught sea run Rainbows in Chile, and Great Lakes Steelhead, but the fish here are the real deal. They swim a long way up these rivers to get it on and then go back to the ocean to eat for another year to several years before they come back to their birthplace. I’d like to just meet one on their terms. After that, eggs.
We stuck 4 yesterday, lost them all and I was not involved in any of those altercations. I did bang a Dolly and the drainer put the hurting on a 14” Rainbow. I gave into the draw of the two handers yesterday so hopefully the fish gods will throw me a bone and some good shots to go with the game.