The crowds of Salmon season have dissipated leaving behind open runs downriver. Adam and I took advantage of the opportunity and headed north intent on steelhead on the swing. We had extremely high hopes thanks to some hot reports and blinding pictures of chrome slabs. We even spent a whole week tying new concoctions in all varieties. We thought we had assembled a fleet of destroyers but the steelhead had other things on their palate. Like eggs.
The night on the road went by in a breeze with intermittent showers and the promise of rain all day long. This only heightened our expectations into a fever pitch. With new skagit lines on our rods, we couldn't wait to get on the river to dial in our casting strokes and entice a few willing fish. It was a whole lot of hope dangling on a string. We were blanked, skunked, and demoralized left shaking our heads, as trembling hands tied on another fly in vain.
With our confidence rocked, we were left with a major dilemma. Our thoughts slowly crept to sharkskin lines on spare reels, to large thingamabobbers, and freshly tied egg patterns veiled in all sorts of awesomeness. Although we both didn't speak about it, we could tell what was on each other's minds. All day long, the thought of a dead drift, a suddenly dipping strike indicator, and jumping chrome tempted our minds and tested our resolve. Adam and I played a game of chicken. Who would be the first to crack under the pressure of catching a fish? As the hours ticked by and the light faded on the horizon, neither of us blinked. Our morals held strong in the aftermath of one of those weekends, one of those days, where we didn't give into temptation.
It was swing or go home.