As the alarm sounded and we began to wake up from our two day fishing comas, we quickly realized that it was a little different outside. Arriving from Canada was a cold front that erased the 30-50 mph winds and snow from the day before and replaced it with single digits. In addition, the river was raging around 1300 cfs. We decided to head back to bed for a few hours.
When we arrived the lower fly zone parking was pretty desolate save for a few locals gearing up. Not one to drive away from a prime location, we decided to give it a try before heading home. For a few hours we had solid action on the inside seem at the head of cemetery pool. With the high water, the seem was a little swirly but an experienced mender of line can get a long dead drift if he plays his cards right.
One of the reasons we decided to spend the third day on the river was to get Dan and Ben their first steelhead on fly. Dan knocked the door down halfway through our morning session with a nice fish. This occurred after losing several. It's always interesting watching the steelhead win those first few encounters. It takes me back several years when I was experiencing the same things. I had flashbacks whenever Dan and Ben would lose a nice fish downstream, on a jump, or simply from applying too little or too much pressure. I hated whenever I lost one, but it happens. You just can't land them all. As we left the river, Dan was super pumped. Meanwhile Ben was less than pleased. Considering the circumstances, I could only offer sympathy and the hope that the next time he hooks up, it will be his time.
Meanwhile, we overstayed our welcome fishing well into a system of lake effect snow. The snow left I-81 south looking more like an ice skating rink full of spun out cars, trucks, and fender benders. It was the longest drive home from the SR I could remember. Good job driving Ben. Surely the steelhead gods will be in your favor next time.