Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ice, Snow, and Steel

After a personally disappointing Fall Season on the river the steelhead gods began to show me some sympathy. My winter season proved to be one that I’ll never soon forget. As the flows began to stabilize so did I. I spent some of my time on a stretch of river that I'm quite familiar with, it’s only drawback is that 10,000 other anglers are too. Swinging flies in a combat scenario can be unnerving at times, but the reward is there for the taking if you keep your head in the game.

I had a few exceptional days on the water but one in particular was pretty special for me. One weekend I got to meet up with Mark and Matt. It was exactly one year since the last time we all fished together. Also along for the trip was their father and two of our friends, Tom and Justin. The morning of day two we all convened and decided to split into two groups...

Once on the river Tom, Justin, and I spoke briefly then positioned ourselves a good distance away from each other in a long run. My fly swam no more than three times before I connected. I signaled the others to keep fishing as a snapped my typical “selfie” style photo with auto-capture mode. A few casts later I was connected to fish number two. Tom made his way down from the top of the run and was readying his camera as I brought number two to hand.

After the release it didn't take long for 20 questions to begin. Tom, Justin and I began to talk technique and before I knew it I was handing out leaders and flies and took the back seat for the rest of the day. We relocated to one of my favorite runs and I spoke some last words of wisdom and positioned myself on the bank clutching my hand warmers. As I watched Tom step down towards a prime location I began to smile, I just knew. A minute or two later I heard a whoot as Tom hooked up, in that moment I don’t know who was more excited Tom or myself. A few minutes later Justin’s line tightened as he worked the tailout. 

A few hours later Tom and Justin packed it in to get an early start on the drive home. I walked back up river and fished until dusk bringing four more fish to hand...

Tom with a feisty fish

It's rare to have two people in one picture in one of my posts...

Justin with the largest of the day

My next few days on the river I fished a number of different locations for a change of scenery and some peace and quiet.. 

Just a baby

Cold was an understatement 

Frozen solid and couldn't be happier

No fish were removed from the water this day...

Colored up 

With spring fast approaching I can’t help but pray for the next ice age.

Stay tuned for more winter posts... 

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