It’s a given. Steelhead fishing is tough business. It’s not a walk in the part, throw your fly out, and reel in a big steelhead first cast, kinda shinnanigan ( unless your a lucky son-of-a-gun ). It requires grit, time and patience, persistance, and in some cases, blood. In my effort to learn the basics of spey casting, my fly made contact with my head several times before I got the hang of it.
Back at the shop, I recieved an invite to fish the Trinity river with a fisherman and his guide, Ross Wilkerson. Never passing up an opportunity to rip lps, I quickly snatched up the seat.
The next morning I met up with Frank (my fishing partner for the day) and guide, Ross Wilkerson. The day started off as any other day would. It was chilly and fog covered the hills. I was pumped and ready for I hadn’t fished the Trin as much as I had wanted to. I was fishing my single-hander on this outing and, I hate to say this….. was rockin an indicator. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s having a bobber tell me when to set the hook. However this time I had to break down and do it. Swinging flies would have been a head ache and the chances of catching a steely were basically non-exsistant.
Around 12:30, we came to a spot where sea run browns had been pulled in. I chucked my yellow bobber/indicator up river from me and let it drift down. Down it went.
” HIT IT,” hollered Ross. I set the hook and felt a heavy fish on the other end. At first we all thought it was a nice steelhead, but once in the net, we realized that it was a massive brown. I was bug-eyed! I had never seen, much less caught a brown trout of that size before. It had been several weeks since I had caught an adult fish, and feeling it’s head shake made me remember how much I loved fishing. I was grinning from ear to ear the rest of the day. That fish truly made my week. Little did I know that it would only get better from there.
The next day I decided to head back to the Trin for another day on the river. Ross came along as well and was pretty much my guide (even though it was his day off ).
As we were discussing fishing gear and drifting down the river, we both witnessed a giant steelhead lauch itself about four feet out of the water. Ross immediately set anchor. For the next 10 minutes we drifted flies through that spot, and nothing happened. At least not until another boat was drifting by.
I had about 50ft of line out when my “bobber” went down. I set the hook and right away, the big steely flew out of the water. With my rod doubled over, I checked my drag and made sure everything was as it should. The fish made several runs that made my reel scream (what a wonderful sound ). After about 10-15 minutes, Ross tailed the fish and handed the beauty over to me.
It was awesome to finally get up close and personal with a wild, adult steelhead. I can understand why so many people are obsessed with these awesome fish. I just can’t wait to get one on a spey rod!