Nothing is worse than returning from a holiday and heading right back to the grind. That's why this year I decided to take an extra day off after my trip up north. The long drive back was much more enjoyable knowing that I would possibly be fishing some open water the next day. Worst case scenario I would just hang out and relax the day away at home.
The morning started with getting up and taking care of my Son and seeing my Daughter off to school while my Wife slept in. A quick check of the weather and I knew it would be a gusty day, but the temps were decent and with overcast skies the day was perfect for fish to be on the move. I would brave the winds and fish hard today. All I had to do in the meantime was play dinosaurs and read stories until the magic hour.
11:00 arrived and after having a coffee with my Wife I was on my way. I was fairly confident that the stretch of river I was fishing would be open. Just over a week ago it had locked up solid, so I was a little unsure if she was slushy. I would just have to wait and hope for the best. Eternally optimistic. A good trait to have when Steelheading.
I was surprised to only see 2 vehicles parked at the access when I arrived. I rigged up my 7wt quickly and headed to the river. After 20 minutes of bad drifts due to the relentless winds I decided I would be better off fishing from the other side of the run.
I made my way downriver and with staff in hand started to cross the wind blown river. Heading back upriver there were now two others fishing the run where I had started. I decided to fish my way out and then slowly work my way down to the hidden sweet spot I had discovered on a previous trip. Having had no luck I waded even further out, I noticed the two other anglers were watching me in disbelief. Is he really going to wade that far out...? They had to be thinking. I set up on a fish first drift. After spending the weekend with the short rods and not having much action, it was great to load up the 7wt on a decent fish. The Steelhead stayed deep and I backed up into the shallower water. Applying a tremendous amount of pressure on the fish I could tell it was a very respectable fish, and just as I was thinking this, my yarn fly came hurling back at me as the rod unloaded. I was happy regardless, as I had followed my instincts. It was a good start.
I continued fishing the run and managed 2 more hook-ups from the same spot. I missed one and made it right for the last one. I walked this fish in and snapped a quick pic.
It darted back out to the deep water unharmed instantly. I was surprised to see a decent number of Black Stones out.