Monday, November 13, 2006
I was admittedly trepidacious in the morning, on my drive up north. So far, although I've had some good days, others (like last weekend) were not so good. I can't remember the last time I would have wished for less rain in the fall. But there you have it: so many of my favourite places to fish have had too much water & have been unfishable during my off-times.
So, even though I had it on good authority that there would be fish somewhere, I've had it on good authority all fall that the fish are there; the timing has been that difficult, this year.
I met up with Mike and Andrew, at the motel where they'd stayed the previous evening, and once Andrew got the cobwebs out of his head, we made our choice as to the first river we'd visit. It was some matter of debate, but we were so close to a specific rivermouth - and the weather conditions looked just about perfect - that it was decided that we should at least try it, based on the "well, we're here anyway," principle.
We would not be disappointed.
I chose the point closest to the lake, and I can honestly say that my first ten spawn sacs were either engulfed or crushed on the first or second drift. And these were not your average steelhead: the chromers were in and the fishing was on. These were easily the strongest steelhead I've battled, for their size. On more than one occasion, I thought I had hooked into a fish that was at least in the low teens; my knuckles and fingertips were nearly stripped raw from sudden, long, furious runs - only to discover a fish ranging from 4 to 6lbs, when finally landed.
Andrew and Mike had similar tales to tell (although they caught more fish, they say...) - as did most of the fishermen who joined us on that particular stretch of river. And although my friends had to leave earlier than I did, I stuck around for the sunset. The fishing had slowed to a crawl by then, and the pre-dusk run that I expected didn't really materialise, but I also had the excuse that it was one of those days that you wish would never end. I watched it sail away by the red glow of the setting sun.
All in all, it was a day to remember. And one I will certainly never forget!