I struggled only briefly for the title of this section of my Opening day 2009 Saga. The heading picture basically says it all. The gleaming, drop-back steelhead could just as easily be a double-barreled shot-gun!
Sometimes, when things aren't going well and you can't figure out why the fish aren't hitting your line, you need to drop into your comfort zone. This is what Khalid did for this year's opener, and it paid big dividends.
Instead of bringing out the centrepin, which he is still getting used to, he brought out his trusty old spinning setup. He rigged it properly, picked good current seams and pockets, had the right presentation and offerings, and ultimately he had more success than I've personally seen him have. He caught fish every day that we fished together. And furthermore, on the Sunday, he caught the biggest fish no less!
But the defining moment for him probably came when he tied on a jig and berkley's split-fin jig body, adjusted it based on the hits he seemed to be getting but not hooking, and ultimately had the float go down under the urgings of a hungry steelhead. He was understandably proud of having figured out what the steelhead would go for and eagerly and happily insisted that I get a few pictures of the lure in the fish's mouth.
All in all, it was as pleasant as usual to fish with Khalid. He is always a convivial fishing partner, making cigar smoke-breaks fun as well as full of steelheading discussion. What they've taken, what we think they'll take, what they seem to be feeding on etc... are all items of discussion and planning for our post-break activities.
Khalid's camaraderie is definitely one of the things that make me wish we had more river-time to spend, but I suppose that that's part of the reason that it's so precious: it's fleeting. It's over so quickly that one sometimes wonders if it was all just a dream...