Thursday, November 22, 2018

Rudely Interupted by a Grumpy Steelhead

    Cast, Swing, Hang, repeat. As the boat drops down the run, with the whine of the anchor rope coming up and down, conversations float away to far off places. "Have you ever fished Montana?", "I wonder why they hold and drop loops while swinging in the Pacific NW and not as much in the Midwest?" Other questions arise about water temperature, swing speed, boat position, fly selection, tippet size, etc. Through all this, the angler is basically just keeping their mind occupied while swinging the fly through the run, over and over. 

Nate with a nice colored up October Steelhead that hit the fly running.

    The fishing instruction comes second to storytelling and question asking. "Where are you from?" "What do you do for enjoyment there?" "How long have you lived there?" Nonchalantly getting to know each other while waiting for a fish to kill the fly. Once we have both gotten completely lost in conversation, all the sudden we are Rudely Interrupted by a Grumpy Steelhead! The traditional click and pawl reel growls on the initial eat, wait, wait. As the fish turns its head and takes off the reel screams like a two-stroke motor being revved! Wait, wait, now lift. Game On! As the big Steelhead finally realizes that something is not quite right it bucks, alligator rolls, and cartwheels to try to shake the fly. It doesn't matter whether the fish is landed, shakes the hook in an aerial display of power, or just pulls off mysteriously. Swinging flies for Steelhead is all about conversations being Rudely Interrupted by a Grumpy Steelhead!
Tony with a great November Chromer that smacked a swung fly.

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