float and jig

Changed up fishing buddies

My fishing buddy was stolen by Joey Princen to fish for beautiful, wild steelhead so I headed out with our buddies Jake and Grayson to search for anything chrome :)

As always, I’m anxious to fish without Jeff no matter what the situation. With my crazy, busy schedule, it’s rare that we get time to hang out so fishing time IS when we hangout AND I always am eager to bring him back a fish. Doesn’t matter what it is, I’m like a little cat bringing a dead mouse to his feet. Mostly desire to show the teacher what I’ve learned and can accomplish on my own, partly my girly side trying to impress my beau <3

Right now, almost all the rivers are LOW and CLEAR! A few exceptions to the rivers made up primarily of glacial melt, but I wasn’t fishing one. With almost 10 feet of visibility in the water, I spent the week prior tying up the smallest little 1/4 oz jigs in the most subtle winter run patterns I could come up with. I fully intend on writing all about my choice for jig fishing in low, clear water this week :)

With just one other boat at the launch, I made my first cast in the morning with my most confident jig. It must have been nothing but wishful thinking to hope for another fish on the first cast of the day because I cast straight into a tree. Yes, even I cast into trees on occasion. Great……We fished our float and jigs for a little while before switching up to bobberdoggin. A technique that is easy to fish from a moving boat and great in almost all water conditions. This technique was new to Jake and Grayson so I was eager and excited to pass on some knowledge that had been taught to me. They were a little skeptical but we were over halfway finished with our drift, fishless, first boat down river, and at this point, was only out there for the good company.

I hit the first fish and while it wasn’t much, it was bright, hatchery, in the net, and a perfect little mouse to drop off on the porch.

On to the next fish….You know when you have something you’re really not confident in on your line? And you don’t want to change up for the sake of time or missing water so you fish it secretly hoping to cast into a tree or drift over a log under water?Maybe a jig that looks bulky and big in the low water, or a washed out skein with only a few eggs in your favorite king whole? Well, Grayson had a blue easy egg on that was intended as a joke and he just couldn’t shake it. Apparently, it was for good reason when he hooked into a chrome bright, scrappy 10lb’er. After a few head shakes, the elusive fish became even more elusive when it broke free from the 10lb leader.

Grayson was heartbroken, but we were glad we were getting into some fish, and still, having a really good time. Just a few minutes later I hooked into a fish that will haunt me for a LOOONNNGGG time. As I set the hook, the fish begins absolutely screaming upriver. She showed herself with two cartwheels and began charging the boat. As I reel as fast as I could to keep up with her coming at me, she too, broke free from my light line.

These were chrome bright, fresh from the salt steelhead. It this clear water, you make your choice to fish light gear, but I guess you have to remember the type of fish you will be catching should you be so lucky to hook into one. We didn’t get to see another fish, but I was glad to bring home something and have a really good day to put under my belt.

Jeff caught this beauty on his little trip and while he had about as much fun as I did on our separate trips, we missed our company and the teamwork that keeps us strong.

 

I’m still not skunked on steelhead if you count summer run, but only Andrew was so lucky to bring a winter run into the boat on Sunday. Not a bad way to go out in 2013 but here’s to an even better start on New Year’s Day! May the new year bring you many fish and even more memories to cherish forever!

~Bry

STEELHEAD TIME!!!!!

We did hit the river one last time for those killer b run coho and only ended up with 4 in the boat. 3 out of 4 were awesome fish, but it was hard, we fished hard, and we didn’t have the same ending our prior weekends were.

I am embarrassed to admit that I took 2 naps on the boat and ate lunch. Anyone who’s been on our boat, knows that does not happen. Jeff and I are both perfectly okay with fishing every single minute that we are on the water. Heck, that’s what we’re out there for right?! But I was feeling spoiled and this was entirely too much work for silvers after a night of just 3 hours of sleep.

We decided that steelhead were in the forecast for Sunday! Our buddy actually took us out in his drift boat so it was a nice relaxing day for all of us! There wasn’t a single other boat at the launch and we anchored up for the first slot. First cast of the steelhead season and a brand new jig tied the night before. FISH ON! I kind of thought maybe it was an old salmon or something. There’s no way I could be so lucky to have a steelhead (that felt heavy!) on my line on the first cast of the season. One glance and sure enough….that’s a nice steelhead!

With a little bit of hooping and hollering I got an awesome fight from a very nice hatchery fish. This is the best feeling ever! The adrenaline is pulsing through my veins as this silver bullet screams away from the boat and I tug back to keep away from the logs. Everyone is anticipating getting this fish in the boat and the closer it gets, the farther it runs. And then finally, a sweet feeling of satisfaction as I watch the fish enter the net.

The day was complete and it hadn’t even started yet. Although, I felt a huge wave of stress gone after getting the first of the season, I had no desire to stop now! We fished hard the rest of the day and didn’t get another until about 1 PM but this is what steelheading was! I got small buck in the afternoon and we fished all the way to the launch. I’m officially in steelhead  mode and I’ll be tying leaders and jigs for the rest of my winter break :)

FISH ON!!!!