patric gaffney

Kicking Off Steelhead Season!

I’ve been so busy with life lately, that I forgot how important fishing is! This quarter (school) along with out abundance of rain has kept me from the river for quite a while, but I’m back now and hopefully more regularly again! :)

I took the day off work on Friday to hit the river for our first steelhead trip of the year and was rewarded with this beauty:

There were quite a bit of small fish all weighing in under 8 lbs, but it was still great to be out there. Jeff, who runs HIS boat and always gets first water, landed 6 out of the 9 fish hooked that day! Saturday we took our buddy Patric, his girlfriend (a steelhead virgin), and our other buddy Trenton (also a steelhead virgin) and hooked 10! They were a bit bigger and we got Amanda and Trenton both of their first steelhead ever! Amanda even got her limit (2) and hooked 3!

I worked pretty hard all day keeping the rods rigged up and whenever that happens, I start to feel like it’s work and karma rewarded me with this beauty and the biggest of the day. Thank you Lady K for treating us all so fabulous on Saturday!

Being able to give people this kind of joy is what Jeff loves. He had a great time hooking 6 fish on Friday, but he had a much better time Saturday being able to assist with this kind of experience!

Bonus! Dime bright coho in almost January!

Saturday poured down rain so I was looking forward to a little sunshine this Sunday. We took out another Steelhead Virgin, and our buddy Zach. Everyone got to at least hook a fish, but I unfortunately lost mine! Ramsey got his first ever steelhead, Jeff put 2 in the box (again, that first water all day sort of thing ;) ) and Zach also landed a great hen to replenish the egg supply!

We’re hoping to carry on our New Year’s tradition this Thursday with another steelhead trip so I’m crossing my fingers that the weather permits it! Then, next weekend is my last weekend before it’s back to school for my second to last quarter and hopefully a nice, easy quarter :)

 

PS: After this weekend, I realized that it was time to break out my “go-to” warming techniques to keep me cozy and fishing while in freezing temperatures. I originally was going to direct this to the ladies only, but after all the whiny boys this weekend, I decided it can be helpful for everyone :)

1. Get a good layer of Insulation underneath your clothes. You know, the old Long Johns are actually great with today’s new technology. I don’t go fishing without Under Armour thermal pants and long sleeve shirts. Sometimes I’ll wear two cheap long sleeve athletic shirts as a substitute.

2. Fleece sweats are a must! When I first met Jeff 9 years ago, I made fun of him so much for wearing this ridiculous black fleece sweats with stirrups. Now, it’s either my brain that wised up, or my age that made me stop caring what I look like, but they are a must. There’s nothing warmer than fleece sweats.

3. Fingerless gloves WITH MITTENS. Ladies, I know, these are impossible to find in fishing departments to fit our tiny hands. Take yourself to Target and spend $5-$15. They have a huge selection and they are made for our dainty hands! They aren’t too expensive, and they even fleece and water resistant materials. Look for the ones with fingerless thumbs too so that you can tie knots and open bait loops.

4. Wear latex/nitrile gloves under them to keep your fingers from getting wet.

5. Put one Little Hottie Hand Warmer in each mitten. they’ll warm up the fingers in no time and I fish with my mittens on. The only time they come off is to cast (which I only remove one finger to hold the line) and to bait up!

5. While we’re talking about Little Hotties, if it’s really cold (or I’m feeling like a baby), I’ll stick them in my bra. If it’s too hot, wear 2 sports bras and put them in between. It’s at the core of your body so it keeps most of you really, really warm. You can also tuck one under your bra strap on your shoulder to keep your shoulders from getting sore. Therma Heat back warmers are the best, but expensive if you’re using on a regular basis.

6. Get your boots one or two sizes too big! I spent my first 2 years in boots too small and it took that long to realize my toes couldn’t wiggle and that’s why they got so cold!

7. Wear a normal pair of socks and then thick, cozy socks on top. Don’t get too tight of ones or you have the issue with number 6. I also don’t ever use the Little Hottie Foot Warmers because they don’t work unless air circulates and they bunch up at the feet.

8. Last but not least, bring an extra hoodie or rain jacket if it’s going to rain! You can change halfway through the day and voila! you get to wear dry clothes again

Hope you stay warm out there!