The winter season so far, has seen it's ups and downs. Some rivers are shaping up to have epic water conditions and others not so much. Going coastal has seemed to be the best bet as conditions go. We could use a really good flush for the more inland rivers. The Rogue and Umpqua remain low and stable, these rivers need a good week of being high and brown. This would allow some fish to pass through the gauntlet of bait. Even the bait guides are feeling the pressure, from what I've heard they're going to small baits and long leaders. This doesn't bode well for the fly angler. But, ther're some fish around.
Had a great Valentine's Day with Dawn and Brian Chou of Portland. This was Dawns third steelhead ever. As a guide, it just doesn't get any better unless it's your clients first. But if it's their first they probably have no concept of what they've just accomplished. As we stepped back into the run to see if we could find another, Brian yelled out from upstream," Happy Valentine's Day!". I told Dawn that she was probably the only girl in the world to get a steelhead for valentines.
Now, I mentioned before about Dawn's third steelhead. This was Shep's second, of course I feel good. But Shep's first was a winter run, a winter from where it all got started, the Eel River. Now I know he'll remember his second, though I was envious of his Eel fish and grilled him about when and where. Congrat's to you Shep and I'm sorry about putting a spey rod in your hands, I'm sure your guide day is costing more now than you anticipated.