Summer took its sweet time but, it's here. The rivers are higher than usual and the fish are later too. They are coming though.
Now, I love winter steelhead and the the grab on the tip, but fishing a floater and summer steelhead is where it's at. Summer is when we as steelheaders get to make up for those fishless winter days.
Though few and far between right now, free rising early summers are the best in our sport. Many are un-landable and the search is more like winter steelheading. The days are long, in both day-light and time spent on the water, cast after cast upon more casts after cast. And it's always a little funky changing up to a Scandi from a 20' Skagit and 15' of "T" and lead-eyes to however deep you wanna get.
Then it all comes together.
The fly coming into water you just know has a player in it. Like when you have a winning hand in poker, you don't bet too big or too little and you never call it out.
When a good fish erupts on your fly and misses. You're left with a mind game of, wtf do I do? Change? wait? or throw right back out there???....
When you see the out of the water "gimme that f**king thing", and you're waiting ever patiently for the line to come tight, yeah right, right.
Oh yeah, and everything that happens during the fight, landing, release and about 15 minutes afterward or enough time for a smoke.
Everything that is going on in the world and your life fades away, it's gone. Nothing else matters then.
Why we fish.
There were a few more eruptions but, like your first high, it don't get no better. We're lucky enough to get this first high with each changing season, dry, tip, winter, fall brutes, re-uniting with rivers, new rivers, coastal, we're pretty damn lucky.
And the chase goes on...
Steamboat Falls ladder is once again blocked, as I type, ODFW hopefully should be clearing it. Works are in progress to rebuild the Steamboat ladder for next year.
The rebuild is in thanks to these great organizations:
These organizations have and still help out the river we love and enjoy, and will continue too. You can help them out by becoming a member of one.
Once upon a time steelhead could clear Steamboat Falls and make it to their summer refuge. Then we came along and could "make it easier", right.
I've spent many hours at the various falls along the creek and have yet to see one make it. I was lucky enough to see one make it over Little Falls and was also lucky enough to get it on film.
In this video there is about a 30 second flurry of activity, scroll to about 2:20 and wait, the first fish to jump makes the falls. It was incredible to watch first hand, hope the video does it justice.
Cheers to summertime,