Fighting a fish with minimal light is an awesome experience. When fighting a fish in the daylight, an angler has many things he can rely on visually. Where the fish is running to, where his line and leader are, and what kind of obstacles are in and above the water. The only thing I could go on was the faint silhouette of my fly rod and the direction of the pull. Come to find out, it was just a big white sucker!
|A 25" Master Class white sucker.|
We knew we were in the right spot at the right time, and it was only a matter of fooling one of the big boys into eating. Finally, a drag screamer was on the end of my line. Besides the fact that it flew out of the water, I could tell it was a bigger fish than the first. It did what I was hoping it wouldn't - ran downstream. I remember hearing the ticking sound of my nail knot connecting my fly line to backing zip through my guides before I decided I'd chase it down. It hugged the opposide side of the river, and I made the decision to wade towards it while Chris would be my net guy. It ran from pool to pool...upstream....downstream...I was getting antsy, but this is exactly the kind of excitement we were there for!
Chris scooped the fish up, we high fived and then headed to the bank. It wasn't the huge 10 pounder that I was hoping for, but a 24" buck had me smiling from ear to ear.
|Notice the gil plate - it is a birth defect. Something I've seen quite a few times.|
We got there and was pleasantly surprised to see only one angler - an old timer fishing worms under a bobber. We chatted, and he'd told us there was not much going on all morning. We figured we'd give it a try anyway. Boy, are we glad we did! We both hooked up in a short time, but couldn't stay connected. Shortly after, I reeled in a beautiful chromer!
We took our time and explored a bunch of water above a waterfall that the fish MAY be able to pass, but we struck out after walking almost a mile of river. No signs at all, which was surprising to me considering how high the water was just a week prior.
I got a few nice fish to the net while Chris was the long distance C&R type. Overall a great start to Spring steelie fishing!