5 days, 60 hours, 2 grabs, and an Addict created

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Steve Knapp, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    The journey to my first steelhead has been an awesome one, filled with blown winter rivers, broken rods, broken vehicles, broken bank accounts.... the long process of learning to cast effectively enough to fish.... forgetting everything I learned and starting over.....driving my friends crazy while they tried to teach me how to read water and present a fly correctly, and of course losing a 45 minute intruder on the first cast.

    Last week I headed north to BC with my steelhead buddies, David and An Ren. They worked their butts off to get me hooked up with my first steelhead last winter, but it wasn't meant to be. The last week was no different. I got first passes on more runs than I should have, and I can't thank them enough for their patience and instruction. The week was brutal, An Ren landing the only fish of the day Monday and Tuesday, those were also the only grabs of the day. Wednesday and Tuesday were blanks for everybody. Friday afternoon, with the evening creeping up on us and bringing the end of the trip with it, I heard David yell from across the river and looked up to see his rod doubled over and reel screaming! David landed his fish, a thick buck and rowed across the river to coach me. As soon as he walked up to me, I feel the slam I've been dreaming about, and the battle is on.... but as I'm trying to coax the fish to shallow water after about 3-4 minutes, the hook pops and my line goes dead. Normally I would be devastated, but I couldn't stop grinning, that grab and fight was worth every minute I had spent obsessing about it! I just sat down and opened a beer.... which was just a cover to hide my shaking hands!

    The real miracle was 30 minutes later, when on my second pass of the run, I hook up again! Incredible, and this time the fish gods smiled and David netted the most beautiful chrome hen I ever could have dreamed of.

    My name's Steve, and I'm a steelhead addict.

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    aplTyler, golfman44, Dehlan G and 8 others like this.
  2. Rod Wittner Active Member

    Posts: 538
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +57 / 1
    Yep. That's how it happens. Dues paid. Great job and welcome to the club.
  3. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,396
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    Excellent, you are ruined!
    John Hicks likes this.
  4. Yard Sale Active Member

    Posts: 340
    The Hood
    Ratings: +135 / 0
    100% pure awesomeness!
  5. Roger Stephens Active Member

    Posts: 1,198
    .
    Ratings: +297 / 0
    Congratulations! Hope that many more steelhead will put a bend on your rod! Once the sea-run cutthroat fishing heats up, I'll send you a PM.

    Roger
  6. Olive bugger Active Member

    Posts: 2,377
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +408 / 0
    Yep, that is how it happens. Great fish and great report.

    Welcome to the insanity.
  7. Mike Garritson Member

    Posts: 80
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +25 / 0
    Nice!! Great pics.
  8. Evan Virnoche Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    i remember my first steelhead on the swing, it was like i accomplished something that day. i Felt like a million bucks and was untouchable. MY wife could even notice something about me. From an outsider looking at me one would be like dam he just got laid. Nope i just caught a steelhead on the swing, its even better
  9. Jonathan Tachell Active Member

    Posts: 790
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Ratings: +186 / 0
  10. troutdopemagic Active Member

    Posts: 406
    Lake Stevens, Washington
    Ratings: +133 / 0
    Sweet fish man! Catching your first on the swing is the best....ever. My first came on the Hoh on an early April morning and I can't remember a day where I've felt more accomplished about something. So accomplished in fact, the steelhead gods granted me 3 more days of no grabs and pissing rain.
    Steve Knapp and BASS_TURDS like this.
  11. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    You guys are right I'm ruined, just blows any other fish I've hunted successfully out of the water. I'm already plotting future adventures...
  12. rwbailey05 GO COUGS

    Posts: 606
    Spokane, Washington
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Awesome! Looking forward to hearing about the next one... Hopefully soon!
  13. Jeff Dodd Active Member

    Posts: 1,566
    Langley, WA
    Ratings: +349 / 0
    That was a great post and you set up the end perfect.

    I have not yet caught a steelhead on a fly rod, but last year I did see a fish come take a hesidant swipe at my swung fly. That made the trip home so enjoyable! Maybe this year.
    Congratulations!
  14. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,211
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +836 / 1
    Haha, sucker!

    Leland
    plaegreid likes this.
  15. underachiever !

    Posts: 629
    suburban hell
    Ratings: +427 / 0
    Wow, that speaks volumes, I've seen pics of you hoisting some big ass lings and personally I enjoy catching them more than steelhead. It's a slim margin and I've yet to catch a steelhead over 10 lbs.
  16. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    I think the hunt and energy expended searching for steelhead, along with the absolute addiction that is spey casting itself that sets it apart from big lings.

    Hooking a monster ling and having to taco a 10 wt just to turn it before it makes its way back into the rocks is freaking awesome, don't get me wrong, but throwing 30' of T14 and a 10" fly is not fun.... at all.

    I will say that having an 18" cutthroat explode through the surface, crushing a surface popper on a beach will always be one of my favorite experiences. One that still keeps me up at night in anticipation the night before I hit the beach. Swinging up a steelhead is the first thing that has trumped that experience for me. But that's just me....

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    John Hicks likes this.
  17. golfman44 Coho Queen

    Posts: 1,639
    Kirkland
    Ratings: +989 / 0
    Nice report man, congrats!
  18. underachiever !

    Posts: 629
    suburban hell
    Ratings: +427 / 0
    I totally understand this perspective. If I'm gonna be out all day not catching fish, there's no fish I'd rather not be catching than steelhead. I can spend hours on end with nary a tug and somehow not feel disappointed or that I could have had more fun spending the time doing something else. On the other hand, if I spend all day at the jetty and don't catch anything I usually feel pretty grouchy by the end of the day.
  19. Steve Knapp Beach Bum

    Posts: 682
    Maple Valley
    Ratings: +258 / 3
    Hahaha, that's it exactly

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  20. formerguide Active Member

    Posts: 313
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Ratings: +756 / 0
    Great report, awesome fish. Nothing tastes better than something truly earned, as you obviously know. Congrats!

    Dan