And then it happened...

Sunday morning, I woke up, sucked down Starbucks and drove about 2 hours to the trail that would take me down to the hole my buddy and I dubbed Muddy Waters. Sure enough, it was raining and didn't look like it was going to let up all day. However, the river was still in really good shape and that was by far more important.

I started fishing through a long run, swinging a red/yellow marabou, when I caught out of the corner of my eye, a fish roll about 50 yards down river. I continued fishing through the run, knowing I have the run to myself and eventually I would get to him as I worked my way down river. Once I reached the spot where I saw the silver bubble burst, my heart began racing in anticipation. On my third pass through, I got got a solid tug and then nothing. Three more passes and it was time to change flies. I threw the kitchen sink and still nothing.

By mid day, I was hungry and soaked through, so I decided to hike back to the truck, grabbed a sandwich, changed into a few dry layers and debated about moving to another hole or stay put. I decided to head back down to the same run and try a few more patterns I had overlooked because they were weightless and I figured I had pushed the fish down.

Second cast and BAM! Fish on! After 3 blistering runs, one big leap in the air and some strong bull dogging, I realized that this was not only a large fish, but for it to be my first steelhead, I better not screw it up now. Once the time was right, I positioned the fish upriver from me in order to tail it. With my heart pounding and only one hand (other hand around tail of fish), I removed the fly, set down my rod and scrambled for my phone to take a few snap shots. I snapped a couple photos and as I'm putting the phone back in my pocket, the fish managed to hook itself in the jaw with the fly AGAIN, and takes off running. In a panic, I raced to grab my rod before he could take off with it down river, and I found myself in the middle of battle number two with this fish. After a short run and a couple head shakes, I reached for the line, removed the fly and he was gone.

I didn't have a tape, but after matching him up to my rod and measuring the rod when I got home, I'm estimating he was just shy of 40". I have a feeling it might be downhill from here...


what a sweet buck...40" would put most around 20lbs which I don't think that one is...but still, what a nice fish..and caught with a swung fly..Right on!!!
Thanks guys! It was pretty amazing... Two full seasons on PS rivers with nothing to show for it and then the payout with dividends happens on the last day I will be able to fish this river before it closes on the 31st.


Come on Golfman! Everyone looks skinnier in the water. Plus, it's a fishing story. Next week it'll be 42"...
I hear you biggest mistake was taking a tape measure with me up to smithers...I swear that damn thing was wrong most of the

That is still a freaking really nice buck...