I stole Leland's Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by David Holmes, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    Yesterday I decided to put in some time on the _______ River figuring that maybe the clouds and rain would get some fish going.

    I drove up ____ _____ road and parked by the rope swing. I rigged up, put on my waders and marched down to the water. Who was fishing directly across the river from me? None other than the local demigod himself, Leland Miyawaki. He was wearing safari shorts and was sandal deep in the water. Somehow he was spey-casting (doesn't that require two hands?) while smoking what looked to be a 14" stogie as thick as a cucumber.

    He was really taking his time but I rushed down that run quick as one-two-three. My plan was to cover as much water as I could before giving up in digust like I usually do. I had so little confidence that I would hook, much less catch, anything that I was fishing with my 5 weight which was all that I had in my car at the time. I was swinging a big black and purple rabbit fur streamer with a big cone head and a trailing hook.

    I left Leland at the run and turned the corner and walked about a quarter mile to the next run. I fished through it quickly. Still no strikes or bumps. I decided the next run would be the last and started toward it. As I neared it I noticed the tailout just prior to the run was kind of deep so I waded out until I was waist deep and began casting toward the opposite side (Leland's side) of the river. As Charlie Cooper taught me on the Yakima, I cast nearly directly across and mended downstream for a nice long swing.

    Just as I was thinking "why do I even come here? There's never any fish here." I noticed the swing had stopped and end of the line was under water. All of a sudden there was a heavy weight on my rod and a fish exploded out of the water at the end of my line. I ascended out of my body for a second and calmly thought "hey, that's probably a steelhead I have on there. Neat." and then I was back in my body, heart pounding like sledgehammer. I'd never landed a steelhead on a fly before and it had been a couple of years since I'd even hooked one.

    The fish thrashed at the surface again and then took off downstream ripping line out of my dollar-store Okuma reel. I had forgotten how strong these fish are! My line was ripping out at 2 o'clock and then the fish surface again at 12 o'clock. What the????? Looking closer I could see the fish had wrapped the line around a rock 30 feet in front of me. I started "running" through the waist deep water furiously reeling in the slack that I was producing. I was able to free the line and then the fight continued.

    To make a long story slightly less long.... I fought the beast for another 5 minutes and landed him on rocky beach. I don't know who was more exhausted - him or me! Gasping for air, on m my knees, I groped for a melon sized rock and two bashes later he was quiet. I looked up just in time to see Leland coming around the corner a 1/4 mile away. At least, I think it was him.

    It was a long walk back to car -- the fish was heavy! I measured him at 30" and 7.5lbs and 10+ on the tasty scale. I feel like the day I lost my virginity 19 years ago, only this time there's more pictures!

    p.s. I realize was really puerile thread title. For all I know, Leland caught 6 steelhead in the first two runs that I blazed through and then quit for the day, never even getting down to the that third run. It's all in good fun, Leland!
     

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  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide

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    You Dog! Nice work! Great report!:thumb:
     
  3. Denny

    Denny Active Member

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    Great story, and I don't mean really to take away from your day, but . . .

    isn't that an adipose on the top of the steelie? I can't tell very well from the picture.
     
  4. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    Richard,

    Do you REALLY think I would be dumb enough to post a picture of unmarked steelhead on this board?

    That would be insanity.

    He was definitely clipped.

    I would have appreciated maybe a private message instead of being called out publicly, but whatever.
     
  5. inland

    inland Active Member

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    That is a clipped adipose. Plus look at the dorsal- crumpled up. All hatchery BBQ meat all the way.

    William
     
  6. Steelie L

    Steelie L Member

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    Yup, definitely clipped.

    Good fish, good story.
     
  7. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Not even close to looking wild and unclipped. You can click on the pic, maximize the window, and see it perfectly clear....

    Nice going. I know that tailout well! I see lots of guys skip right past it eager to fish the nice looking run below.... Was 'Leland' up closer to the power lines?
     
  8. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    I'm not tellin' where he was. I don't want to give away any more info. :) :) :)
     
  9. Gary C. Brown

    Gary C. Brown Les Paul Lover

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    Nice hatchery brat. Good on ya!!:cool:
     
  10. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    way to go Capmblade! nice fish!
    sorry for the lame nitpickin killjoys
    seems like no one can make a post a fish pic anymore!

    jason
     
  11. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    Ok guys he did mention these words while saying the wild comment.
     
  12. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Capmblade,

    Pretty funny stuff.

    I would think of your fish as a gift from me rather than one stolen from me because I had been conducting a dryline steelhead class an hour before in the water you caught your fish (if it was the tailout of the large pool around the corner). We were thrashing the water in there pretty good for an hour or so.

    After the class ended, I drove around to where you saw me and had just begun to cast across into the seam you were going to nymph. I shortened up my casts to give you room to fish figuring you wouldn't be there very long since that spot is not conducive to wading down river more than a few steps and, as you wrote, you were fishing it pretty fast, which, in the end, was fine with me.

    A funny thing about that spot. I have caught quite a few fish on your side, river left, fishing from river right. I have never caught any fish fishing where you were except for one – about eight years ago, when I landed my largest and only wild steelhead, for that river – a big nasty brute of a wild buck.

    Anyway, I didn't fish any further down from where you saw me as I was soon invaded by the "splash and gigglers," whenI put out my 14" cucumber stogie and departed.

    Congrats on your fish,
    Leland.
     
  13. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Leland, did you really catch 6?

    I want me some steelies...
     
  14. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

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    Zen,

    No that was Capmblades story. I only wish. . .

    Leland.
     
  15. David Holmes

    David Holmes Formerly known as "capmblade"

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    Leland,

    I thank you for your gift fish. And thank you for giving me some space when we shared the run. You are a giant among men.
     
  16. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar". :cool:
     
  17. troutfanatic

    troutfanatic A day not spent wasted is.....wasted.

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    Dude, you've said the same thing about other peoples fish pics....Besides Richard asked in a nice, easy going way.


    And it was a nicely written story Capmblade.
     
  18. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    Cap - I wuz shocked...
    "I groped for a melon sized rock and two bashes later he was quiet."
    I'm not on a soap box here, I just haven't kept a fish in so long, I didn't expect that. Simply out of habit now, I don't keep fish (normally). I'm not "holier than thou", I just got tired of throwing them out of my freezer a year later. I certainly support harvesting a hatchery brat and enjoyed your story very much.
    And Leland is certainly one of the enjoyable characters one finds on-stream (or beach).
     
  19. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I agree. I was a little surprised at that too. I don't bash, I just cut the throat and let them quickly bleed out. Eat them fresh if you can. I try not to freeze fish, but sometimes (during salmon season) I have too. But I never have them in there for more than 3 or 4 months.
     
  20. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    When I worked up North, the eskimo said to freeze the fish whole, uncleaned, as it would stay fresh longer and not allow fronst burn to happen to the inner flesh.

    On the opposite scale a buddy of mine will bleed and clean the fish within minutes, to keep the flesh fresher, before freezing.

    I trust everyone eleses opinion is likely somewhere in between.

    Nice catch campblade!
     

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