In mid July I left for the Deschutes at 5:30 in the morning, which required that I rolled out of bed at 4:45. This sounds pretty difficult, but when you consider that I was lying next to a gorgeous woman who is 19, (p.s. I am 19 too) it was that much harder. I just remember being so damn exhausted all the way down to the Deschutes. As I was leaving town I realized I had forgotten my camera, but I was ten minutes from home and it was the first trip of the year and what I thought was a little early so I didnt turn back for it. I was in the water by 7:30. I was wet wading so it was cold cold cold. July sounds warm but when you are crotch deep in cool deschutes water and the sun hasn't broken over the rim of the canyon it is cold. At around 8:20 the sun was starting to shine on the water I was swinging. At this point I started doubting why I came. It was too early to have very many numbers in the river, I had only caught one steelhead on a fly so I doubted my techniques as well, and why did I leave that girl... But then with the first vicious head shake I knew why I had come. The 9 pound native (the largest steelhead on the fly for me to date) absolutely smashed my purple peril as it swung over the bar towards shore and the fight was on. I think my favorite sound in the world is the sound of a "screaming" reel. When I got the steelhead to hand I just held it in my hands for a second or two. I had no camera so I tried to soak in the beautiful fish as much as possible before its release. Then with the flick of its tail it slid into the green waters of the deschutes and disappeared. Anyone else have a story about a memorable steelhead?