Did a Clark Fork trip 2 years ago in high water. I would not fish anything other than 6 inch streamers. I did not give in and neither did the Trout !!! I also went 0 for 3 months on the Green during a Winter season.
My buddy and I averaged ten plus days a year steelheading on the hoh and didn't get a thing for the first three years we were out there. This was prior to the exponential growth of douchebags in boats on that river too, we could swing all day and not see a boat. I miss that place.
Went to Alaska a few years back for the Sockeye run on the Kenai. Spent a week without a nibble and flew home. My brother called a week later and said 1.8 million had entered the river that week. That's a real skunk!
My first spring trip to Eastern Oregon to target ice-off - our target lake, which I had never fished but did a whole bunch of research and time dreaming about we got skunked for 4 hours fishing! low dirty ice off water didn't help so we went to 7 other res. and caught fish in all of them! but that one res. will see the wrath of me again until I redeem myself on it's waters! It doesn't help that it is about 400 miles away.
Yeah, I take a skunking very personal!!!
Also had to go springer gear fishing this week, our boat - two days fishing - 10 springers hooked - 5 landed. but gear fishing is easy and cheating, but I cheat alot when it comes to spring chinook!!!
A tradition among a dozen or so of us is to meet up on opening day on Lake Hancock on the Snoqualmie tree farm. Three years ago, I couldn't keep fish off my fly. I'd sit in one spot and cast in a circle, picking up fish on every other or every third cast. During the course of the day, I probably didn't move more than a couple hundred yards from the launch.
The next year though, I couldn't buy a fish even though everyone around me was hooking up. And the more they caught, the more obvious it was that it wasn't going to be my day. I was completely blanked.
I firmly believe that a good skunking every now and then builds character. But at my age I'm enough of a character that you wouldn't think I'd need any more (and which is just one more reason I don't waste my time fishing for steelhead any longer.)
Any time I swing flies on a Puget Sound trib in Dec and Jan I expect a skunk. I have caught some steelhead in these months but my guess is it is 1 day of 10 overall and since I got better it maybe 1 in 5. It is just too cold. I have been gear fishing these months a lot more the last few years and it isn't great either.
My most epic skunk: three years ago while funemployed, I fished 25 days swinging flies in Dec and hooked zero steelhead. If it wasn't for the char I wouldn't have bothered so much.
I was fishing one of my favorite rivers in New Zealand. The prior day I had one of the best trout fishing days of my life with 19 hard fighting rainbows and 4 beautiful browns landed, all between 4 and 10 pounds. The weather was the same the next day and I headed out the door of the hut knowing that I was going to hook some more amazing kiwi pigs. I was right! However, of the nine fish I hooked, I managed to come unbuttoned on every darn one of them, mostly during amazing airborne acrobatic displays. The last one was a true double digit trophy and I fought it for quite some time only to have it come off 3 inches from the net. My girlfriend heard me screaming f-bombs from a 1/4 mile away. Completely disgusted, I walked back to the hut and got completely hammered on my favorite single malt. Hiking out with a hangover the next day didn't help my mood that's for sure. The fact that my gf landed 3 that day, all over 6 pounds, made my failure even harder to endure. Thankfully, she really knew how to console a man in my condition so the evening did provide some enjoyment. Somehow I think it would have been a better day if I hadn't hooked a damn thing. That last fish still haunts me as it was one of the largest, fittest and prettiest kiwi rainbows I have ever seen. Oh well, just another reason to go back to the S. Island (as if I needed another reason).
I'm not particularly proud of this, but last summer I pulled off what has come to be called my "Central Oregon Trifecta." Skunked (not counting dinks) on consecutive days on the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius. Yeah, I know, it happens.
I have had that as well!! I didnt get the dinks though.... Swore I would never do that trip again... We used to do it every year on the Thanksgiving weekend. Last year was the first year I missed it due to my son being born.
Man I miss the Crooked!!