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I don't post many reports regarding steelhead since they are tough enough but I had some luck I had to share. The NF Stilly is my home river in the summer. My day started on some of my favorite water before sunrise. The water was low and clear so I thought I'd start with a floating line and a low water pattern I call "A blue to die for".
I finished fishing a couple of nice runs without a grab. I was headed for the truck when a little piece of water caught my eye. The river had changed in the high waters of last winter and had created a short run about 40 feet in length with fallen trees at the top and the bottom of the run, but it looked fishy. I started down the short piece of water. The third cast this little hen went airborne and came down onto the fly, I didn't move except my jaw must have dropped, but my line never came tight - she had missed the fly. I moved upstream and came through again but no go. I switched to a small dark low water pattern and started down the run again. About 5 feet below where she had been the water boiled, the fish flashed and then nothing, had she missed again?? I was shaking and didn't know what to do. I sat down on the bank, finished my thermos of coffee and switched to a type 3 sink tip and a purple woolley-bugger. Now this time through the run, the little hen meant business, and nailed the fly. Most steelhead make a good initial run, not this fish she cartwheeled over and over to the lower log jam. I thought I was in trouble so I applied some side pressure with 12'6" 6wt spey rod and the fish turned upstream . Now this time she leapt like a dolphin 4 or 5 times upstream to the upper log jam, while I held on for dear life. More side pressure from the rod and she turned again rolling in the surface. Back downstream she went rolling and tumbling in the surface, I thought all I can do is try to hold on but I'll loose this fish for sure if she keeps this up or gets into one of the log jams. Fortunately she settled down and we started a little tug of war, now I thought I've got the advantage. That was until she hit the shallow water, she didn't like that much and went acrobatic again towards deeper water. This time I was able to work her into the shallows again, when she started thrashing around again at my feet, as I bent down to tail her the fly pulled, she lay there for a second. I reached her tail and thought she was maybe 7-8lbs, I uprighted her in the water and she bolted soaking me. Just like a woman, she had to have the last laugh. I reeled up my flyline and headed for the truck, I had had enough. Sorry no pics, I'm grounded from the digital as I've soaked it twice already on fishing trips. NO photo would capture the spirit of that little hen, I thank her and wish her a safe journey. Steve (Rxfisher)
 

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Formerly Tight Loops
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What a fine story! I loved it, and to believe that that Little Chrome Hen would diss you like that. But then again, you were intruding on HER river!

Thanks for a great Thursday laugh, where I am trapped taking a computer class.
 
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