Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Skykomish Sunrise

I met Bill and Paul on a guide trip in the Summer after my Junior year of college at CWU.  We had a great day on the Yak followed up by a great day of steelhead fishing (my first steelhead guide trip, unbeknownst to them at the time) and quickly became friends.  It was during the first trip down the Yakima that Bill told me about his favorite steelhead fly, the Skykomish Sunrise, and gave me one that was likely older than I was at the time.  At that point I was just getting in to swinging for steelhead, and I couldn't imagine why a steelhead would come up and eat such a little fly on a dry line.  I proved myself wrong later that year by catching my first steelhead on the dry line, of course, on a Skykomish Sunrise.

Fast forward a couple of years (and many fishing trips for the three of us) to my first fall of grad school.  The three of us met on a central Washington river to do a little steelhead fishing.  River conditions were in prime shape, and after nymphing up a couple of hatchery fish to get warmed up (and to keep Bill's wife happy), we walked into one of our favorite runs to swing.  It was a nice grey afternoon, perfect conditions for dry lining, and of course Bill and I rigged up with his favorite, the Skykomish Sunrise.   I drew the short straw and came through the run behind my friends, and right at the sweet spot (which in this run your line is going about 10 different directions) got a big yank,  and ended up landing my biggest fish of the fall, a beautiful rosy cheeked native hen.  This was only the beginning though.  After watching me land my fish Bill walked back to the same spot, and while Paul and I stood on the bank and watched,  threw a cast behind the same rock.  At the time it seemed like the fly didn't even hit the water, but it must have, and no sooner than it did, a bright hatchery fish lept more than a foot out of the water and ate Bill's favorite fly. A quick hookset and battle gave us our second fish in 10 minutes, both on the Sky Sunrise.  I can't remember being as excited as I was watching that fish jump out of the water for that tiny little fly, and to this day have a vision seared in my brain of those events.  Memories like this make my favorite thing about fishing just being able to spend time on the water with good friends, and see things most people would never believe.

1 comment:

  1. Nice story Joe. No doubt a thrill when the big fish comes out of the water.


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