|First steelhead on a spey rod and likely my first (and last) goatee.|
Anyone who regularly fishes the NW would likely think that my best year was 2009 and the epic return of steelhead up the columbia. While 2009 held a special place in my heart, 2005 still stands out as the top. I was a senior in college, I guided all summer so I actually had some money, and I lined up my class schedule so that I had Tuesday and Friday off. That fall was when I went from wanting to catch as many steelhead as I possibly could to beginning the journey of appreciate the process.
Naturally as a 20 year old, when I first caught a steelhead all I wanted to do was catch more. Any way I could, anywhere I could. It took several years of this approach before i started to realize that this wasn't what it's all about. This fall I swung my first several steelhead, all on a dry line, caught many bobber fishing, and learned a ton. It was certainly the beginning of the end. I also spent a lot of time with good friends. We learned what is now my favorite river anywhere, all on foot, fishing from sun-up to sun down. Many laughs were had, many fish were caught, and memories were formed that still come flooding back, with something as simple as a song on the radio.