Thursday, November 12, 2015

The greatest steelhead year of my life.

First steelhead on a spey rod and likely my first (and last) goatee.
This time of year as guide season is over and tying season begins I always start to think about past steelhead seasons where I fished every day.  Or at least it felt like every day.  Either way, it was a hell of a lot more than I do now.  Driving in to work the other day a song from Death Cab for Cutie's "Plans" album came on, and instantly brought me back to the greatest steelhead season I've ever had.

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.

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