Thanksgiving vacation. Most people are thinking about family, friends, food, football and eventually shopping. I, of course, am only thinking about how much fishing I can get in over the next couple of days. My original plan was to go out every morning, for a few hours, before any family obligations or chores. It didn’t work out exactly how I had planned but I was able to get out every day.
My multi-day fishing excursion got an early start. Our office closed up early on Wednesday so I hauled ass home, grabbed my stuff and headed for The Huron. I only had about 45 minutes but that was enough to warrant the stop. Water levels hadn’t changed much from the previous weekend and there was still a good stain to it. I swung one of my leech patterns until dark but nothing happened. Oh well, I still had the rest of the weekend.
Thanksgiving morning found me back on The Huron along with a few other fishermen. When I arrived at the parking area there were already two trailers and several other vehicles there. I rigged up my switch rod and headed upstream. The first place I stopped had a couple of people there so I kept walking further upstream. I found another access point and waded in. I was casting into an eddy that was caused by a tree that was mostly submerged. It must have had a few branches in the pool because I got hung up and broke off twice. Either that or I found the underwater cache for the guy that is doing this.
As I worked my way downstream the other fishermen moved out and I just kept working my way down. I fished the area for a couple of hours with no success. By now it was approaching 11:00 am and I needed to head home. I had a few things to take care of before heading to my brother’s for dinner.
Black Friday found me back in the water once again. I didn’t know what to expect for today. It had rained on and off during the night so I expected the water to be up some and colder. The forecast called for rain all day today as well. It was already overcast when I started, I was just hoping that it would hold off for a few hours. It didn’t. About an hour into my casting I started to question my sanity. Here I was, waist deep in 45 degree water , getting rained on and casting a fly to a fish that I don’t even know BAM, AIRBORNE, FISH-ON!!!
Just that quick everything changed. One minute I’m debating quitting and the next I’m debating staying out longer. First things first though. I had to get this fish in. It was a smaller steelhead, probably in the 18 inch range but still full of fight and a lot of fun. After several jumps and a couple of short runs I was able to get her close and get a hold of her tail. A few quick pics and she was released to grow and fight another day. I caught this one on another egg sucking leech pattern, just like all the others I have caught on the Huron. I stuck around for about 30 more minutes but by now my legs were getting numb and it was time to head home.
Saturday found me back in my usual spot albeit a little closer to shore. The all day rain raised the water by about a foot and dropped the water temp by about 3 degrees. I didn’t know what to expect for today but since I reached fanatic status I had to try. There was a lot of boat and foot traffic today. I had several people come up to me from behind to see how I was doing and around 5 or 6 anglers in boats troll by. One boat had my friends Larry and Dave in it and Dave took a second to take this pic for me.
No fish today again, I’m figuring the high water and temperature drop has them on lock down. Didn’t hear of a whole lot of any fish being caught by anyone and those that were caught were small.
Sunday morning I slept in and made plans to go out in the evening. I didn’t see much use to trying again in the morning with the water levels being what they were. It didn’t matter though. The water was still up, the water was even colder and I struck out again.
Monday was going to turn out to be a repeat of Sunday, sleep in and go out in the afternoon. The fish results were the same but a had my usual visitors and a bit of an accident. I started off at a new run and fished there for about an hour. No fish, more boat traffic and the permanent park residents stopping by to check on my success.
I worked my way down to a different run and started to cast. I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings and as I was making my forward cast I hit a branch and pulled my line right across my face. Of course that Daiichi hook was attached at the end and it stuck right into my right cheek. Of course this all happened while I was waist deep in the river, the current is pulling the line downstream and pulling on the fly in my face. I can’t see how deep the hook is but I got a pretty good idea just by the feel from my numb fingers. I could feel that the barb was just under the skin so I pushed down and pulled. Out came the hook. All that was left now was a little clean up and a bandage.
Now any normal person would have probably walked back to his or her car and called it a day. Not me, I’m not right in the head. I just waded downstream a little farther and started casting once again. Not that it mattered, I didn’t catch anything. You would think the fish gods would have taken pity on me but apparently they feel I haven’t paid enough dues yet. I think they felt that younger fishermen needed their divine intervention. A watched 3 anglers in their late teens/early 20’s land one from their boat. It must have been a first fish for someone because they took a lot of pictures. So many that they lost track of where they were and drifted into shore. By then it was approaching 5:00 pm and I needed to get home. The Schwan man was dropping off an order between 5:30 and 6:30 pm and I needed to be home. I was happy though. I got a lot of fishing in over the last 6 days and I even managed to land one. That fish brought my total to 7 steelhead on the swing so far this year. Not bad for my first year and I still have the whole month of December. Hopefully I put the hooks to the fish instead of myself.