Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 6th, Klamath River

Writing daily fishing reports takes more time than I initially envisioned. Maybe it’s because to me, fishing means something other than just numbers or methods and more about experiences. Capturing and transferring an event from a river to a computer feels like piecing together a puzzle. Today, Bob and John pulled up next to the 4-Runner ready for their annual trip on the Klamath and it fished very well again with a mix of half-pounders and adults keeping everyone on their toes. However, one fish in particular made an impression that will last a lifetime. Bob hooked it just above a fast riffle and it instantly went airborne. Now, I will admit that upper Klamath River steelhead may not be the largest or brightest of their kind but that fish cleared the water eight times!

Nov 2-3rd, Klamath River

In the summer of 2003, Robert stepped off of a Russian MI-8 helicopter on the banks of Kamchatka’s Zhuponova River and we’ve fished together ever since. After spending a day on the Klamath last fall, he rebooked the date and added an additional one to this year’s trip. With good reason too, as he experienced the river under ideal conditions and some outstanding steelhead fishing. Monday’s float started with a fish on the first cast and ended leaving us hopeful of a repeat the following day. Tuesday morning’s bite slowed but turned on again in the afternoon with some beautiful fish caught wading knee-deep riffles. And as the light faded that evening, Robert set on a steelhead that left our leader empty and us wondering, at least until next year.

October 30-31st, Lower Sacramento River

Neil and Ethan needed a trout fix after chasing Trinity River steelhead and opted to fish the lower Sac for a couple of days. Not just any two days but October 30 and 31st - typically the heart of prime time for river’s largest rainbows gorging on salmon roe. The river fished well although, certainly not on fire, and the usually aggressive takes through redds were often replaced by subtle twitches. Despite very low salmon numbers, egg patterns still got the fish to eat, accounting for all but a couple of rainbows. Success ultimately depended on making multiple passes through prime lies and changing depth and flies often. Persistence paid off though, and, on both days led us towards the ramp with another fish in the net.

Monday, November 16, 2009

October 28th, Klamath River

Keith Kaneko, of Angling on the Fly, decided to stop over for a day on the Klamath to finally fish the river he’s only looked at while driving north for an annual Rogue River trip. He and Rachel met while running The Fly Shop’s “Fishcamp” nearly a decade ago and both seized the opportunity to finally fish together again. The river had fished really well over the past weeks and, with two sticks in the boat, I could not help but envision a big day. As expected, it was good, really good. A prime example of the fishing occurring moments apart as Rachel released a beautiful steelhead, Keith hooked two half-pounders simultaneously! On the drive out, Keith and Rachel talked about their Klamath experience with the enthusiasm of finding a Location X, only this time, vowing to talk about it.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

October 24th, Rogue River

Some days, finding a single steelhead can further challenge a guide’s sanity and, despite yesterday’s number approaching double digits, sometimes the only constant on the river is change. Saturday morning arrived early, especially after celebrating Friday’s fish with an evening of margaritas and tequila. Nonetheless, any lingering effects from enjoying a few took a backseat to the prospect of another tailed steelhead. The morning passed quickly as Susan and Cheryl fished through beautiful water and by noon, each kissed a fish. That afternoon, Cheryl switched boats and my wife, Rachel, joined us. She founded the Mayflies eight years ago and cherishes every relationship and cast shared with them over the years. Of course, big fish titles make her smile too.

October 23rd, Rogue River

This October marked the fifth anniversary of the Shasta Mayflies annual two-day trip to Southern Oregon and the Rogue River. Overcast skies and a mild morning created a buzz amongst the group of nine women as bets were placed before dawn. Judith and Sandy always fish hard with smiling faces regardless of weather, fish counts or reports and today they found steelhead early and often. After releasing a couple of half-pounders, the adult steelhead showed up and turned a great day into an unforgettable one. The exclamation point added by two steelhead, a coastal cutthroat and a silver salmon all from the same run. Turns out, Sandy’s silver was 1 of only 25 counted over Gold Ray Dam by the date!