My Attempt At Entertaining You
The sun had been up for an hour or two but the ice on my tent had not yet melted and the fog had not yet risen above the tree tops. It was the last day of September and I was reluctant to rise knowing that the world outside was cold and wet. The last 2 days had been fishless for me and my confidence was starting to fade. The previous day I had had two strikes but there was just enough doubt to dull any enthusiasm they gave me. I unzipped the tent and poked my head out into the cold. Reluctantly I steped out of the tent and immediatly put on my waders and raincoat.
After a breakfast of oatmeal and tea and an hour later we had camp broken down and the raft loaded. It was my turn on the pontoon and there was a sweet piece of soft water across the river. I pushed the pontoon upriver about 100 yards through some pocket water then rowed to the head of the run on the far side. I started high in the run short, where the heavy current and the soft riffle were seperated by a bar of rocks that forced the main flow across the river. I made my casts straight across just past the outer edge of the seam with a single heavy back mend to slow the fly down. About mid-run there was a definite pluck about mid swing but no hook-up.
Every nerve in my body came to life and I no longer felt the cold. I took 3 steps back up river and cast again. This time I cast with more downstream andle and did not mend. The fly came through the swing faster this time pluck.....pluck......pluck then solid heavy throbing brought my rod to life as the fish came out of the water and agian. After gaining some measure of control I reached down for the whistle around my neck and blew it hard but there was no responce from my friends 200 yards downstream. I blow again, nothing. After a couple minutes of struggeling the fish decides to leave the pool. I followed her at a frantic pace down the steep and cobbeled banks. Finially my friends notice and come running with the camera. The fish is in the main current and comes out of the air twice more well into the backing and doubeling my 13ft Thomas and Thomas the bright steelhead feels unstopable. 200 yards downstream from where I hooked her I get some fly line back on my reel minutes later my hands are gently supporting her pose for the camera. She is a beautiful 16lb Babine Steelhead winded but not tired.
I hold her into the slow current and as I slowly release my hold the swaying of her tail grow stronger and shw slowly swims away.