Friday, April 11, 2014

Stave River Surprise

I had the day off work today, and my kids did not have any school, so we decided to go to the Stave River in search of cutthroat and maybe some whitefish on the fly. I decided to take my six weight fly rod, just in case we could find something of size or maybe even an elusive steelhead. The weather was sunny and warm and the kids were happy on the shore with their metal detector.
The first run I tried produced nothing, no sightings in the crystal clear water, no rises and no takes. There were plenty of salmon fry in the river and my fry immitation was looking pretty good swinging through the run.
As we moved down stream and fished spot number two I noticed a couple rises just a little further down stream. The rises were bigger than whitefish and seemed bigger (at a distance) than cutthroat.  I moved down to where I could cast to the rises and confirmed that they were indeed steelhead. This is where I began to get excited.
It only took a few stealthy casts into the relatively shallow run before my heart started racing. As I stripped in my fly I saw a wake and fin (cue the theme to Jaws) cruising up behind it. The fish followed the fly and my anticipation grew until finally.... a splash and.. nothing. The fish either missed the fly or shrply turned and left.
About ten minutes went by, a few risers showed theselves and the birds squabbled on the far bank. My attention wandered and smack! A fish hit my fly hard. A couple of head shakes and a jump and I see a nice chrome steelhead on the end of my line. One more splash at the surface and the hook pops out.
No matter how hard I tried I could not get any more fish to commit to my flies. I tried a few different patterns all to no avail. It was such a tease as for about an hour there were consistent rises and splashes from some good size fish I can only speculate were steelhead. Unfortunately, I had places to be and needed to head home. However, the excitement was enough to make me want to return another day.

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