When I first started Steelheading it took a while for my friends and family to understand why I was always fishing, but never catching any fish. It can be hard to justify your fishing to someone who doesn’t fish for these elusive anadromous creatures. In fact, most people think you’re crazy. Things just don’t add up, until you hold one. Then everything is over.
I used to live in the Pacific Northwest and Steelhead were my target 90% of the time. It really took some time getting used to stading in a river day after day waiting for a pull, but it only takes one and suddenly all your debts are paid off. It doesn’t matter if you drive miles for these fish. Maybe it’s been three weeks on the river every other day without a fish. All things are forgotten during that moment when a Native Steelhead makes a strong kick and slides back into the glacial green water. A moment that will be frozen in your memories forever.
Last week I met up with Marcus on the Lower Deschutes for three days of fishing. My addiction that started four years ago with my first fish on the Oregon Coast was seeking fulfillment. We were both on a different journey, but shared the same mission for our travels. I was headed to a best friends wedding while he was headed to a year long student exchange at SOU in Ashland and we each were seeking a steelhead on the way.
We spent three solid days swinging in some beautiful water in the fabled Mack’s Canyon section of the Lower Deschutes. We came up empty handed. Not even a grab. Nothing, zero, zilch, nada, skunked.
Was it time wasted? Never, its always a great experience. It felt good to back in the old stomping grounds chasing one of my favorite animals in the world. I know I will be back there someday swinging my way through my favorite runs everyday. Until then, these Missouri River fish are doing a great job of keeping me distracted.
We’ve tried for steelhead twice- once on the Root River in Racine, Wisconsin near the Steelhead Stocking facility there, and once on Lake Michigan itself. Skunked both times.
That’s great! Keep trying, you will be rewarded for your time. I have had some luck in The Milwaukee River and Sheboygan River.
I love that I know absolutely nothing about fishing, but can still relate to the the basic principles discussed here: patience, determination, perseverance, passion. These things cross into all walks of life!
I agree. It’s amazing how different things can relate. Fishing is a huge part of what I do and many things I learn on the river cross into other parts of my life.
Man! How lucky you are 🙂 This gets me pumped to head towards the PNW and steelhead one of these days. Montana trout are a blast to catch, but those elusive silver bucks seem worth the chase! Kudos to the photographer here as well, amazing shot.
Cheers and Venture on, my friend.
Thanks! You should really head out to the west coast and give it a try. I also love the trout in Montana, but steelhead will always be on the top of my list! Thanks for the compliment on the photo. I will pass that on to Marcus.
Just starting out and have been focused on trout for two years now, verrrrrry tempted to go for gold or shall I say silver. Thanks for extra encouragement.
Give it a try! Be warned, it’s addicting!