It's one of those locations where you wish you hadn't put that fly rod company sticker on your truck. Or where you wished you could leave your performance gear at home. Carhartt blends in better than Simms. After some two-trackin' following my buddy we drop one truck and then head upriver.
Stepping into the water was like arriving in mecca. For a steelheader at-heart, this was home. Things just looked fishy. But the holes were small, swift, and challenging to fish. Let's not even talk about what happens when you hook-up. Hang on and good luck!
Though I've been spoiled by owning a drift boat, I must say I still enjoy a good point-to-point wade. You get to see some pretty water in a way that's more intimate. You have the time to read a spot, find the flow, get the right drift, fish several depths, and just generally do it "the right way" as opposed to the drive-by shooting of drift boat fishing.
Early on we set the precedent for my day. Quickly, I am King of the Dinks. I think I ended the day pushing 20 bitty browns and steelhead. But it's cool. I'm catching fish. I'm seeing water I've never seen before. And I'm spending a day sharing this new experience with my Dad (who LOVES exploring) and a great friend.
On a whim we decide Dad should run a shallow trough. Maybe there's someone sitting there looking for a meal? Second drift, the bobber stutters, Dad sets and it's fish on! Funny part is that he thinks he's hooked up on one of my Teeny Tiny's. Nope! After a solid fight, Dad's got a nice dime-bright fish - probably a bit over 8 pounds.
Later that day, I farm a couple. But I don't really care. I've learned some new water. I've spent time outdoors with people I care about. Most importantly, I've put my mind at-rest over some upcoming surgery that I'm a bit apprehensive about. Outdoor therapy. For me, the best kind.