Does your catching run hot and cold? Now I know some will say, “It’s the fishing not the catching.” However lets face it, we all fish to catch. I often note that the first question I’m asked when encountering another on the river is “Catch anything?” As a matter of fact after an exhilarating eight minutes on the Rogue River just yesterday, I was asking myself the same question.
Usually I’m pretty consistent. If there are numbers of steelhead around I will easily find and catch one or two. At times when the fish count numbers are low, I will persist until something either happens; or I simply run out of time or energy and quit. It happens. Those are “fishing days.” A nice way of saying fishless days!
The worst thing is when there are abundant fish around and you have nearly pushed yourself to that last mentioned limit of time and energy. The other day I was there. Not even a missed strike to savor. Never mind the total number of cast I had made. I was just thinking about that new stretch along the bank I had located, the one with the dark hole beyond the downed tree branch. A new location always presents challenges. I was stepping over a couple of submerged tree roots. My Carpetbagger Stonefly and G.R. Hare’s Ear nymphs flicked out and landed a mere 15 feet ahead and along the river bank. Wham! One cast and in an instance I was hooked up to a very solid Rogue River steelhead.
Solid is to say that this fish definitely had some shoulders. One fish willing to reward me for all my previous cast and misses of the day. Two long maddening runs, the first one I snubbed before reaching the backing. Even managed to gain a little fly line back on to the reel. The second run went into the backing, the steelhead out further into the strong current. I hoped all would hold. It didn’t. I got everything back except for a bead head G.R. Hare’s Ear nymph.
Just like during a prior week with the Chinook salmon in a different hole, I had been whipped. This time it was a steelhead for sure. I had seen him during his one leap. They say the action will always bring you back. Of course they are right. So if you are missing, don’t despair. Nothing like a little action to boost a fisherman’s confidence. That next steelhead will come along, you’ll hook it, and be back to catching again.