Steelhead Slayers

After our good day on Thursday, I got another offer to float the same section with my friend Phil Tripp, and guide Charlie Brown of this past Sunday. After celebrating Halloween on Saturday night we decided to get a late start for the day. We didn’t get onto the river until 12:30, but with the freezing temperatures in the morning, it turned into a wise decision.

Charlie was taking the day off, so Phil was behind the oars. I’ve got to say that he did an amazing job, and it didn’t take long for us to get into fish.

Charlie and I with the first steelhead of the day.

Charlie’s rod went off first, and we knew right away that it was a big fish. After bull dogging for a couple of minutes we had the first steelhead of the day in the net. It was a bruiser of a nate coming in around 10lbs. After a couple of quick photos, and a careful release we got the plugs back into the same slot.

Not even a minute after I set the rod into the holder, my rod started doing the fish dance, and the fight was on. It didn’t last very long, and after netting the little native steelhead we found out why. The plug had pinned its mouth shut, which always seems to shorten the fight. However, as soon as I got the hooks out, the fish came to life, and slipped out of my hands as I lifted it up for a picture.

After the quick start to the day it took us a little while to find some more fish. This time it happened as Charlie was holding his rod to avoid a snag. Like a pro Charlie waited long enough to not rip the plug out of the fish’s mouth, which can often happen while pulling plugs. This nice buck put up a much better fight than the two previous fish, and ended up pulling us downstream out of the hole.

Steelhead #3 in the net
Another shot of Charlie with the 3rd fish

The final fish of the day came during a long little run near the end of our drift. It was almost as if Phil and the fish planned it out, to alternate sides so that Charlie and I took turns. When our plugs got to almost the exact spot that I hooked my fish from the previous trip, my rod completely plowed over. After another good fight we had the 4th steelhead of the day in the net.

Phil & I with a beautiful native Rogue summer run.

We ended the day going 4-4, even after the late start. Phil did an amazing job behind the sticks, and Charlie was an invaluable source even in the seat next to me.

Tight Lines….

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