Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Quest Continues

I am on an epic quest friends. I'm talking about a quest of monumental proportions and while I've flirted with achieving this quest a few times it is still elusive.
So what quest am I talking about?
The quest to consistently hook winter steelhead swinging a fly! I've hooked a couple of fish this winter but alas they were just fleeting flirtations of what is possible.
I could cop out and go the indicator route but I would rather be boiled in a molten concoction of Genke and Mucillin before doing that. I am not passing judgment on those that fish this way but my bobber days are long past me.
Like I said I have flirted with success this winter but it remains just out of my reach and here is an example.
Last Friday I had a golden opportunity with two of the best steelhead fly fishermen in the Pacific Northwest.Mike McCune, who is one of the pioneers of Skagit casting techniques, was one of them.
Well to make a long story short I got sick and had to beg off and my two pals both hooked winter steelhead. Would I have gotten one? Who knows but these two would have put me into areas where steelhead lurk.
My spey rod abilities are mostly self taught so that means I had a fool for a teacher. I had to basically learn from scratch about all the in's and out's of this pursuit.
I would liken it to a man wandering aimlessly through the desert with no direction and no clue on how to even begin to find his way. I've gone through a plethora of rods and lines and until I hooked up with Mike and John Bracke I had seriously considered not fly fishing for steelhead in the winter.
Yeah I can catch summer runs but the winter steelhead are a completely different game and after achieving all I could fishing for steelhead with conventional gear I had to pursue these greatest of all fresh water game fish and do it swinging a fly with a spey rod.
So any of you that have any secret advice that while put me over the top in this cold winter game it would be greatly appreciated.
I will keep you all posted as quest progresses and any success that I have as I know you will be on the edge of your seats in breathless anticipation.


  1. No advise my friend, just encouragement.

    Time put in on the river is time put in. Those winter run fish are special, and the quest is a life-long one.
    I envy you your waters.

  2. I like your " a fool for a teacher" observation but I think Eric is right, time on the water is what it comes down to. Mind you, I've never touched a spey rod. A one hander has been my stand-by but I learned mostly from books for the first few years. It has taken me the last twenty or so to unlearn some of what I thought I knew.