Steelies!

I’m the world’s worst fisherman. I catch my hook on logs or haul in weeds. The lures get stuck in bushes and the bait gets eaten without me knowing. My line always seems to get tangled and the reel makes funny noises half the time I’m working it. If I had to fish to eat I’d starve. Good thing there’s SC Guide Service. My pal Scott Caldwell, owner/operator of said service, promised me a fishing trip as a retirement present. I finally took him up on it and we fished the Upper Klamath yesterday for steelhead. Scott is one of those hook, line, and sinker wizards. He gets the fish to bite and then talks the damn thing into the boat. Here’s the inimitable Mr. C at the helm of his drift boat:

scott

It was a beautiful if somewhat unseasonable day. Too warm for January, that’s for sure. Regardless, I nailed a couple of really nice ones. Scott had me working one bank where there was a little eddy and I kept missing the spot with my casts, just coming up short of where I wanted to be. I finally launched a good one that arced around the spot and just downstream of it and all of a sudden I got that great WHAM! that steelies are famous for. Even I couldn’t miss that. When the fish jumped out of the water right after I hooked him I almost fell out of the boat I was so excited. He kept squirming around after we landed him while Scott was trying to take a picture but somehow we managed. Later, further downstream, I got number two who was hiding behind a big rock. He fought hard and Scott had to move the boat to get a good angle and finally he appeared in the riffle, flashing his colors while he struggled. He was a really hard one to get a handle on but we pulled it off. They sure are beautiful fish! You can only keep the hatchery-raised ones (the adipose fin is clipped so you know) and these were wild so we released them. I’ll have to catch some local lake trout if I want to make a meal!

Thanks again, Scott, for a great day on the river.

fishy 1

That’s numero uno.

fishy 2

And that’s numero dos.

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