Monday, November 30, 2009

A Day in the Field

Thanksgiving always reminds me of the wonderful quail hunting I enjoyed with my Dad and family. There is something about hiking the brushy hills, and busting a covey of quail, that stirs me deep inside. I am thankful for my health and a place to hunt these magnificant birds .

Klamath Float Trip-Steelhead-2009!

The Klamath River

Al and I have been trying to make this fishing trip for several years, and the weather finally gave us a chance to chase steelhead together. With the Klamath River located between us, Al and I each had a 7+ hour drive to reach Yreka, and then on to Happy Camp, our home for several days.

We floated in pontoon boats, drifting on our own, and fishing for steelhead trout, that are famous on the Klamath. I couldn't help remembering the days my Dad and I cast to "half pounders", when I first started flyfishing for steelhead, as a boy.

The start of a great day floating and fishing!

This would be my first time casting a 2 handed, or spey rod, and I was excited to learn a new casting technique. I now understand why steelhead fly fishermen prefer using the long spey rods for swinging flies. It is effortless, and a lot of fun! It is also a great way to cast when you are backed up to the willows, with no room for a backcast. Since Al is very experienced at casting a 2-handed rod, his instruction was greatly appreciated.

Unfortunately, we were a couple of weeks late for warmer water conditions, and the water temps made fishing slow and difficult. However, just being on this magnificant river, enjoying the views, was worth the trip!

This house greeted us at the end of our float, each day, usually with smoke curling up from the chimney. We were hoping the owner might invite us up for an evening cocktail, but no one ever showed.

Our first day on the river produced 2 adult steelhead for each of us, along with a number of "half-pounders" (smaller fish under 20").

My First Steelhead with a 2-handed rod! What a thrill!

Light rain followed us down the river for much of the day, but our gear kept us warm and "in the game".

....yes, the flies are always a part of the story!

....many hanks to Al for his patience in helping me get started with the 2-handed rod, and making this trip a reality!