I wish I was fishing today.
I do not always wish that. But TODAY! You could say its because the weather is decent, and the water is good, to be honest though, the weather is freakin great and the water is awesome.
(I used the word “freakin”, not “fucking”, because I am trying to make my writing more family friendly and also because I have been told that swearing is often seen as a sign that the speaker lacks vocabulary, cannot express themselves in a less offensive way, or even lacks intelligence.)
Its early native steelhead season which is a cool time.
Its harder to catch fish now than it will be in a couple of weeks, but there are lots less people and the fish are all perfect, chrome bright, fat, healthy, and almost entirely in “moving” spots, which makes them considerably more aggressive.
I was supposed to be fishing, but my guest for the day fell ill at the last minute. He probably wishes he was fishing more than I do.
So I got to chill at home, which is awesome, I got to cook the kids breakfast, before homeschool, then lunch. I got to work in the woods around the house, and get a few chores done.
As I was cooking lunch, I realized it was probably the 2 thousandth meal I had cooked in that particular cast iron pan, which was given to my wife and I by Doug Rose as a wedding present.
Its a good pan.
Anyway that got me thinking about fishing, and loving to fish, and writing, and writing about fishing.
And it got me thinking about all the other folk who aren’t steelhead fishing today, or tomorrow, or yesterday, who read about it as a way to enjoy and imagine good times even when they can’t be on the water.
And that’s not always something I think about when I write. Which is probably dumb.
I will tell you this, the movie, in my head, about catching chrome bright early winter steelhead is a really good one.
I can think of thousands of steelhead I have seen caught at this time of year, I can remember the rocks they were sitting by when they bit, where they ran and how they jumped and how completely mind blown the people who caught them were.
I can think, right now, of a spot in the sol Duc, not far from my house. Its a long stretch of mossy rocks poking up through Tanqueray bottle green water, with odd mixed currents and complex seams.
Big rocks, little rocks, creating hundreds of pools and pockets and the fish right now, at this time of year, at this water level freakin love to stop there for a day or two on their way upriver.
There is, right now today, at least a few of them there, and you could climb carefully from rock to rock, searching all those weird pockets and almost definitely get one on a fly.
Another reason I’m wanting to go fishing more than usual is the new “no fishing from a boat regulations” (we need a better name for that).
These new regulations change the rules a lot. As a guide, I am always trying to become a more effective angler and teacher/coach. These new regulations create an interesting puzzle, there are tons of places I can catch steelhead from the boat that don’t fit into typical bank fishing techniques.
To continue to utilize these spots I need to change the way we fish. That to me is a fun challenge.
I have been working on different tools, different boat, different fly lines, different tips and terminal gear to enable me to see that fishing in a different way.
New gear, new rules, new pictures in my head of the way we fish, on a great sunny day.
Rain Coast Guides
Thanks, Jim. You made my day.
See this???? Two positive comments to one post. HA!
Thanks Joe, awesome day today actually, bobber fished the middle of the river TC lives on and only managed one to the bank but Im gonna say 4 for sure eats. The water was high so getting one to the bank was an epic tug o war…..pretty cool.
Jim, you are the coolest and an excellent writer. I look forward to every one of your blog posts. I really think you should write a book (with all that spare time you don’t have). Until then, I’ll keep enjoying these posts!
HEY EVERYBODY! This comment is not fake, its not from my Mom or a family member! Its honest to god unsolicited praise.
Red letter day here at Rain Coast Guides head quarters.
Oh, thanks Jon
Jim, Doug Rose was a good guy. Good writer, good fisherman, good outdoors man, and good teacher.
He would be pleased if you wrote even more!
Yea, he was a pretty solid dude. Thanks Bob
Nice post Jim. Excellent way to start my day and much appreciated. I’ll be over there soon, red wine bottle in hand.
I remember that fish, that whole day, like it was yesterday.