Sunday, March 29, 2015

First Fish

First fish are special fish. The one to the left came at the end of a drift in an inside run. The run is downstream of a popular flat where at least one female was busy clearing off a bed.

The run used to be a very narrow slot, but winter ice had carved a deeper, bathtub-sized hole along the east side of the river bank providing plenty of room for at least a few fish to hold on their on their southerly journey.

I hooked one fish on my second drift through the run, only to lose it. This one wasn't as lucky. The fish picked up the root beer-colored sucker spawn that was hanging below a black woolly bugger. After a long, cold winter it felt great to land a steelhead on the first outing of March.

A week or so later I hooked and landed my first spring fish on the swing using the Spey rod. I was using a gray ghost-style articulated pattern that Greg Senyo tied. Greg gave me the fly at a Bar Flies event earlier this winter hosted by Schultz Outfitters. Greg doesn't have the pattern on his fly tying blog. Maybe he'll be kind enough to add it.

The fish was hanging out against the far bank in a long, deep pool. Winter had transformed that pool, as well. It is much deeper and straighter than years past. It should continue to be an attractive pool to swing big flies through when other anglers aren't present.

The fish affirmed that the "tug is the drug." More Spey time is in my future. (I didn't take a picture as I'm trying not to remove the steelhead from the water this year. The Keep 'Em Wet campaign is targeting native, wild fish. But the fish doesn't know it's not native.)

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