An annual rite of winter for fishermen of the Smith is the waiting game we play, anticipating the arrival of the steelhead trout. The questions are unending: Have they arrived? Arrived in sufficient numbers to warrant a float? Where are they being caught and with what sort of gear? What’s my next move?
Between the fishing reports online and what information you might be able to gather from running into the guides getting their morning coffee at the Hamlet in Hiouchi or adding to their arsenal of gear at Englund Marine toward the end of the day, it can be anyone’s guess. Will the cable hole be hot? Above the forks or below? Live bait or just a fish pill and some yarn.
Then there’s luck — this shot of me with a steelhead caught just below Mill Creek. A perfect example of the L-word.
And there’s skill — word hit the online sites today of a giant steelie landed on a float with local guide Mike Coopman. A nearly 25-pound fish. Something the devoted angler only dreams of.
I can’t answer the tough questions but like they say, you don’t catch them from the sofa.