River Journal Nov.22, 2018
I arrived to find two vehicles already parked off to the side of the road. It’s a big river and lots of fishing holes for the opportunity. I didn’t see any of them. I decide to go up the river and still no sign of any angler. Using the 10mm Steelybead pegged 1-1 ½ inch above the Ghost shrimp. I started short floating and then increasing the length every six-inch longer after each drift. I finally got the length that the float indicated I was tapping the bottom. I tagged a rock a few time but easy release. On the last drift at the end of the drift, the float slowly slid under. I made the line taught and nothing indicating a steelhead strike. It felt like it was stuck on the bottom and then with a couple of tugs released itself. After bringing the float in the ghost shrimp was gone and the bead was resting on the hook. I put another ghost shrimp on and reposition the bead about 1 ½ above the shrimp. And this time as my float approached the same area I stopped the drift and allow the float to drag. Again it went down slowly but this time I had more tension and did a soft strike. Nothing was there. As I brought back the gear I discovered half the ghost shrimp was missing. I have seen this before and the past. So with past success, I kept the remaining shrimp part on. With the lower section oozing away with guts I straighten out the tail section and tossed again. As the float reaches the area I was all tensed and as the float again started to slowly go down I did a full force strike nearly taking me off my feet. Out comes this huge hatchery buck. Lots of displaying jumps and then he took off down the river. I had to make a quick decision before he reached the rapids. I dropped my rod tip deep and to the side in the river. This allowed the line to bow down the river and I let a little line out. What occurs is the river flow created a downriver bow and the force makes the steelhead think he is being pulled down the river? Watching the line and as it starts to lessen in force which means the steelhead has started to move back up river I slowly start to retrieve picking up the bowline slowly. I can see the line is moving up the river so I complete making the line taught and the fight is back on. What a battle. I can see the hook at the edge of his mouth and I had to be as gentle as I could be. Finally landed him to the beach.
As I record his capture I see a steelhead move into position just in front of me. All excited and reset a new shrimp and position the bead. I was sure for the next battle. That didn’t happen. I did fifteen drifts that went by him touching him twice either the line or weight and he just moved a little. He just wasn’t interested in my offering. So I decided to cover other parts of the hole. Again as one of my drifts reached the end I retrieved half a shrimp. Again I throw the oozing part back out and slam in the same spot a beautiful chrome comes out. After a big battle, she is landed and it’s another hatchery. I decided to call it day and quit at 9 am.