We could have gone to the little streams that I use to explore successfully and hike miles. My preferences have changed as I get older and prefer the bigger waters. I have to admit I do like eating steelhead. I do like fishing big waters and the challenges it offers.
This year we made two trips back the Stamp River and explored some old haunts that required long hikes in and proper equipment from food, water, first aid, phones, wading staffs etc. I made a note that I should be quitting after 4 hours in instead of 6 hours in as the long outings took a lot out of us physically as we still had to hike back out and that took a few more hours. The results were fantastic though. I remembered certain water breaks, certain boulders, and certain rapids. The steelhead were where they were supposed to be just as in the past. I was surprised when I came around a corner and the gravel island that use to be one of my favorites was gone from past high waters.
I missed the little flow though with its peace and tranquility. Rarely meeting others when I am on it. When I do its old faces that I know or have recently met in the last few years.
This year I added jigs to my arsenal and had fantastic results with them. Danís girlfriend Kitty showed me her technique using spoons. I only caught a sea run cutthroat this year even though it was very big. I still havenít broken the cherry on the steelhead yet. Maybe one day they will take this old dog out.
The steelhead vest is getting heavier with all the gear I carry. Bob uses a backpack. That might be my future.
I have seen better years on the little flow but we are very grateful as this year could have been worse. The end of March is the end of our fishing season. Itís a personal choice now. I have fished in the past when I was a pup catching fresh steelheads to the end of April. I also caught a lot of kelts. Itís now in the last 15 years important to me to leave them alone and hope that their own adventure ends with an opportunity to reproduce.
Two more outings for steelhead and then the big change over to what we call the BIG POND.
Gil díOliveira .......... Web Domain........ Castingaline.com
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