Monday, April 28, 2008
I was unemployed this past weekend, it being slack and all, so I suggested an overnight trip to Stanley in search of the elusive spawning steelhead. The car was packed with Carl's family tent, extra quarts of oil, standard camp fare (pasta), and some Robert Earl Keen.
Paddy and I fished all day, spotting most of the fish before casting. It's an exercise for your eyes to see the fish in fast moving water, but I'm definitely getting better. We landed a few that afternoon before I demanded to fish with the Spey Rod. I learned the "Snap T" and proceeded to catch a thousand smolt as well as a bull trout--my first. Pat Barrett, great lover of all things Spey, apparently says, "The tug is the drug." Boy is he right.
The camping experience was one I will try to forget. It wasn't particularly painful, but awfully cold and my new crashpad (for bouldering) was probably harder than the ground was. Needless to say, I was beyond grouchy when forced to enter the river on a cold Sunday morning.
The first cast of the morning (Paddy's) resulted in a fish on a dry fly--a rare occurrence on the Salmon. I then found a fish for myself and missed the first eat (they eat dries like cutthroat), but managed to hook her on the second. She was a beautiful wild hen and it couldn't be a better photo opportunity with the Sawtooths as the backdrop.
I was then left at the fabulous new coffee house in Stanley while Hunter and Paddy pursued their own fish for a few minutes. We continued to fish and work on Spey casting, only returning to Picabo after more fish and more stinkiness.
I can't wait until opening day.