Being the water was a French Vanilla Cappuccino color I wanted to show them something that might catch their eye. I knotted on a ‘Blood Line’ Triple Threat and added some weight about a foot or so above. I cast it up into the boiling water that tumbled over a rock ledge the length of the creek, and followed it with the rod tip as it drifted below.
On occasion I’d toss the streamer cross creek and let it swing towards the shallower tail end of the pool. On one such occasion I felt a yank as I was bringing the streamer in for another cast. I tried setting the hook but I already had too much slack. The small steelhead rolled and swam out of sight. I cast out for a few more times before knotting on an ‘Olive Back’ triple threat.
Trying to avoid the drifting tumbling leaves got to be a nuisance but I kept at it. I had one good strike on the ‘Olive Back’ but after a short fight the steel got free. After awhile I changed back to the ‘Blood Line’ and worked it over the pool trying to cover every inch until I found where it seemed some steelhead might be holding.
The line pulled as I was almost daydreaming puffing on the stogie. The second my fingers and hand felt a difference in the pressure automatically signaled my brain to react. A quick lift of the rod and pull of the line and the tensioned line tugged back with force. With a tightened line I seen her subsurface briefly before she swam into the current towards the deeper water. I angled the flexed rod to a 45 degree and let her take line figuring she wouldn’t try to ‘jump’ the falls. She made a quick U turn away and headed down creek. I lifted the rod as she crossed in front of me and let the rod drop some as she went passed. The fly line followed the swimming steel down creek as she peeled some line off the spool. When she felt more drag pressure she turned away from my side of the creek and swam down further. I had to keep her from getting into the shallower white water below so I lifted the rod upward and gingerly played her. I gave her line only when I thought the tippet couldn’t take any more pressure, I brought in line when she gave me the opportunity too. Even with 4X tapered leader I was in no hurry to strenuously bring her in without tiring her out more. I waded down creek a bit and after applying pressure, from the side, I was able to coax her nearer to me. Within sight, through the cloudy water, she got a glimpse of me and turned away. I let the heavy drag slow her movement and eventually got her to hand. Her wet silvery body gleamed like a custom chromed out Harley!
From beneath I could feel him trying to obliterate what was hooked into his jaw that kept him on a leash of leader and line. There was no way he was going to be led up creek in the direction my rod was pulling. He spun towards the far bank and bullied his way with line following. He was right back to where we started and it was if he wanted to challenge me from there for our next skirmish. With his dorsal fin just tipping the surface he shook his head with thrusts of bizarre force. Within seconds, of him letting up a bit, I arced my back backwards, the rod flexed deeper as I forced him in my direction. He swam into the middle of the pool, head facing into the current, stopped and I couldn’t budge him any further. Occasionally I felt a little nudge through the line as I kept side pressure on him.
As I held the flexed rod, steadied by the butt in my gut, I felt as if someone was watching us. Maybe I just hoped someone could see the experience of the fight. I turned my head upstream and there was a guy and his son watching my fiasco with this brute. They stood motionless, spinning rods in hand with a bait bucket sitting on the stone shelf. I turned back to my dealings and gave a hard tug. He tugged back and we continued with the show for our new audience. He continued battling me for what seemed to be another 5 minutes with splashing, surface turbulence and quick cornering until I got him to the bank. A good size hole developed in the corner of his mouth from all the jarring but the hook held firm. I have a 30” mark on the rod shaft and he was about an inch shy. His girth and weight was more impressive than his length.
I found that some steelhead were holding in the backend of the pool and staging only a foot or so beneath. I couldn’t see them but if I got the right drift, up high, I would get a take. After one better hook up and fight the two disappeared and I was alone again in the rain and howling wind.
It seemed as if every time I was willing to give up I got another strike. Not that I got a good hook set or got them all to hand but had enough action to keep me awhile longer. After my last stogie died out I called it quits.
Blood Line wet
Olive Back wet