The Luck of the Irish
Late last night I put the four weight back in the rod rack and pulled out a seven weight. Boxes of midges and 6x tippet were exchanged for boxes of big nymphs, flashy eggs and 2x tippet. The first spring steelhead outing of the season was hours away. Pulling up to the river just before first light, we were relieved to see no one else there. The river was ice free and just a little high, perfect. While Tim was fishing the first run I took a quick water temp and most of my optimism shrank. It was frigid, just a tad above 30 degrees. My faith in fish being in the river was solid, but my thoughts soon turned to icy cold fish lock-jawed and hunkered down to the bottom. After fishing a couple runs, I joined Tim in a big pool that had a nice run flowing into it. Tim was on river-right and I took the opposite bank, working the slower edge of the pool that is as deep as my waders are tall. After fifteen or twenty drifts my indicator sank and I set the hook. At first I wasn't positive that it was a fish. A flash in the rolling current erased any doubt. A couple minutes later I was holding my first steelhead of the season, a nice hen of six to eight pounds. Maybe it was a fluke, I thought. Ten casts later I was hooked into another fish, this one a nice double-striped buck. I again landed the fish and after Tim took a couple quick shots, the big boy was back on his journey. After that I dubbed the run Pot 'O Gold. I can't ever remember hooking a fish on my first outing of the year, let alone landing two! We headed upriver and Tim got his own St. Patty's treat in the form of another nice buck, this one taken out of a slower run that had stumped Tim in the past. Three fish landed before 9:30 on the first outing of the season. Wow. On the walk back to the truck, we stumbled upon a leprechaun (I think it was still Peter Warwick) in the woods. He told us that if we told anyone exactly where we were, our flies would be cursed for the remainder of the season. He then told us that he'd slipped a four-leaved clover into each of our pockets in the low morning light while we were standing there looking at the river. As quickly as he had appeared, he was gone... giggling and clicking his heels as a scurried away.
Posted by ns at 12:51 PM