Sitting here this evening with a glass of whiskey, the sting of today’s frosty air is still very noticeable in my fingers. As time passes (far too quickly anymore) and many things in my life begin to come full circle, I find myself gravitating back to my early days of fly fishing. I’m also thankful I didn’t give all that fly fishing gear away years ago.
I’ve been fishing for steelhead trout for almost as long as I can remember. I’ve caught literally thousands of them and I still smile every time one puts a bend in my rod. They’re big and powerful and live in fast water, so they can be a bit of a challenge to land. But after 25 years, it’s easy to forget the wide-eyed panic that sets in the first time you lift your rod to set the hook and a 25” trout bolts upstream like a greyhound at the dog track. Don’t get your fingers in the way of that whirring reel handle or you’ll end up with bloody knuckles!
I realized that experience once again taking a friend who’d never before stalked these over-sized rainbow trout. We damn near froze, but we encountered dozens of the big fish… hooked some… lost some… and landed a few. It was awesome!
Now it seem I'll have to drag out my old fly tying materials and see just how bad my eyes really are. Like I don't have enough to do...