If you are that person who is constantly checking the river levels and weather report as you plan your weekend, you probably have been flirting with a case of serious angling depression this week. Looking ahead to the weekend you have surmised by now that conditions will be near perfect starting at around 10:00PM this evening and ending around 8:00AM Friday. That gives you a full hour of daylight tomorrow morning and you already called in sick last week. Yup, that is depressing.
Now, before you lose all hope of getting your boots wet this weekend you need to look on the bright side. Trout fishing is still an option and smaller watersheds may drop into shape by Sunday afternoon. You at least need to go check it out.
As anglers we are an optimistic bunch and our current weather pattern seems to be putting that optimism to the test. The ups and downs of our favorite rivers have been a never-ending elevator ride of emotions. It’s like we’re in high school again getting mixed signals from that object of our affection. One minute we’re in love dancing through a day on the water, the next we’re crushed and standing out in the freezing rain promising to never do this again. Ah yes, winter Steelheading, I use to do that until I learned how to make baskets out of old Skagit lines…
Yet, we persevere and seek out these proud fish in conditions that turn most imported anglers into gameshow junkies. A perfect example of this dedication is the tale of Bryan and Brian.
It seems that our friend Bryan Petersen (owner of Cascade Payroll Service, our Royal Treatment payroll specialist. 503.608.4227 for all your payroll needs. End of unsolicited shameless plug.) was fishing with our friend Brian Silvey, AKA Number One. Now before confusion sets in I will just share Mr. Petersen’s email, or at least part of it. After all, this is a family friendly newsletter…
“Around noon we stopped to set up for lunch. A couple of guys were casting bobbers on the other side of the river and Brian told me to fish the seam on this side. I’m fishing it, looking at the guys across form me and thinking, well they’re not catching anything, what are my chances? Step, cast, mend, step, cast, mend, down the run I went.
Brian finally called out, “two more casts.” I thought to myself, lunch is ready, good, I need a break! As I’m thinking about warming up on Brian’s soup and toasted bagel sandwich, the line snaps taunt, the loop is gone and the rod takes leave of my hand. I’m looking down into the water as my rod it now 4-6 feet down river from me and moving away rapidly.
Fortunately, Brian was oblivious to my current predicament or I’d now be a feature on American’s Funniest Home Videos or at the least Brian’s Instagram feed! I started chasing after my rod, which involved “running” in thigh deep water in waders. I almost caught it, but it darted off again. I considered diving into the freezing water after it, but thought better and continued my splashy pursuit.
Thankfully, I finally caught up with my wayward outfit, but was sure the fish had departed. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the fish was indeed still attached to my Silvey's Extractor!
Most of the battle was fought without my participation and after a brief struggle it was carefully brought to the net. Pictures were taken, backs were slapped and soon it was off again to terrorize another angler.
One of Brian’s warm riverside lunches was the reward for my success, as I briefly mentioned the episode to my guide. Please don’t tell anyone about this, Brian missed the show and I may not have shared the whole story. I don’t want him to cut me from the A list.”
Huh, don’t worry Bryan. Mr. Silvey only reads this newsletter when he’s prominently featured, or not fishing because the river is rising.