Hunger Strike?

If your fishing has been anything like mine lately, it feels like the fish are on a hunger strike. Fish have not been eating flies for me, and I don’t like it. When you're not catching fish, you begin to second guess everything you are doing, but you have to trust the process. Sooner or later, the tide will turn, and you will get one.

As per usual, my days not spent in the shop were spent on the water. I met my friends Bryan and Sue early in the morning. On the drive to the boat launch, I told Bryan and Sue we’d been getting fish every third day or so, and this was lining up to be the third day. As soon as the words came out of my mouth, I immediately regretted it. Steelheaders are very superstitious, and I was hoping I wasn’t going to eat those words.

We were the first people at the boat launch. The water was low so we had to wait for good light before we could push off. As I was standing there waiting for the sun and no one showed up I felt like I hadn’t got the memo.

We pushed away at first light and had a good run through the first rapids. The upper canyon on the Sandy is a great place to be for sunrise. The scenery is stunning, and the rapids are splashy waves are a great wake-up call. We pulled into our first run, and it started to rain. The weather forecast called for rain all day and possibly snow. Sometimes the weatherman gets it right.

I put Sue in at the top and walked Bryan down to the middle spot. It felt fishy out, and as we were walking, I commented to Bryan that it was going to happen today. I walked Bryan out to where I wanted him to start. He started to work out the line and methodically fish his fly. One cast, strip out some line, make another cast, and strip out some more line. When he was out to his casting distance, he started stepping down. Bryan was getting into a good Ruth’s and didn’t need my help anymore. I told him I was going to check on Sue.

As soon as I got to the bank, Sue yelled fish on. I could see the fish jump mid-river as I made my way up the beach to the boat. A smile crossed my face; all I could think was that the hunger strike was over. 

I made it to the boat and grabbed the net. Sue was doing great; the fish was fighting her close to her backing. From what I could tell from the jump, it was a good fish. Honestly, at this stage of the game, I was happy to see any fish. After a few more minutes of a hard fight, the fish was in the net, and it was a sweet wild winter buck, dime bright and angry. We snapped a few pics and sent him on his way. I looked down at Sue and was like I knew this was going to be the day.

We had a great day with lots of laughs, hi-fives, and possibly more fish. I know it’s challenging out there, but you can’t lose faith. Keep going because sooner or later, it’ll be your day!

Be the first to comment...
Leave a comment