Stan's Day Off

Stan has really been getting into chasing steelhead with a fly. He’s not new to steelheading but he is new to Spey casting and swinging a fly. I keep telling him my standard lines; “ keep going it’s going to happen” “ it’s like playing a slot machine sooner or later it’s going to pay out” “ I know that you’re doubting if you’re doing it right but I’m sure you are” 


This was going to be our third time out on the river, and the conditions were shaping up to be perfect. The rivers had risen quickly and were now on the drop. 


Stan and I met up early at my usual spot. Since it was just the two of us I wasn’t going to race to be first. Instead I had visions of fishing some small one man spots, and fishing as many little buckets as possible. 


We met Marty and Travis at the boat launch as the sun was coming up. I pushed away last with a good plan in my head. We stopped at the first little bucket. I’d been seeing fish in it every morning that I floated over it. We hopped out of the boat and talked about the piece of water. Immediately Stan was like oh yeah I see it, if I were a steelhead I’d stop here too. The run was a tail out between two big drops. 


Stan had my trusty black and blue rabbit tube with 10’ of t-11 rigged up. He slowly started working out the line one cast at a time. When he was at his distance he started working his way down. Cast, swing, step, repeat. 


Stan was getting towards the end of the run, where there’s a large boulder sticking out of the water. He looks back at me and tells me he’s only got one more cast before he’s on the boulder. 


I reply back, “alright make it a good one!”


I’m watching him and his fly swing through the run. All of a sudden he gets this almost terrified look on his face, he pulls the rod back and then lifts, at that moment I can see plain as day he’s hooked up to a steelhead. I give a shout “woo-ha!” 


Stan lands his first steelhead with a Spey rod, we snap a few pictures and then send it on its way. And of course I come back with one of my little sayings. “You can’t lose your faith, sooner or later it’s gonna happen, and today was your day!” 

Josh Linn
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