The Day Summer Refused to End

While most whispered that summer's final curtain had descended, Spencer and I knew better. Sometimes, when stars align and you're in the company of kindred spirits, you touch magic. And that magic took us on an exhilarating quest on the Clackamas River.

Dawn was just a tender blush on the horizon when we rendezvoused at Barton at 6 a.m. The morning air was thick with anticipation as we drove to Feldheimer's boat launch. By the time the first golden rays of the sun kissed the water, our boat was ready, and so were our spirits.

As the boat drifted through the water, we warmed up to tales of unforgettable escapades of other rivers. Today's target? The elusive Coho salmon. We could feel them, stirring and teasing, playing hide and seek, their silver scales glinting just beneath the water's surface.

With every ounce of concentration, I tried to perfect my Skagit cast. It's a craft I'm still mastering, but with Spencer, a maestro in his own right, guidance was never far away. Our journey had a minor interruption, as we spotted two other boats on the horizon, prompting us to push forward in search of the ideal fishing spot.

And soon, there it was. Classic swing water, every angler’s dream. With Spencer's watchful eyes on me, I made my move. A cast, then another. But misfortune struck, or so I thought, as my vibrant orange and red marabou tube fly snagged on something. Yet, it wasn't a mere rock, as I first assumed. "Spencer is this... a fish?!" I blurted. The twinkle in Spencer's eyes confirmed it. "You've got yourself one!"

What happened next was a blur of excitement and adrenaline. The fish, apparently unaware of its fate, suddenly erupted with raw energy. The line stretched and tightened, the rod bent, and the once calm river became a battlefield. Spencer was my anchor through it all, shouting guidance over the roaring of the river and the pounding of my heart.

And then, victory! The majestic creature was ours, safely nestled in Spencer's net. But this wasn't just any fish. Spencer's face lit up with jubilation I had only seen once before – this was a Summer Steelhead, a rare gem in these waters. The realization made our victory even sweeter.

October 22 might mark the calendar end of summer, but not for us. Not today. With Deschutes Steelhead and now Clackamas Steelhead under my belt, winter holds promises of even more adventures. Sandy Winter Steelhead, Wilson, Trask — our journey has only just begun. Summer may be over for many, but for Spencer and me, the thrill of the chase keeps the sun shining brightly in our souls. What a Summer!

Steve Genrich
08 Nov 2023
Korey Smith
Awesome, guys! Thanks for sharing!
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