Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Spontaneity and Steelhead

To live a life of spontaneity is a life to be grateful for. This is how you can also double your numbers when it coming to Steelhead fishing. Wednesday evening Marty said, “we need to go to the Deschutes." With minimal weekend plans, we canceled our obligations, packed the truck and took off the next morning.
We had one mission in mind, row to the best steelhead run and stake our claim. This is what we did. We round a bend and the camp Marty had in mind was open! Battling wind gust, we manage to set up camp, stake down the tent and entertain Tegan with rocks. We take turns fishing the run, getting our feet wet and back in the grove, this doesn't take much time. That evening we walk down river. The wind is howling. Looking up stream all I see is multiple tumble weeds, tumbling on the surface of the water. I wait for a break in-between wind gust and tumble weeds to make my cast. My line rolls out and swings between dried weeds and white caps roll over the Delta with breaking force. "BAM!" FISH ON! The adrenaline rushes through me, my heart is racing, first wild Deschutes Steelhead of the season! We have a restless night listening to the tent flapping in the wind. The wind gusts are so strong the tent cave in almost touching my nose. And I listen to the wind moving down stream like a freight train.

The next morning greets us with howling wind and we decide to sleep one more hour. This doesn’t change our fate. We both manage to land beautiful wild hens. The wind keeps blowing, tumble weeds are flying in the air and we keep taking turns watching Tegan and rotating through camp water. I keep my feet firmly planted because at one point the wind is pushing me over and I feel it will pick me up and send me to the other side of the river. Despite white caps and what feels like 50 knot wind gust, we keep hooking Steelhead. At this point, we have both landed three and I am so jazzed that I can still be spontaneous. That evening we grill our corn and steak and I plead for the wind to stop for the evening.
Day three, we wake to calm skies, and glassy water. Marty puts coffee on and I wader up. I sip coffee and walk up steam to start fishing. The glorious taste of bitter black coffee on the river is a wonderful way to start a day. My streak is still on and half way through the run, another steelhead is lured by the Red Back. Fish On! Next, Marty fishes through and hooks one his first cast out. The fishing has been unbelievable, we pack camp and contemplate our intention to row out. We take an inventory of what food we have left. One package of breakfast sausage, one bagel, a fourth of a block of cheese and watermelon, three granola bars, coffee, and five diapers. We decide if the other camp is open we will make our decision then, to stay or go. We pass anglers on the way fighting fish and my mind is already made up. We get to the next camp and say, “What else are we going to do? Lets stay another night.”
It's mid afternoon, I rig up a rod and go fishing. I see a boat in the distance, it’s a gal, by her self, she had hooked a fish as we where rowing past her earlier in the day. I decide to ask if she could spare some food and it turns out she's a gal I meet at the Spey Clave in May, Dorothy. It stokes me to see more women getting on the river and taking charge. Dorothy spares us three yogurts, pop tarts, cous cous salad and five beers. That night brought smiles, a hatchery fish, and tired eyes. The next morning Marty packed camp and I enjoyed still waters and landed two more Steelhead. We contemplate staying but responsibilities hold us back. We row out, reminiscing about the trip and talk about when we can do it again. We catch up with Dorothy on the way out and find out she has landed two more. I think the best way to fish is to be spontaneous, if you have the chance.