This one is for Mark:
We guide Steelhead 10 months of the year. The other 2 months? Bass! Smallmouth to be precise.
I once met Lefty Kreh at a sportsman show in California. I knew he is a smallmouth junkie so I really wanted to meet him, invite him fishing with us, and learn tricks from the legend himself.
I waited for my opportunity and walked up to him with my hand outstretched introducing myself. He shook it firmly, then oddly looked at his hand, gave me a strange look, and said in a high volume tone "you stole my ring!" I was terrified. He then smiled at his joke and asked what he could do for me. I said I guided smallmouth and invited him to come out west to share a river trip for bronze backs with me. He turned me down with the desire to spend more time with his wife.
He pulled me aside and told me to look at all these people at this trade show. I did. He asked me what these folks wanted to fish for the most? I guessed trout? He said right you are. Then he pulled me farther over to the side as to not let anyone get offended for what he was about to say. "Marty" he says, "trout come up and eat your dry fly and your heart picks up its pace to a good ole' pitter patter. But Smallmouth? They come to the surface with such a smashing hard explosion that your heart can barley keep from having a damn HEART ATTACK!"
With that said he walked away without another word. I have not seen him since that day 7 or 8 years ago.
Fast forward to this year and I am still not much of a trout angler. the Northwest has great trout fishing. I was starting to feel guilty for neglecting them so much. The usual excuses of not having time always came up. So Mia and I planned two trout adventures within the last month. The first to the Owyhee and the second to the Yakima. Both trips We had super good dry fly action. Especially with Skwalas! Do you know what? Lefy Kreh is a lier!
We had some smashing "heart attack" takes on both of these trout trips. A brown trout on the Owyhee tried to run me down while chasing my Skwalla during my roll cast. I couldn't believe it! I let out a good old yelp of "holy shit." Our friend Bryan Huskey who was fishing 40 feet below me asked me what was going on? I told him and then showed him the same roll cast I was performing when low and behold that same lunker came creaming out of the water straight at me again determined to inhale my foam imitation!
Up on the Yakima we were with Reds guide Joe Rotter when he did the classic guide maneuver by calling a fish that was going to eat Mias big bushy dry. "He's going to eat it, eat it, eat it, right ...about ......NOW!" BOOM! With fair warning you still are not prepared for the heart pounding take! Epic.
Who knows, you might just find us on the Deschutes chasing redsides next!
But first we have a few more steelhead to chase these next few weeks. Usually they take so soft it makes you wonder if you even have a pulse. Not to worry, when they do realize they are hooked you forget about how hard your heart is pounding because your whole body is shaking!