Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just had to finish with a trip to the Soo

Well like a foul I just couldn't stop, not yet, no way just had to go north for that last horray. So, I gave my good buddy Brad from the Soo North Fly shop a call and asked him if I could room in for a couple days and that I was looking for a good guide. Just kidding we both know he's going to be doing the guiding. So after a six hours of driving and two Xlarge Timmie's coffee I crossed the Sault St Marie International Bridge and peered out my window in total amazement.
   I see only one guy on the rapids. What does this mean? No fish?  It was a scary sight on a sunny Sunday but my good buddy swore to me on the phone that a new push of fish were in and to "get your ass up here now". So even with this strange site I continue my trek across the border and arrive in the Canadian Soo two blocks from my friend's shop.


Finally I saw the familiar sign of the Soo North fly shop, my home for the next few days,  and standing below it is Brad holding two spey rods.  When I pull up and he shouts, get your truck unloaded  we've got some steelies to slay. I proceed to tell him that I saw only one guy on the rapids with but he replied, who knows more about this water then me.Well all I could do now was agree and unpack as fast as I could.
 Fifteen minutes later we arrived at the rapids, fly rods in hand surveying the river. Well the guy I saw from the bridge had moved into the back end of the run where Brad was going to have us set up. Brad gave me a choice of taking the tailout or the top of the run. I took the top and let him proceed to the tail out. The first two hours of fishing turned out to be a good start with a couple nice fish landed . Brad warned that word will get out quickly that a fresh push of fish are in so suggested that get up early the next day to get the prime real estate.


 So the next morning we were up at four a.m.,,,,, yes, we're nuts  When we got to the pool both of us took a side on the tail out and with the real estate cornered, what a morning a morning we had. Here are a couple of the fish landed on shore and released back to the river.


As you can see Brad busted a few fish and I had two on but struggled to land any. So at nine a.m. we  headed back in so that Brad could open the fly shop. Then later I went back out for the afternoon fish until about 7 and had a good catch. I didn't hit that double digit but still had fun. I hit all my fish on hexes and caddis nymphst that Brad had tied for me.
 So here is a small video to help you understand the mentality of a steelheader.
video
Well, day two turned out to be another great day. Double digits numbers were caught between the two of us  by 9 a.m. when we to returned  to the shop. Here are a few pictures of the day's catch. All fish were released unharmed (and some were long releases lol)




 When I went back to the rapids by myself later I had another good afternoon but several more fisherman began to arrive. It's likely that word got out about the fresh push of fish but since I was on my last afternoon up there, life was grand. I got back to the shop at  about 7p.m. totally exhausted  and thought I would watch the hockey game. That's a joke, I didn't even stay awake long enough to make it through the 1st period. I woke up at 8 o'clock the next morning with numb hands from all the fishing. Brad informed me it was a good thing I didn't go fishing that morning, by the site of all cars in the parking lot  there would be a lot of fisherman at the rapids.  So, it was time to pack up and  head for home, finishing the season off on a great note. So what started as the season from hell ended with not so bad at all

On the way home I drove through some fog at the Mackanaw bridge and thought yea, how poetic, the season fading back into the fog of day to day routine. The end of another steelhead season a sad point but hope for many more to come.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Finally ending the Spring Season from Hell on a Good Note

Well this had to be one of the worst springs in many years. I had a friend ask have I stopped blogging and I reply you have to land fish to get pictures to be able to put them in the blog for people to see. Well 1st 7 fish never made it to shore. Then there was the day from hell when I fell down the stairs at the Manistee river and broke my spey rod, then I got wet by stepping into a hole just over my waders while fighting a fish that never made it to shore.
 They say persistence perseveres and you got to put your time in to get those good days. Thought it wasn't ever gonna happen but finally I got that day.
 I arrived at the river a little later then I normally would after sun rise not before like I usually do. But believe it or not I was still the 1st one to the river. After about the 5th swing bang! Tyeing into my 1st steelie on the swing. Landed a nice 3 Pound fish and  thought hey think I will take a picture. Took my camera out and guess what? Dead batteries lol here I go again, if it wasn't for bad luck I would have no luck at all. My cell phone was buried deep in  my waders so I let the fish  go so that not to hurt it.
 So I went back to fishing and 4 fish later I thought dam I better get my cell phone and get a picture or I will not be able to write a blog because I will have no proof of fish. I dig deep into my waders to retrieve my cell phone and number 5 fish took up a pose for me to take a couple pictures of him. I think he was a male model because he was very cooperative to the taking of the pictures. I thanked him for his time and released him back into the river.
 Well it ended up a double digit day on the fly rod with a couple float fisherman beside me only taking a couple fish. Take that you float fisherman lol just kidding. There are days when the fly rod can be more productive then the float and this was one of those days.

 So here it is middle of May and I finally get that day you dream about, so where do I go from here? Do I hang up the waders until fall walking away on a high note or try my luck again. I will have to see, cant get out to the river for another week. There always could be a trip to the Soo before the end of May. We will have to see how this story works out so stick around for the next blog and lets hope its another day like this one.