Disclaimer: I am not a fish biologist, an environmental lobbyist, an animal rights proponent, or a fisheries management employee. I am simply a fishing guide that wonders why the summer steelhead counts on my local rivers are so poor this year.
As an angler and a guide, I view it as my responsibility to be a steward of the rivers I fish, at least in some small way. For me that means leaving the places I fish in better shape than when I entered them. I clean up after myself and others – garbage, fishing line, hooks, gear, etc.
At some point during just about every guided trip I have, the client will ask what “other” rivers I guide on. My typical response is – this one!
I assume that most folks that hire guides have spent time with a lot of guys and gals that bounce from river system to river system guiding during the “prime times” around the globe. When I think about it, it’s a nice daydream - exploring different rivers, learning all the secret holding spots, etc. But it wouldn’t fit very well with my lifestyle. I have a family and a job (or two) besides guiding. Doing that much traveling and living out of my truck doesn’t appeal to me. I want to spend my evenings with my wife and kids. I like sleeping in my own bed.
Here at Riverwood, we started the new year off with an addition to the family. A 3 year old male Hungarian Vizsla. We learned he was looking for new home around the holidays and finally got to meet him on New Year’s Day.
Getting familiar with the river.
We did a little research on the breed and decided he’d work out just fine. High Energy, good with kids, good house dog, requires a couple hours of work/play per day. The last item is the only concern as both Lori and I work full time. But with Lori’s running, my fishing and the kids around, we think he’ll get plenty of stimulation.
Winter Steelheading can be the most rewarding sport there is. You pay your dues by standing in dark water on grey days hoping for a grab and the ensuing battle with one of the finest game fish around. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does….. WOW!
Moments of pure adrenaline, surrounded by hours of nothing.
The finger numbing cold, pelting rain or snow, and the constant flow of the river making it’s way to the sea. You lose yourself in the rhythm of the cast, drift, swing. You become one with it all. First, feeling that the rod is an extension of your body. After a time, you become the fly, the lure or whatever you choose to cast. You are in the “zone”.