Last week I received a hot steelhead report from a friend.  Having no plans for the weekend, I reserved Saturday and Sunday for chasing "the fish of 1,000 casts".  The crew included my dad and fishing partner John.

My fly fishing background is strictly trout, although one time I caught a steelhead while trout fishing.  I've had bad enough luck spin casting for steelies on coastal rivers, so I never even considered fly fishing for the on a technical river.

We all know the effects a hot report/open weekend combo can have on an angler.

It's Saturday morning and the Big Dipper is still out, territorial headlamps are flashing across the river and we're running what-if-someone's-on-that-run scenarios.

Fishing light hits and we're fishing the "Plan B" run.

Twenty minutes into the swing dance and I have a fish on!  As soon as the fish pulls my line, I nervously fiddle with my spool like an idiot, get my finger stuck and the fish breaks off.  Last time I had my lunch handed to me that early in the morning was during collegiate cross country practice.  Ten minutes later I had a chance to redeem myself and was holding a steelhead.

We fished under the canyon shadows and enjoyed the cool air, knowing it would soon be gone.  When the sun hit the water at 9:30 we switched tactics and tossed swung deep on sinking lines.  Mid-day produced two fish, including my second.  

Then it's mid afternoon blues.  Slow fishing but I'm in tune with my swing and anticipating a shocking pull.

Before the sun disappeared over the west side of the canyon, things started to pick up.

And eight hours into my first day of steelheading on the fly I was ruined, with my sixth fish to hand.  A day I will not soon forget and a day I will likely never live up to again.

It was unbelievable.  As what my sleep that night at camp.  With more stars visible than Hollywood will ever produce, the big black sky cooled the canyon down to a refreshing 45 degrees.

The next morning it was the same story.  Big Dipper and territorial headlamps, only this time it was us guarding the Plan A run.  Course, there was no competition like the day before.  Must be a Saturday crowd out there.

After a cup of coffee we were standing in 3900 cubic feet per second of steelheaven.  Fitting for a Sunday.

John had the hot hand.

And soon after he landed that one the canyon echoed with a little hoot.  Here's why.

Let me rephrase that.  Here's why.

And very soon the first hoot, was a second hoot.  And here's why.

Let me rephrase that.  Here's why.

That's right, a double!!  Including a monster native!

And to cap off the morning John threw in a tailout fish for the barbie.

Deschutes 6.jpg

So, having considered the Law of Averages, I am quitting steelhead while I am ahead.