The immense weight of the fish was incredible, as I did everything I could to keep the fish at bay. Roger stood with the net ready as the fish came into view. My hero shot is only moments away, I thought, then the fish turned and started swimming away!
“No, no!” I said, as I held the reel from spooling out any line and applied all the torque a thirteen-foot eight-weight spey rod had to offer. The steelhead would have none of it; the power of the fish was far more than I could manage, and I had to let it run back across the river where the hook popped out of its mouth.
The feeling of your line going slack from losing a fish is the worst! At least I got to see it, I thought, before we went back to fishing. Roger moved downstream while Ryan went up to try out some new water.
“There’s another one!” Ryan said, and sure enough he was fighting a fish!
“Erik!” Ryan yelled from the distance, and I came running with the net. Another beast of a steelhead was netted for a hero shot!
“It’s your turn, Erik! You need a hero shot.” Ryan said, as he dipped his steelhead into the water, and it kicked hard to return home.
The size and girth of the fish was unreal, and one could easily get lost in the shades of olive that paint the fish. Tons of spots cover its back, but not one touches another. The scarlet stripe running from cheek to tail is unmistakable, and its wild hazel eyes that stare right back into yours command respect.
The sudden force of the fish kicking to leave your hands is something you need to experience for yourself, and in the end Ryan extended his hand of a job well done; what an awesome accomplishment!
“This is a typical day on the Clearwater for me, watching other people catch fish.” Roger said, as we finished for the day. Roger slipped back into this tent, while Ryan zipped himself back in his. I, on the other hand, fashioned myself a bed in the back of the Rav, where it was comfortably warm. No longer envious of my dog, I was out before my head hit the pillow, ready for whatever tomorrow would bring.