December 14, 2009
My friend Al Bernicky and I made another trip to Indiana in search of Steelhead this morning. We parked and then headed off into the woods just before the sun was due to come up. We never saw the sun at all due to the clouds, mist, and light rain that was with us the entire day, and the rain made for a slippery trek through the brush to our spots.
I was armed with two new Steelhead rods which I had hoped would help me land more of the fish I hooked. Using Bass gear just isn't appropriate for those fish. You need at least a 9 foot rod, and the rod has to have plenty of give to absorb the shock when fighting those fish with 6 lb test line.
An Old Friend out fishing before the sun comes up
I got to my spot and was happy to find an old friend already fishing there. I first met my feathered friend several years ago and have been lucky enough to have him fish at my side a few times over the years.
http://www.catchphotorelease.com/greatblueheron1.htm - Click this link to see my friend as he was fishing (and begging) right at my side a few years ago!
I quickly got the camera out of my bag and took a couple photos. He turned around and let out a sound telling me he didn't like the flash. A couple years ago, this bird would stand right next to us and wait until we caught a smolt. He'd then bob his head up and down begging for it. On my first drift I caught a smolt and he approached me, but I put the fish back in the water. I don't want him to become dependent on people for his meals.
A short time later I hooked and lost a big fish. It jumped several times and in the excitement, my friend took off. I got the fish to the bank, and when I tried to grab it, it shook and the line snapped, then off it swam.
After a while I was joined by an older gentleman. He asked if he could share my spot and since there was plenty of room in that area I had no problem with it, and appreciated that he asked. I knew there were more fish down there too. I moved down a little ways and began throwing one of my homemade spinners. It didn't take long before I tied into a fish. This time I was able to land it and the other guy was kind enough to snap a couple photos with my camera before I released it.
A short time after the guy left, I hooked another fish while drifting bait. This fish was bigger but I was able to land it without any trouble. I pulled the camera out of the bag and took a couple photos - only one of which turned out halfway decent since the filter I keep on the lens was now filthy.
By the time I made it back to where Al was fishing, he had caught 5 and lost 1. One of the smaller fish he caught was kept for a meal. We decided we'd had enough and headed back to the truck and called it a day. We were both soaked, and I was covered with sand and mud since I had lost my footing a couple times, but at least I didn't wind up in the water or get hurt. And now I know not to wear those boots there anymore.