I've been fishing like a mother since last September and I'll go out kicking and screaming like a five year old being tossed from Chucky Cheese. For some I know, they've called it a season yesterday and they're burned out. They need the summer off to recharge their batteries and do some major league ass kissing with the significant other. In my case, the significant others are my rods and reels and all of us are happy whenever we hit the water. In the past, I've quit after the 3rd week of April as my work schedule filled up, my body started rebelling and most of the fish in the rivers were to beat up to swim back to the big pond. I could of called it a season today, but I knew it wouldn't take a lot of arm twisting, especially when I'm getting glowing reports from the grapevine. I'm pissed that I'm scheduled to work this Saturday and nobody wants to swap - assholes. All I wanted was one more kick at the can and then I could get back to the business of stockpiling a lot of money. I guess it's a good time to cook up an injury from the gym or fall off a ladder.
Another sign that the season is drawing to an end are the planting of smolts. On the lower sections they're like piranhas attacking everything in sight. I guess that's what happens when your fed the same crap everyday at the hatchery. Saturday was a perfect example of that as I and others hooked into them. I wince whenever I hook into a smolt as they're the next generation and a lot of them don’t make it back the following year. When I start hooking into them, I’ll pack up and start moving upstream. The problem was as I moved upstream I still hooked into them whether I was using sacs or flies. By then the bite had shut and I was starting to broil as the temperature made it into the 70s. I jumped into the Jeep and had an ice cold brew on the way to the Chagrin. The Chagrin was my special lady last season as I spent a lot of time there. But being the fickle steelheader, I ditched her for several other ladies out east this season.
The last time I fished the Chagrin, it was almost devoid of fish in March. The upper reaches have some the best gravel in Steelhead Alley and I found not one fish spawning. That was odd considering some rivers further east had fish polluting gravel beds. I fished the traditional winter holes and managed four dropback hens. By the time I arrived it was noon and the sun was high. There were some fish on the gravel and I figured a lot of time got beaten off it by the morning crowd. I was in droppie mode and it didn't take long to hook into some feisty lean hens. Considering I fished the shit of the streams out east, I wanted a change of scenery so I decided to hit the Chag early Sunday morning.
The morning started off slow as I picked up a couple of fish here and there. The treat of the morning were the two males doing their version of ultimate fighting. Both were the same size, covered in battle scars and neither were going to back down. They swam side by side almost taunting or trash talking to one another. One would take a swipe and wait for a response. They were oblivious to my presence as I took several pictures of the altercation. I'm sure a weasel of a skipper slipped under the covers and a had a quickie as those two brutes duked it out.
Looks like the season might be coming to an end as the temps this weekend are to hit the upper 70s. That means the river temps will shoot up into levels that steelhead usually find uncomfortable and I wouldn't be surprise that most if not all decide to say "fuck it, let's head for the big pond" In that case, can anybody say carp?