That'a A Wrap For Steelies

Another season is in the books for this hardcore steelheader and after 8 months of fishing, I welcome the break. Crawling out of bed at 4:30A.M - done, walking through 2' of snow - nada, driving in whiteout conditions - thank god for four wheel drive, and no more yelling "get outta my spot!" Joking aside, I will go through mild symptoms of withdrawal, but summer will go fast as it always does and the cool crisp nights in September will get my blood flowing.

I spent the weekend fishing with the Dfishinfool - Don and several friends out east. Don and his guides were also wrapping up the season. Saturday we fished the Grand as it's been a tradition of mine that I end the season fishing it since it's my favorite river. I arrived at first light to see them on the opposite side of river getting set up. I made my way across probably walking right on spawning fish. The majority of fish coming up late will usually stay on the lower sections. I had reports that most the upper sections had little to no fish left. I was somewhat surprise how clear the water was considering the Grand never runs clean to begin with. I brought along my larger flies that I often use when fishing the Grand. Luck for me, I brought some small egg and nymph patterns.

We fished a flat that holds a lot of fish and it didn't take long to hit the first one of the morning on a small peach blood dot. Mixed in with some fish were those troublesome smolts that attacked my nuke eggs with piranha-like ferociousness. We hit some large males and spawned out hens but once the sun got high the fish shut off. Don and the crew headed to Conneaut and I was far too tired to make the drive out so I fished farther upstream. It turned out to be bust as I could get anything to hit and my toe started to bother me.

Sunday morning was especially tough as my troublesome ingrown toenail was acting up. This fucker has been bothering me all season. Popping a couple of Tylenol at 2:00A.M helped alleviate the pain, but it took all of my effort to fall out of bed at 4:00A.M. A 20oz cup of steaming cup of coffee and blasting Metallica's Ride the Lighting got me stoked for the finale. The finale would take place on the Conneaut and she didn't disappoint as I hit a lot of droppies in the tailouts. The Conneaut seem to have more fish than the Grand, but for some reason the Connie always has a late run. She's the first to get fish and the last to have them leave. The last fish of the season was a large male taken on a red Blood's dot and decided to end the day on that high note and watched Don and his friend fish. As I drove off, I waved good-bye and thanked the Connie for an outstanding season on her waters. It will be five months before I'll be back prowling the waters.

Now that I'm done with steelhead (yes I'm really done) I can fish those fat yellow looking bastards I see in the Rocky all summer. I dubbed them my "summer steelies" as they're the only big game in town. I have a lot of my summer fishing list including a short vacation in Northern Ontario as I'm going back home to Sudbury to visit family. Hopefully I can squeeze in some time and fish the Pumphouse Creek for speckled trout.

1 comment:

Sonder said...

I'm suprised you dont fish for pike or smallmouth in Presquile Bay. The lake temps would still be really condusive for this. I'm glad Ny has not had a heat wave yet. I'll be there next week going after Smallmouth, and steelhead in the larger rivers. Take care glad you had a good outing.

Tom G.