Monday, November 8, 2010
Fishing for Steelhead
When we moved up to northern California nearly 40 years ago now, I was all excited about this new adventure in outdoor sports. I talked with the locals, learned what special gear I would need, bought the pole, reel and all the specific Steelhead tackle and waited for the rains. What I didn't take into account was how cold it would be standing knee-deep in fridged river water protected by only a pair of leaky rubber waders. I wore several layers of sweat pants underneath along with all the thermal and wool socks I could put on and still be able to stuff my foot into each boot. The top half of my body was layered with a thermal undershirt, flannel shirt, sweat shirt, down vest, and an old foul weather army coat. I was still cold with my nose running, ears burning, feet and fingertips numb. Where was all the fun in this misery I wondered.
On New Years Day 1975 I was trying my luck yet again thoroughly not enjoying myself getting hung up, losing tackle and freezing just like all the other times. I was reeling in from one of many casts and felt like I was dragging in a piece of driftwood or an old shoe. It wasn't till it got close to the shore did I see I had a fish on. No struggle, no fight like I had been told to expect. I was done. I went home and proudly showed my fish to the family and never went Steelhead fishing again.