Well, my inaugural Salmon River trip has come to an end.
I don’t have any pretty steelhead pictures to post because I went 0-for-2 each of the past two days, which made my steelhead on Day 1 even more special.
Trust me, I fished hard over many hours each day, barely taking any breaks. Moreover, some experienced anglers each day didn’t land fish.
I can say, however, that I loved the experience. It was extremely challenging and completely different from trout fishing, at least for me.
I met a lot of anglers, and nearly each one was incredibly positive and helpful. I started to learn which fly colors mattered and certain spots that reliably held fish. I learned which rigs and presentation techniques worked best for me. I learned that resting lies for steelhead are not the same as feeding lies for trout. I learned which homemade leaders will work.
I also realized that what they say about steelhead fishing is very true: it is very cold, strikes are few, and you need to be persistent. It is both physically and mentally demanding.
But, when such a big and strong fish is on the line, there is no better feeling. Steelhead are insanely powerful.
There was one instance of drama. A good-sized fish was on. At one point, it whipped around me quickly. My line wrapped around a guide, and when the fish next surged, the rod tip popped off. The fish broke off, but I fortunately got my rod section back.
In summary, I am really excited to have had the chance to try something completely new.
I will be back. I am completely and utterly hooked.