July 14, 2012
Fishing steelhead on the North Santiam River
     Had a great weekend on the North Santiam. Weather was great with mostly sunny skies and warm temperatures. The river was in good shape running clear and around 1,600cfs. Fishing was a little slower this week for us, as we only managed to land two steelhead. This nice bright fish was the first fish I hooked on Friday night.

     I was working my way through a run and in the middle of my swing I felt two consecutive plucks or small pulls, meaning something mouthed or lightly grabbed my fly without getting hooked. Adrenaline rushed through my body as I realized I had an aggressive player out there. Without moving I made another cast and swung my fly through the zone again, highly anticipating a solid take. Nothing happened and immediately you start to think, "maybe I imagined the tugs, maybe he's not coming back, maybe it was some rocks". Not willing to let it go, I stood fast and made another cast with the most positive thoughts in mind to improve my zen. My fly swung through the area again without results and just when I started to think that maybe he had felt the hook and wasn't coming back, my line came tight with a hard pull and this big beautiful steelhead exploded out of the water in a cartwheeling jump. It was a crazy fight with him jumping and taking me into my backing and across the river twice. I finally brought him to hand for a quick picture and release.
    I was fishing my Craft Fur Stinger fly in blue, purple & black with a clarett head and leadeyes.

    I landed another nice fish on Saturday morning, but that was all the action we saw for the rest of the weekend. Can't wait to get out again!

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