See back before the old satchel had properly dropped I was content to spend the summer fishing for 7'' pinners on a 3wt, and hang up the fly rod in winter. About that time I dropped out of school in the midwest and moved back to Pugetropolis for good and The Heavy was getting into chasing anadromous fish properly. A chance encounter with a winter fish had left him determined to find more and he figured an early season warm up on some aggressive Bull Trout might get me stoked on the prospect. I was tough to convince. At that age I was more interested in drinking tall cans until 3 AM and acting half retarded than I was in wild steelhead, little did I know that was all about to change.
In retrospect I feel almost guilty at the amount of pampering I required to get me on the stream. Being my roommate at the time, The Heavy woke me up, made breakfast and packed an extra rod/reel which was a good thing since being a knob I forgot my reel. Anyway, he had been up on the big river scouting her out a little that season and had had some success catching char. Around mid day we were at a spot that was pretty reliable for char harassing when I got a massive yank which resulted in my first steelhead (on purpose). That 6 lb hatchery buck was enough to send me into the total death sprial, my family and friends thank you Heavy D. For the rest of the winter I fished like a man possessed while The Heavy went abroad to non-steelhead places to pursue academic interests. By the time he got back I was fully addicted and hadn't landed another fish.
Hard to believe it, but that was four years and about 70,000 miles of hwy ago now. We've learned alot, and fished a lot in those intervening years. Picked up the spey around the same time and got our first spey caught fish on the same trip. We've also explored some seriously sweet water. I still feel guilty for the blown landing that resulted in a close quarters release of that hot, chrome, coastal hen. Has to be one of the sexiest fish I've ever seen. And I still laugh thinking about that big fiery buck that he hooked with the water going out one day on a remote, rainsoaked tributary of a tributary of the pacific. Being his first bruiser, wild winter fish Heavy had his drag set about 6 times too tight and as hard as the fish was pulling it wasnt taking out any line. Instead he reeled it straight to the bank while it cartwheeled viciously and eventually threw the hook. Enough time has passed that we can both laugh now thinking about that one.
A product of The Heavy's crafty ways from this fall. He's also a member of the Pflueger advisory staff
Its nice to know that will all the noise, bullshit and chaos of modern times I've got a homeboy who's always down to go fishing. We live in different cities now, and he's preparing for more world travels but there's always the prospect of his triumphant return to steelhead country. Plus the guys always had something especially fishy up his sleeve. I've got a good feeling about this year buddy so get back soon, we've got a tent trailer to buy and 'dem steelies need chasin.