Still shaking the crust off myself after fishing 9 of the last 12 days. Weather was cooperative, fishing was solid and life is good. All year I dream about these opportunities for fishing marathon, and generally they dont disappoint. That said, when you're out there, sleeping in your truck with the wet dog, waking at o'dark thirty to get first water, then fishing all day with no breaks, it can get pretty physically exhausting. At the end of these trips I'm always sore, haggard and completely glazed with the soulful satisfaction that only a long steelhead trip can provide. Besides that, things have been more than a little chaotic on the homefront lately so the trip provided some a much needed escape from the routine.
Rainsoaked hinterlands are just as I remembered them, although the conditions, and duration of the trip didnt afford me the opportunity to fish all the water I'd been looking forward to revisiting from last year. A pulse of midweek water this week definitely put the fishing down substantially, but prior to that things were all fishing pretty good. Crowds were minimal the first two days but Friday was a Zoo.
Every year, as everyother river in the state of WA closes the crowding problems in the hinterlands seem to grow. This problem is further compounded by an explosion in guide pressure, promoting and internet bragging about "lip ripping huge numbers of massive chomers". More and more I think we need to move towards widespread implementation of a nofishing from boats regulation. It has worked on many of the more crowded Oregon Rivers and frankly the pressure on some of our coastal systems is getting to the breaking point. Depending on the year it seems likely that almost every fish in those rivers is caught at least once and territorial males, which tend to hold for long periods waiting for spawning opportunities may be caught dozens of times. 10 trailers at most launches is now routine, even on a Wednesday.
Even the lonely, fly swinging hermit occasionally finds a fish. got this one out of a nice boulder garden. Even sweeter, picked it out of a gear boats pocket.