Monday, April 12, 2010

Bitter Sweet in the Hinterlands

The Queen of the Coastal Rivers

Back from a glorious weekend in the hinterlands. Weather was fantastic, and last weeks rainstorms had the rivers in the sweetest shape imaginable. It was great to see old friends, catch up and get one last taste of those distant rivers which inspire our imaginations. Fishing time's been pretty limited lately and I was getting worried I'd lost my drive for the season, so it felt good to fire it back up and fish hard for three days. This time of year is always a little bittersweet. Spring is that sweet transition time when the days are long, the water a little warmer, fish a little more willing. Yet the with the sweet days of milk and honey in April comes the knowledge that in only a few short weeks the winter steelhead season will be over.

Heavy D in action on a nice piece of water

Fishing was surprisingly slow considering the good conditions, I think warm water temps this year mean a higher proportion of the run has already spawned and left the system. Still there were a few fresh fish around. Fished a couple Rivers, but the bulk of my time was spent on the Rainsoaked Trib of a Trib of the Pacific and on the Queen of the Coastal Rivers. The Rivers were both in great shape, but something about the raw, glacially opaque mystery of the second has a special allure. Before this year I'd always been somewhat perplexed by that specific river. Something about the broad floodplain, and the way the runs set up means there is alot of water which is the right speed to swing but is either too shallow or nondescript to hold fish or is just full of pebbly rocks with no real structure. T-Bone got a nice chrome buck yesterday and I had one of those holy crap yanks that somehow doesn't hook up. Fish toyed with the fly for a moment, somehow I didn't take it away and a split second later it yanked so hard it took like off the reel. Sadly when I went to set the hook there was nothing there. Oh well, I guess the mystery yank is the type of thing that makes fishing interesting. After this weekend I've realized that as a self respecting steelheader there is no way I can possibly let the rest of April slip away without getting back out a couple of times.

The Rivers of the Lower Mainland will have to do with the Big River and its Equally Mighty Trib closed for the season in February. This time of year it hurts extra bad having those rivers closed, but its probably whats best for the fish. I can imagine it though, the recent rains having brought a push of bright, thick shouldered fish. Endowed with a prehistoric looking ferocity so unique to the race of fish which ascend the big trib. Here's to celebrating the fleeting nature of spring, the buddying alders, salmon berry blossoms and spawning steelhead.

Rock hopping on a sweet April afternoon

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