This morning I stood waste deep in the early winter dawn, transfixed at the gently rolling, jade green surface dappled with the season's incessant drizzle. Below me the whisper of a distant rapid, above the gnarled alders, barren like the ribs of the mighty river. Winter steelhead season is a time like none other, a time when each solitary step and cast offers the faint glimmer of hope. What lies beneath this molten surface, slowly gliding in its sinuous path towards the pacific? Fishless days blend together in the current until I am momentarily jarred back to attention, tug tug, wait...then nothing. Must have been a cutthroat I mumble to myself, but who will ever know?