Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Steelheading at 40 | The Pictures To Accompany The Podcast

I drove up to the Salmon River in New York in March to search for steelhead on the fly as I turned 40. Here are the pictures.

I tied up a bunch of big intruders with hopes to move fish in the cold water. OPST shanks in 22mm.

Black intruder

Gold variant intruder
 The last sunset of my 30's
 Waking up after a snowy and gusty night of car camping in Cortland, Ny. I was unable to drive the entire way the night before.
 Ice on the sides of the road. Crazy cool geology in this stretch.

 I got to the river around 9am and started at the Old Farts at the Lower Fly Zone.
 This beauty was quickly lost in a tree. Wind was crazy so it looks like cat puke.
 This fly box is amazing. I need a few more. 
Mine is full of pink lady sucker spawn, crystal meth, eggs, jumbo Johns, Snowhite damsel.
Flash back - soft hackle - bead head pheasant tail.This is usually a top producer. It failed me on my 40th. 
 It was cold. In the single digits with wind. This was the end of the zipper on my cold weather jacket. Moonstone no longer exists so if you know of someone who can fix it let me know.
 I tried to make lunch. These are better than traditional ramen which are dried. These are fresh.
 I could not get my stove to boil water.
 Walk in to the Trestle Pool. Water was 700fps the drive up and jumped to 1500 overnight. I couldn't get to my spot there.
 I moved down to the ball park. I had fished everything in my arsenal all day. Then I tied on the ugly icicle bugger from December TPFR beer tie. BAM.
 First steelhead landed sine 2015. Can't beat that for my 40th.

 If you say this is just a big rainbow you will break my heart. So shush haters.

FUGLY flies work.
 Buying materials at the local shops.
 Dinner at Tailwaters Lodge. I got the meal I needed after a cold day in the wind and sun.
 Soup was a bit oily but warm and salty.
 Meatloaf and mash taters. This was bigly. I could barely eat it.
 Back to the car to sleep and tie up more icicle buggers. I had a bottle of Noah's Mill from Batch 13. George has the most amazing selection of spirits. You want to go see him. 

Address: 1724 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA
Open today · 12–10PM

I also tied up more worms as that was the word on the street.

Per request I will write a podcast on how I planed and packed for the trip including how to tie while sleeping in a car. 
 A few more sucker spawns. This is pink and chartreuse angora rabbit yarn.
 I settled in with a whiskey and some Netflix and got in my layered up bed. I was beyond comfortable.
 It was 4 degrees when I woke up. I had no idea as my bed was so warm. I've learned to sleep in the cold after years of car camping.
 My drinking water and contacts were frozen.
 Selection of intruders that didn't work.

First bug hatch. Winter midge.
 I broke off and lost an OPST commando head so had a Rio Skagit short put on at Malinda's.
 Midges and stones coming off now. I put on my pheasant tail again. Nothing.

Meth didn't work either. Sigh.

 Snowhite damsel failed. That is a sign fishing is not good.

Snowhite Damsel
 Not sure what this is a pic of. Bluebird skies? Dirty Bill playing hide and seek?
 Anytime you catch a stick be sure to take a look, see what is living on that flotsam.

 Salmon bones in a tree. Fishing with Dirty Bill.

Douglas rods at Fat Nancy. I got a 9' 5wt to use this year. Very excited.

Back down river. Midges everywhere. Steelhead nowhere.

Meatball sub at Stefanos. Last night of car camping.

I mentioned the 'ice toilet' Tom and I made in March of 2005. Here is a pic of me sitting on it before I dropped trow and waders and used it. It was very cold.

 Time to meet up with Dirty Bill for a quick am float.
 Jealous his boat fits in his garage.
 Winter stones.

Dirty Bill's massive anchor.

My cousin Keith has talked about Dinosaur BBQ for years. I finally made the trip. I'm pissed as I realized its 2 blocks off 81. I could have made quick trips in all these years.

 The brisket sandwich with that smokey fat. The fat alone should be a sandwich. OMG.

Print this image and eat it.

That's it. Next photo dump will be spring break.