It’s that time of year, when I begin to wonder if I will ever get out in the woods or on the water again. It‘s mainly your classic case of couch potato style laziness holding me back.
It’s January 20th and I don't even have a fishing license yet. I’m finding all kinds of excuses to put other "priorities" first. Priorities like working, paying bills, getting over this cold, and just sitting back until the days get longer and warmer.
Winter steelhead fishing is usually beginning to “heat up” here in Oregon this time of year. I guess I ought to try my hand fishing the local rivers before the peak of the run is over. The local rivers I have fished during the winter are the Alsea, the Siletz and the Siuslaw. I will have to keep an eye on the fishing reports and start looking at the river levels and try to time it just right. That’s a science in and of itself.
Unfortunately, my inventory of fishing rods suffered greatly during 2009. I don't currently have a steelhead worthy fishing rod, and, to be honest with you, I'm a little anxious about the prospect of buying a new one, considering the untimely demise of my last two rods. That’s something I am just going to have to overcome sooner rather than later.
Sure, I've heard stories of people catching steelhead by some pretty unorthodox methods. There’s even a legend about how a guy I know landed a steelhead with one of those little children’s fishing poles; the ones that are about two feet long and emblazoned with images of some popular superhero or cartoon character.
I used to figure that if my fishing rig had a reel with any old line, at least a few eyes, and a hook with something enticing attached to it, I would be able to hook, fight and land any fish out there.
Unfortunately, I am a pretty slow learner when it comes to certain things. During my adolescence I was terribly surprised and dumfounded on several occasions. My rotten mono broke off almost every time I hooked something bigger than 12 inches long.
Images of huge fish jumping out of the water and laughing at me still haunt me to this day.
These are among the many frustrations that I can only assume must plague even the best of fishers, when the sunlight is diminishing by the second, and the fish are on some kind of once-in-a-lifetime feeding frenzy.
There was the time I hooked a salmon on a little Rooster Tail spinner in the middle of a rapid on the Siuslaw River while fishing for cutthroat trout. I remember thinking it was really quite unfair when it broke my line a nanosecond after I saw it roll in the current.
On the South Santiam River, I once hooked two steelhead in the same number of casts, only to have them both break off within seconds...
Let's see, then there was the day I was fly fishing from my float tube on Junction City Pond and finally hooked one of those huge brood trout on a size 12 nymph. That fish must have been over ten pounds! In all my excitement, how was I supposed to anticipate that the fish was going to make a hard, drag stripping run, straight away from me, just to turn right back around and make a 30 yard dash straight between my legs as I stripped in line as fast as I could, looking like a real ninny to the crowd of onlookers.
I guess we all have stories of the big ones that got away, but I am pretty sure I have had a little more than my fair share. To be honest with you, it probably isn’t all because of the fishing equipment, if you know what I mean. There may have been some other kind of equipment (between my ears) of questionable status involved.
I want to be totally honest here with you. If you couldn't tell by now, I am not professing to be an expert hunter or fisherman. I don't claim to know it all. My alias (nimrod243) should have probably tipped you off on that one.
Just because I write a blog about hunting and fishing doesn’t really mean I know a damned thing about it. Notice that the name of the blog isn’t “Expert Hunting & Fishing Tips,” or, “The Prodigious Entomologist,” or, “The Bodacious Blacktail Biologist.” It’s just My Hunting & Fishing- hunting and fishing, nimrod style.
When the time is right, the time is right; then the fever will hit. All of the sudden I will get the undeniable and irresistible itch to go check out my “equipment,” flies, lures and what have you. Then the necessary licenses will be purchased and I will be hiding off to the nearest fishing hole.
Until then, I’ve got rifles to clean, flies to tie and other “priorities” to take care of.
If you happen to get out and wet a hook during the lovely month of January I wish you the best…
Tight Lines! (Yes, that's plural.)