The Catch

I received this email from a past Member (soon again to be a Member) and it is one post that doesn’t require photographs because he paints the scene so deliciously with words:- PS> he’s in British Columbia fishing for steelheads!!

Tourists and sun-lovers are in their element, this extraordinary hot Fall, John

Sunlight falls on mountains that frame the Bulkley Valley; rich pastures laze in its warmth; wild life relaxes before winter intrudes – hard to imagine a more halcyon scene. But I am a fisherman, longing for clouds, rain and cool to wake up steelhead lounging their idle lives in deep, dark inaccessible pools. Early morning and late evening they slip into faster, shallower runs, where I can pursue my ways, with a little more confidence.

Out of bed at 5.30 am and beside bank 6-8am is not first nature to me; bankside 6-8pm has greater attraction were it not for the imagined bears picking berries in the woods that line the river. So I compromise, staggering to the river around 6.30am, fishing hurriedly before the spoilsport sun blazes down the river. And the evening? I am there poised as soon as the sun throws shade from the now friendly trees, fishing avidly until light thickens, when the thought of munching bears, suggests a million reasons why I should head for a delayed supper. Needless to add, at that very urgent time steelhead show themselves, rolling on the surface as if asking me to play.

Last evening illustrates this dichotomy. With light falling fast, a large and thoughtless steelhead took my fly and set off for the Atlantic – well say about 50 yards of searing reel screaming, with plunges punctuated by huge leaps and surface thrashings. I was rooted to the spot on slippery stones, my foot pointedly imploring me not to set off after that lunatic fish. I shall spare you the joys and curses of a fierce but mercifully short fight, enough to paint the picture of me on my painful knees in a foot or two of fast water, handling a now glowering fish about 15 lbs in weight. It really was a magnificent creature, silvered flanks with broad stripe of purple hue, every inch a rebel. I made a lesser figure on my knees soaked by its splashings but determined to return it safely and unharmed. We parted, he with easy contempt ; I meeker, suddenly aware in the near darkness that an interesting half mile lay between me and the safety of the rented Mazda.

Your near intrepid pal