I fished four holes during the day. One I had never fished. One I knew fished well. One I wasn’t sure about in such high water. And one that always fishes so well, but has yet to product a fish for me yet.
On the second hole, I quickly hooked a screamer. It was the kind of grab where no hook set is necessary. BAM! Then it’s off to the races. The fish didn’t jump but had me into the backing three times before I could finally coax him into shallow water. Still about twenty feet from shore, I got a look at the fish’s tail. It looked a little “pointy”. A couple minutes later, I got a glimpse of the fish’s back and could see the big, blotchy spots of a King Salmon. “Huh, it’s a Chinook!” I said to myself. Not a big one, but the first Chinook I’ve taken on a fly in years.
I beached that fish, took a few pictures and let him go. It was a wild fish, about nine or ten pounds, and as bright as a chrome bumper.
On to the fourth hole all the way down in the Monroe area. It also seemed a bit fast for steelhead, but lower down on the hole than normal, there was a nice soft spot where the bottom deepened just a foot or two. Just about the time you start to think, “Hmm, this is fishing pretty good”, a fish just about jerked the rod out of my hands. One of the mysteries with steelhead is how they can slam a fly so hard and still not get hooked. I backed up, changed flies, changed flies again, and then changed back to the original fly. Still, I couldn’t get that fish to come back and eat the fly again. I think he got a little too much steel on that first grab and wasn’t willing to play anymore.