Friday, March 18, 2011

The Plastic Comes off the Cork of Tyler's New Fly Rod

The week after state wrestling I took Tyler out of school for a day and it was his turn to fish with me. We fished from daylight to dark with a friend of mine Hubert Morrison. Hubert loves to fly fish for steelhead and he stayed pure all day, never once fishing with conventional tackle--it helped that he left it at home. Tyler and I switched off between the two, but mostly Tyler fished with flies and his new rod. Once he figured it out he was out fishing Hubert and myself, for a little while anyway. It was fun to watch him.

Hubert caught the first of the day and ended up hooking 6 total. He landed 3 or 4 of them. We fished with Hubert a few weeks ago and he hooked 3 steelhead in 4 casts. As well as a few others. He put on a clinic for us that day. Tyler finally hooked two steelhead, but lost both of them. Corey and I had to be content with smaller trout and whitefish.

We walked around 6 miles this day, looking for fish. They were there, but it helped to search and find. Tyler picked up a nice fish on eggs and his new Berkley Air rod, an 8.5 foot trigger stick with a baitcast reel. His next cast was a 16 inch bull trout. He christened two rods today, not a bad for a 14 year old kid. Tyler doesn't act or think like a "kid". I've never known any freshman in high school to get up at 4 AM to finish homework for that day so he can keep his 4.0 grade point average during wrestling season. He never missed a practice, regularly scheduled or extra. He did everything he was asked as well as lots of extra on his own. Tyler was named "Rookie of the Year" by his wrestling team this year. For his hard work and dedication, as well as his success he was honored by them. I thought this was really cool.

I was the last to land a steelhead. I hooked 5 on my fly rod and one on my spinning rod. It was a little frustrating. I hooked fish in almost every hole we fished, but it took me until almost dark to finally land one. I hooked one more, a few drifts later, and like a champ, turned it loose mid river.

Tyler's First Steelhead EVER on his new fly rod, the fish took a brown stonefly!

We have a ritual we just started, specifically with these fly rods. You can't remove the plastic from the cork handle until you have landed the type of fish the rod was purchased to catch. We caught whitefish and rainbow trout (all the trout were under 20 inches so not technically a 'steelhead') and decided that removing the plastic from the fighting butt would be appropriate. I lost my plastic almost a month ago when I landed 2 nice bucks on the Wallowa one morning after work. Tyler has hooked 3 or 4 steelhead, but hasn't landed one yet. After landing this fish he excitedly removed the plastic and I was there to capture it on video!

Tyler's First Keeper Steelhead on His Fly Rod (2nd Total). He landed this buck maybe 10 minutes after the last one--his official "first steelhead" on the rod. The one that allowed him to remove the plastic. I have over 4 more minutes of video on this fish as he fought it. It ran upstream quite a ways, initially, and wrapped him around a rock. I had to wade out and get the line off the rock, then I got the rod back into his hands and we filmed this sequence you see here. I spliced out a minute or two of it tearing out some line and posted for your viewing pleasure.

Pulling Some Line--Turn up the volume and listen to the reel sing! =)

Landing the fish after getting it off the rock.

I hooked 6 steelhead this day, 5 on my fly rod, but only landed this one, at the end of the day. It was my 5th fish of the day. I hooked one more for just a second right after this. I know I say this is my 4th on the video, but I wasn't counting correctly! I was delirious from losing too many fish, or the shock of landing one was too great, I'm not sure.