- Cascade Fishing Adventures
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Rob and I hit the Chilliwack/Vedder river with the river level flowing fairly high, but water clarity was excellent. After fishing the previous day and seeing the conditions, I admit I chose the easy route – fishing with the drift rod and single egg. Rob was determined to put a square peg in a round hole, and swing a fly with his trusty spey rod. I can respect that kind of determination and persistence.
Rob made the call to which area we would start fishing. Arriving at the first run, Rob fished through first and I followed, clearing the run of rocky mountain whitefish. Rob changed his fly to a darker silhouette and walked back to the top of the run which was made for fly fishing. Wouldn’t you know it, being the pick pocket that he is, Rob hooks up on a nice steelhead behind me! The term “hook up” is a rather subdued description of the event. In reality, the rod nearly got ripped out of Rob’s hands on the grab, as the fish tore off downriver while the Hardy reel was singing that sweet fishy music. It was very entertaining to watch Rob beach and release a wild steelhead buck. I have to admit, there were two grown men on a gravel bar, in the rain, that were grinning ear to ear like school-kids.
With no more fish to show for our efforts in that run, we moved up to the next spot. After fishing the tailout, Rob walked up and hooks up again! This was a nice wild steelhead doe which was gently released after a great battle that saw the fish perform three aerial cartwheels. I couldn’t have been more happy for Rob’s luck. And it just goes to show, in fishing, the square peg sometimes fits in the round hole, if you try hard enough and know a few tricks. Those were two well deserved steelhead on the fly rod. How often in a lower mainland river are you going to hook up not one, but two steelhead, on the fly, in less than an hour? Meanwhile, I continued to exercise the whitefish. Hey, nothing keeps you sharper than picking off whitefish.
After walking back to the truck, we walked our way downriver, fishing as we went. An advantage of the drift rod is the ability to fish pockets of water that the spey rod just doesn’t fit into as easily, especially when there is a lot of bush close to the banks.
A few drifts later, I was finally into a steelhead, which I broke off after a few minutes. I made a mental note to myself to not be so lazy next time and change the leader after freeing my hook from a snag a short time earlier. Rob had carried on downriver, and after a short while, I caught up with him as he just finished moving through the run. I started fishing the flat water, certain that it had to hold a fish or two, but there was no luck to be had. Rob suggested we should move upriver, which I agreed would be a good idea, after “just one more cast”. I’ve had a thousand “last casts” in my life, as every angler does, but this was one of those special casts that count. Right at the end of the drift, the line tightens and I’m into my second fish which turned out to be a small hatchery buck that looked like it had narrowly escaped a seal attack.
We didn’t hook any fish later in the day, but we enjoyed a good walk through another section of the Chilliwack while doing our best to find more fish. It was another successful and enjoyable day on the river chasing steelhead with Rob.
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