Winter Steel

by Mark January 23, 2014

 

Four buddies and I traveled north to Pulaski for some true winter steelheading in typical Great Lakes conditions. The temperature was low and over the course of two days, it rarely stopped snowing. Each morning we awoke to 6-8 inches of snow that added onto the few inches received throughout the day. The temperature and wind resulted in frozen reels, lines, and flies, but we overcame that to have a successful trip. For three of my buddies, it was their first time on the Salmon River chasing steelhead and they were able to experience some scenic conditions. Our party was divided in half by discipline. Some of us focused on indicator fishing, while the others swung flies. Both methods worked and we were able to get into a few slabs in the midst of a snow covered landscape.

 

 

 

 

Going for a slide…

 

 

About to face plant.

 

 

 

Welcome to my world…

 

 

 

That awkward moment when a steelhead takes a swung fly and you realize a little bit of snow froze your spool in place…

 

 

 

After a few tense moments and a lot of blowing on the frozen reel, everything worked out…

 

 

 

Favorite run…

 

 

Creepy

 

 

Snow Geese

 

 

Austin concentrating on his swing…

 

 

 

 

Helping Pat with his drift…

 

 

 

An egg eater…

 

 

 

I prefer the armpit hand warm up…

 

 

Austin prefers doing pushups…

 

 

We blazed our own trails…

 

 

Eric changing flies and working a seam…

 

 

They wanted to go for a hike, so we walked a very large loop…

 

 

 

Walking in a winter wonder land…

 

 

We also fished Altmar with success, no surprise there…

 

 

Switch style…

 

 

 

 

Eric about to land his first SR steelhead…

 

 

A fat hen…

 

 

Best friends sharing a moment.

 

 

Sure, I’ll swing under the bridge…

 

 

Whammo…

 

 

I then gave the rod to Austin to swing for the first time, he missed two fish before hooking up at nightfall and fighting a good fish until a tree broke the tippet…His exact words were:

 

“I’m never nymphing again”.

 

Touche.

 

 

 

 

Low of 8 and a high of 12,

the ice beard begins…

 

 

Even the seagulls wouldn’t get in the water…

 

 

I think we cleared ice out of our guides twice in the entire day.

 

 

Yea, that’s the spot…

 

 

Clutch that hand warmer…

 

 

It continued to snow and snow and snow…

 

 

 

 

 

 

A feisty buck…

 

 

 

 

 

The first of the day out of a deep pool fishing the upper column…

 

 

 

An essential item to prevent the reel from freezing due to snow…

 

 

 

Snow bench…

 

 

A fresh one tied on frozen tippet…

 

 

The double…

 

 

 

 

Gear for the elements…

 

 

Snow mattress…

 

 

One of the more aggressive takes I’ve had all year…

 

 

 

 

An end of the day tailout taker…

 

 

 

The ice beard scarf…

 

 








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