Monday, December 04, 2006
I love Mondays
Last weeks weather event had dropped a plethora of rain across Southern Ontario's already saturated landscape. All of the rivers from the east to the west were spilling over their banks. This was not a typical rise and fall scenario as previously played out on the Hydrological site. This event was different. Typically after a substantial rise my home waters would be fishable 24hrs after peak and mint after 36. This system led to a rise of 1M past prime high water conditions. And a Sunday outing on her was out of the question. So a road trip up to Meaford was in order but I desperately wanted to fish her Monday if the waters were to reside to a fishable level. Upon arrival home from the Bighead I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my jewel had finally dropped to a level that she could be approached confidently. Having stashed away a few vacation days and knowing we are going into a 3 day plant shutdown I had previously booked Monday off in anticipation of a fresh run of chrome and prime high water conditions. Going in I was stoked! It was Monday, very cold, and there was a hint of snow in the air. A perfect recipe for a Winter Steelheading.
I took my time gearing up and had to thaw my wading boots from the previous days Bighead outing. I was in no hurry for I was certain there would be no one else on my section of river as there rarely is in winter. Once my boots thawed I made my ritual 20 min hike back into the bush. It was a peaceful morning and the only sounds heard were the cracking and popping of cold timbers swaying in the frigid breeze. I arrived at the bank to a complete surprise. What was to be 18" vis was a mere 6 and the river was on the edge of my personal high water preference. My heart sank down to the bottom of my now refrozen wading boots. Yet another learning for the water conditions memory bank I whispered to myself. I was there, I had the day off, I was warm and comfortable and there was nobody around I was determined to fish.
I made my way to a favorite wintering hole where I reconfirmed the vis and recollected about similar cons experienced. I was to fish the next hour without so much as a bump. I decided to slip across the river and slide up to a long stretch we so cleverly named "the new run" Until recent times we had always passed this section up for better water up river. We learned the error of our ways numerous times this fall. My confidence was dwindling but I was keeping the faith in this run as it has the ability to provide some slack in high water. My roe bags were on the small side so I decided to double bag. Second drift thru the middle and redemption. A fresh-in chrome buck along with an ear to ear grin. I cannot describe how good it felt to fight a fresh fish on the 15' Frontier with the MykissI.
For the Bighead trip I had packed the 13' GL3 and a Pacific Steelheader figuring the smaller river may not fish as well with the 15. I have really grown fond of the big rod and 5" Mykiss this fall and it has become my mainstay. I gathered my thoughts, contained my grin and rerigged with double bags for a 3rd drift thru the run. This time 1/2 way down a large chrome hen slammed the dual bag offering and was fighting like a champion. I managed to beach her in a tall grass hollow which afforded a nice pic opportunity and quick release.
I was pumped Two beautiful chrome specimens in cons boarding on blown to me was a major accomplishment. I whispered to myself "how many chromers are in this run" when things shut down. A half hour later and I decided to slide 1/2 way down the run and fish the lower 2/3rds. This decision was to reward me with my 3rd and final fish of the day. A magnificent 26" buck in full winter armor.
What a spectacular display of genetics and a great way to close out my morning. I could have fished all day and I am certain that I would have found more fish but I was good for a change. For once this season I seemed fulfilled and rejuvenated by 11am. I made my ritual 20 min hike back out of the bush, geared down, and began my leisurely Monday afternoon drive home. I whispered to myself I wish all Mondays were like today ;0)