Friday, October 26, 2012

Plan B

The Fall season is well underway here in the Great Lakes Basin and as I type this a cold front has settled in and much needed rain is falling. There is an ominous storm brewing on the Eastern Seaboard and the media has already labelled it “Frankenstorm”. If Meteorologists have their way this will be the Storm of all storms…predicted to out muscle “the perfect storm” of 1991. Meteorological modeling has it headed for the Great Lakes once it makes landfall. I say bring it! The rivers and Tribs of Ontario have suffered severely this past summer and the lakes are nearing all time record lows. Perhaps this is Mother Nature fixing her problem or higher powers at work. All things aside this rain is a welcome blessing for both fishermen and finned creatures alike.

Being currently consumed at work with a giant fall outage and the inherent extended work hours that coincide I chose to take advantage of a lull in the action and Norland’s schedule to hit some local Huron Tribs. We were hoping a recent bump in the flow data would correlate to a fresh push of fish or at least a realignment of what was already in the rivers.
Plan A was to stick with our guns and find some isolated “off the radar” access that would afford us solitude and serenity.

Arriving pre-light to the banks of the river we were disappointed to learn the visibility was outside of our comfort zone for this particular flow. We toughed it out for a good hour after first light before discussing our options. The call was then made and we were on the road towards Plan B. We were already well into the morning and didn’t know what to expect as we rolled up to our access. There were the usual number of vehicles at the easy access venues but we were surprised to find our locale vacant. Soon we were making the two mile hike back towards the river.
We had previously stopped at a bridge further up river to check on the conditions while on route. We were pleased to witness a marginal flow on the fringe of green. This made the hike back a little more tolerable fueled by the anticipation. Arriving to the banks of the river we were quickly reminded of the numerous cliffs up stream as the visibility was now well off of green and quite resembling what we had left earlier that morning.

Having an intimate knowledge of this flow we shook it off and started to work a very productive piece of water. Our efforts failed to turn any players and this began to test our confidence. We cut our losses and hiked to a favorite run. Within 5 mins the first fish was taken from a narrow trough above a winter holding pool. With dwindling confidence restored and under unseasonably warm bluebird skies, we spent the remainder of the outing trading off fish for fish.
It was nice to be rewarded with fresh-in chromers and once again reminded of what early fall steelheading is all about. It was equally enjoyable to watch my partner fish and anticipate his strikes, laugh at his blundering and share in his successes. More importantly we enjoyed the serenity and solitude of a river devoid of other angling pressure. It was certainly another rejuvenating gift and hopefully a precursor of what is to come.  One cannot put a price at finding solitue on a river in this day and age. 
Although the river wasn’t in her prime she certainly was in a kind and giving mood.
This coupled with good company, a brilliant fall backdrop, and many shared laughs made for another memorable fall outing.
It had been some time since I have felt the genuine raw power of Hot October Steelhead. There is no comparison.


Trotsky said...

Awesome day..bring on the Frankenstorm...although I hope the kids are able to trick or treat around it.
It is all very talks about

Gil said...

Those are some incredible fish indeed! I am surprised that those favorite runs were not occupied. I coped out the other day and sacrificed serenity for numbers. (I suck)