Sunday, January 19, 2014
This season has certainly had it's challenges. If it wasn't the never ending rains of the fall it soon became the deep Arctic chill of winter. The opportunities have been few and far between and to be quite honest it has been a nice reprieve from it all. It was certainly time for me to step back and take a break...regroup if you will and semi-hibernate in front of the wood stove for a bit. It had been a good three weeks since my last trip over to the cabin and I was getting a little antsy to check on things. I wouldn't classify myself as a worrier but more of a precautionary soul with a 3 week maximum. We decided to make a short weekend of it with hopes of some snowmobiling and if time permitted a quick visit to the river. Saturday morning came quickly and with it another 2 hours of chipping and shoveling to clear the avalanche pile that comes off of the garage roof. The old truck needed a jump and the wood pile in the garage needed replenishing. It was just after lunch when I stepped into the cabin and proclaimed I was slipping down to the river for a few hours to try my luck. The access parking lot spoke to marginal traffic and making the trek down to the valley floor I hoped to find my favoured water vacant. Luckily for me it was with the exception of a guide boat well down river from my preferred haunts. The water was as I had left it three weeks prior with a tad more stain. Some call it high but to me it's a blessing for this time of year. I dropped in at the top and started to pick my lines. It took a few drifts to find my groove but it all began to come together nicely. That's when things got weird. For the remainder of my stay it seemed I could do no wrong. The 10mm bead was literally on fire turning 10 fish in three hours not to mention two back to back Stellar Bucks in the 12+lb range. These brief moments of greatness catch you totally off guard. These days are gifts and I am smart enough to know they don't come on any level of consistency so I savoured every last ounce of it. The fish on the West Side are big this year and I can say without a word of a lie I have landed my top 5 or so PB Great Lakes Steelhead this season. There have been numerous reports of fish in the 20lb class being taken and I can't even imagine what one of those would look like after landing the two giants today. These crazy beads are ridiculous and Zach Rayno at www.glsteelheadco.com has put together some UV and Atomic bead color options that have literally kicked A$$ for me on the MI and Ontario flows. If you are on the fence about beads don't be...get on them!