Dwayne and I have been friends for more than a decade. Initially music and bicycles were our shared interests. Now we also are both keen on fly fishing. Talking about visiting Vancouver Island Dwayne expressed a desire to fish for Steelhead – a rare and elusive ocean going Rainbow Trout.
I had some apprehension about this plan because proficient Steelhead fishermen can go a whole season without a hook up and I didn’t want my friend to be disappointed with a fishing trip to the island that didn’t deliver any fish. Steelhead are known as the fish of a thousand casts for a reason. Dwayne was okay with the odds and you do have to start learning or you’ll never become accomplished at a pursuit.
I shouldn’t have worried because Dwayne [now known as The Chrome Lord] hooked up on cast #3. Yup #3.
Although shot in a different part of the PNW this video is pretty good representation of what our trip up island was like.
Not only did he catch a Steelhead on cast #3 he went on to hook up 3 more and land one of them in our first pool. Yup 4 hook ups and 2 fish landed in the first hour. Truly epic and he cemented his hold on the title Chrome Lord! 😉
As is the Steelheader’s Code once he was 2 fish up on me I got first crack at all the prime pools. I managed to convert 3 hook ups into 2 fish landed.
I was particularly proud of fish #2 as I could see it far across the river on the other side of a deep pool and I had to really work my casts and mends to present the fly to him so he’d bite. I probably worked that one fish for an hour, but I got him finally.
Dwayne went on to score one more Steelhead while I settled for 2. Dwayne has been fly fishing for 6 years and I haven’t hit 6 months yet so it’s fair to say I am a hack compared to his expertise. It’s good to fish with folks that are better than you so you can learn and improve.
Why you want to catch a wild Steelhead.
We rounded out the trip with some trout and salmon fishing. Getting several fish per hour is fun, but ultimately all we talked about was the Steelhead fishing and our plans to try other spots for these amazing fish.
We don’t have many “trophy photos” of fish to share because these Steelhead are rare and long lived with multiple spawning runs in their lifetimes. So it was pretty important to focus on getting them back into the river quickly.