It will eat away at your soul!
I once took for granted being able to fish water I considered decent, only to realize it was more than just decent. Being a half day drive from your favorite species of fish, let alone any “decent” water to fish will tear at you all day long and weigh heavy on your mind. As I sit here and live vicariously through friends back home and via internet fishing reports I realize how good I really had it. They say everything happens for a reason and it will eventually come full circle. Well, I hope this year or so away from “decent” steelhead waters will reward me handsomely in the end. I long for days on the water where it’s so bitterly cold out that you and a handful of people are the only brave souls out there. As crazy as it seems, it’s what eats away at me and constantly runs through my head. I picture days of freshly fallen snow and the freezing of the top four guides of a rod. All for that one instance where you feel nothing but constant head shakes and the tug of a silver bullet.
No one has said that to be a steelhead fisherman you have to be completely sane. In fact, I believe that most steelhead fisherman who are obsessed as much as I am, or more for that matter, will tell you some of the craziest stories of the ridculous weather they have fished in. I recall days when the snow was falling so heavy that the plows hadn’t even gotten a chance to hit the main interstates. These were the best times to fish since there would be limited foot traffic on the water. Days when you didn’t hesitate to push your drift boat through the parking lot to the water, only praying that by the time you got done fishing they had plowed the lot so you could get your boat out. Those were minor details of course, since the main task at hand was to battle at least one steelhead to make your efforts worth it. These are the days that will forever be engrained in my memory.