On B.C.'s Gold River, the steelhead learning curve is part of the adventure
#9 Be Flexible and Persistent
The first day of my trip was all fly fishing, swinging Intruder flies. By the second day, Randy increased our arsenal, bringing along spinning gear to throw spoons, and a massive level-wind outfit to drift soft-plastic worms under a float. At my urging, he began fishing, too. We methodically worked pool after pool with all three presentations. Then with chef Terry joining us on the third day, all three of us relentlessly assaulted the water.
Around noon, my float was at least 60 feet away at the end of a long drift when it dipped. I struck, but there as too much slack in the line, and I was too slow. I carried on, but nothing. An hour later, we floated through the last of the steelhead water, still fishless. But there was still a couple of kilometres of river before we reached the truck. Ever flexible, Randy broke out light spinning rods and we lobbed small spoons toward undercut banks and brush piles.
At long last, I connected with a fish—a lovely 14-inch cutthroat trout, my first ever (above). It wasn’t the fish I travelled all the way to B.C. to tackle, but it was another species off my bucket list. And it was a very, very welcome catch. A cynic might call our tactics desperate, but I prefer the term “adaptable.”