Took a crack at the Clack (2/15/16)

Fishnbuck
Could not have asked for nicer weather to pursue the fish species everyone speaks of so highly, the elusive steelhead. The temperature was 50+, so no fear of iced over guides, and frostbitten fingers. The wind was moderate when present, and the skies ranged from blue to barely cloudy. A few reports over the weekend indicated good water, and NOAA showed the start of declining water. The boy and I had the day off for President's Day holiday, so the planets must be aligning in our favor to clear 2016 from stench of fishlessness!

We arrived at McIver around 8:30 to find at least a dozen vehicle already parked at the trail head to dog creek, one of which a man was loading his gear an removing his waders. The creek mouth must be a mess, I stated to him. He said it was pretty crowded and no one was catching, so it was not worth the trouble. The boy and I geared up and headed down to pass our own judgement. I had several alternative holes in mind if it was indeed over-crowded. The sound of the roaring river as we approached caused concern for the lack of access to anything to grow in my mind. We passed a couple more frustrated fishermen on the trail, who voiced their distaste for combat fishing, and advised against Dog Creek. Wow, it must really be bad. Upon arrival to the hole we found a scene very similar to the one described by Carp over the weekend. There were no less than 15 people either in the water "line-dancing" or on the bank awaiting an opportunity to "cross the line". We observed the chaos long enough to determine there was no feeding frenzy so we moved upstream.

The water was high, fast and dirty, but we were armed with good intel after Cody's seminar at the Sportsman's Showcase on Saturday, so we could read the water and find fish, then all we had to do pick the right presentation, then choose the best color/scent and we were golden. Easier said than done, as anyone who has chased or read about chasing winter steelhead. He tossed jigs, with and without shrimp, plunked shrimp. I tossed jigs and spoons. I busted out the mystical pink worm (which I had finally remembered to bring, 2 prior trips it was forgotten at home). My first cast into a beautiful pool resulted in a tree branch landing, right next to someone else's lost pink worm and float! I have 15# Power Pro braid mainline, and 15# P-Line Flouro Clear tippet, joined by a barrel swivel, that branch doesn't stand a chance right? I told the boy to hide behind a tree trunk, because I was about to demonstrate one of Newton's laws. Not wanting to risk making my Okuma rod the weak link, I pointed it straight at the tree, thumbed my spool and walked backwards until I heard the telltale snap of of surrender. I flinched at the sight of my rigging hurtling back at me at lightning speed, knowing it would hurt (prior experience with an 1/8 oz egg sinker and my forehead!), but am briefly relieved a berry bramble spared me momentarily. Now I fight the tangle of thorns to retrieve my rig, and see which link failed. Of all things to say "UNCLE!" it was the Gamakatsu hook. Only the lead-head and stubby shaft portion remained of my virgin pink worm jig :(

Lunch time was passing us by, so we admitted defeat and settled on stopping to split a $6 sandwich deal, and complete our day at Clackamette Park until we had to pick up the better half from work. Heck we still had night crawlers left, so at least there we could count on a pike minnow or sucker fish to tug the line. Nope, we were denied access to the 10% this President's Day.

All in all it was a very successful day. A boy and his father spent a day outdoors together graced by natures glory. We breathed fresh air while basking in the sun, and listened to the roar of the river. Oh, and I failed to mention, we were blessed to see at least half a dozen large steel head, granted they were in the hatchery trap, anxiously awaiting their chance to produce future teasers! I could not ask for much more, except maybe my wife and a blanket, but that is a story for another time, and probably a different forum!
:D
 
Raincatcher
Sounds darn near perfect to me. :peace:
 
Fishpdx
I'm thinking of taking a day off work and fish early if the water gets lower. Because I hate fishing with crowds.
 
Fishnbuck
By the By - any sarcasm, or satirical tone(s) is not directed toward any person, so no offense is intended, therefor no offense should be taken.

I am cataloging these adventures/posts to someday put out a "short story" book of sorts, so all "CONSTRUCTIVE" criticism is welcome, either by replying to this thread or PM. If you want to be negative, well I will have to defer to Raincatcher for sanctioning :yikes:
 
Fishnbuck
Carp said:
I'm thinking of taking a day off work and fish early if the water gets lower. Because I hate fishing with crowds.

It is a little ways off, but the boy and I have a teacher work day next Friday the 26th, so another trip is likely, although Bonnie Lure is more likely destination. I will give you a heads up, maybe we can officially meet our first OFF member.
 
hobster
Fishnbuck said:
All in all it was a very successful day. A boy and his father spent a day outdoors together graced by natures glory. We breathed fresh air while basking in the sun, and listened to the roar of the river.
:D

That is all that matters! Sounds like a most excellent day :thumb:
 
Toyracer38
Very entertaining read. Thanks for sharing Fishnbuck.
 
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