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Steelhead, October 2008

We hit Green Riffle next but the sun was severely beating down on the water. There were a few fish smacking around on the surface though so once again I said, “top or bottom”? Jeff again answered correctly, “Top”, though I may have lead him some. We covered the water quickly, triple-stepping the most of it, but didn’t find anything interested in our offerings. I’m confident we could have scaled our flies down some and fished a little more aggressively but was anxious to get up to the waters around Happy Camp so headed back for the truck. On the way we did some quick “River-Left” casting lessons which I think I actually got the most out of with Jeff’s help in fixing the double-kiss that had been killing both my snap-t and single spey casts.

We had a look at a lot of water on the drive up and grabbed a sandwich in Happy camp before hitting our next spot, “Doug & Dave’s Run”.

I took the upper half and Jeff started just above the creek mouth on the opposite side. Other than a couple of smolt/trout in the 8″ range we weren’t finding anything and the upper run was faster than I’d remembered in previous years at similar flows.

I was moving pretty quickly through my stretch and was on Jeff’s heels just as he announced, “Fish On”!

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]

“Nice! Is it big”? Before he had an opportunity to answer the fish jumped and I quickly reeled up and made my way down.

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]

Jeff had landed his first steelhead this morning, and was already into his second this afternoon! It was short lived though and the fish came unbuttoned just as I got down river to take pictures.

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]
A not-so-happy Jeff

When we got back in the truck we could see salmon & steelhead rolling & splashing in the canyon above.

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]

After a quick change to a floater and dry fly I made my way up the mucky bank and fished my way back to to the tail-out,

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]

but nothing.

We made it to the next camp site with just enough light to fish through the camp water which was very disappointing. The gold dredgers had torn these 3 runs to shreds! We attempted to fish through them and got a couple of smolts but the dredge piles were snagging our flies on every cast. We did have an awesome view of a bear on the other side of the river though (just where I like them to be).

That night we had another raging inferno and celebrated another great day on the river.

[Image: Tamanawis October 2008 III]

Tomorrow we fish the famed, “Doug’s Shangri-la”, the run that originally set the Klamath hook on me.

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