When the indicator paused and I came tight on a fish, it was unlike any feeling I’ve had chasing fish with a fly rod in a freshwater river. These fish surprised me with the raw power they had when they made the reel sing and knocked your knuckles on blistering run after run. When a fish was first hooked the violent surface eruptions and head shaking was heart stopping. The thought “fish!” hits you when the line comes tight then a combination fear, uncertainty and quick reaction take over. The speed and strength of the fish in the river made everything happen so quickly. The realization overcomes you that this fish is in total control and you are merely along for the ride. If all goes well you find yourself minutes later a hundred feet down river trying to turn the head of a fish that just won’t give up.
Many fish feign that they are tired only to go on blistering runs over and over at the net. A ratio of one fish landed for every three hooked was normal. I hooked up and landed three fish in a row only to have the next two grab the fly, then throw the hook and rocket out of the water before the indicator twitched.
Related Post: Steelhead Fly Fishing on the Salmon River, New York