~ Gone Fishin' or Fish On ~
Ken James McLeod
Ken J. with Fish On © Mark Boyle
Steelhead Moments © Mark Boyle
It is...after all, an obsession, an addiction, an intoxication, a decease, and a passion that spans a lifetime. One could say that the winter steelheader is just a fool, a stupid idiot that likes to stand hip-deep in cold water that freezes his nuts, or that his steelheading is just an escape from his daily discourse of ho-hum life, and that perhaps this steelheading is down right anti-social...so says many wives and girl friends. But those who know not the thrill of it all, know nothing about the magnificence of the fish itself, nor what the reward of catching one and impact the entire scenario has upon ones soul. Most certainly, they know not the sound of the screaming reel and the feel or pulse of the fishing rod bent over like a weak willow. And every steelheader I've ever known carries these feelings with him to his grave, into the pea-gravel drifts of the great beyond . . . The crisp-cold day began casting our rigs (bait, bobbers, yarn) into the drifts on the Coast streams, where we hoped a steelhead or two would grab our rigs. And in steelheading, there is always that secluded drift, hole, and or pool where a fellow previously caught a big-flashy fish; one that struck violently and peeled-off line quickly from the reel, sending shock waves up and down the rod bending it "doubled over." So, here we were: the giant spruce trees towered overhead, as well as an occasional bald eagle and or a squawking raven. An elk herd was spotted feeding in a nearby field. It wasn't long before the words, "Fish On" or "There He Is" were spoken loudly. And as the day wore on, we both (Mark Boyle and I) continued to speak those words to one another. And in the fading light of the day, tired, but fulfilled, we reeled up our last casts. It had been one of those great-glorious steelheading days when the fish were biting and we were landing them right and left . . .
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