November 23, 2008

Back To The Grind

Another vacation week has come and gone and as with any vacation it went too quickly. I'm not looking forward to listening to roboJill from dispatch tomorrow morning and seeing Chuck's perpetual scowl. This year, I was able to squeeze in more fishing as the rivers blew out on the weekend. The only days I took off were Monday and Friday as the streams were still too high Monday and the gusting winds Friday were too cold. The fishing was outstanding on the days I fished out east and I fish the Rock on Thursday. I was quickly reminded why the Rock is at the bottom of my favorite Steelhead Alley streams. Even though I could practically fall out of my apartment window and land in the river, I've grown to hate it over the years. The only reason I fished it was I forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up at (gasp) 9:00A.M. I figured with the colder weather, the number of people would be low - wrong. I guess I'm still in denial as I forgot hillbillies don't seem to mind the cold. I managed to work around the mass of them decked out in camo waders, blaze orange bomber caps and hearing those buoys called floats hitting the water. However it was nice a 5 minute drive home, instead of the 80 mile drive after a day of hiking from hole to hole and guzzling gallons of coffee to stay awake.  

For the first time in November, steelheaders were greeted with slush on Sunday morning. The water was cold enough to shrink the hardest steelheader's balls. All of the rivers were loaded with it except for the Grand. The Grand took what was a eternity to drop, all week it leveled out and never got down to the magical "700" mark on the flow gauge. The water looked great as a week of cold weather locked up sediment along the banks and the silt gradually settled. But, the Grand is a tricky river to fish when flows are above 1100 with a water temperature at jaw locking 33F. 

On the bright side, the Manistees showed up as expected and nothing gets my blood pumping then watching a fish a rip off 30 yds of line in water that's 35F. Many of the fish are on the larger size this season, fat and filled with a lot of piss and vinegar. Thankfully it's a short work week and I'll be out on turkey day as the others who I won't mention will be forced to help out in the kitchen.........

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