There was the threat of rain on the horizon and earlier in the week and I quickly booked off Wednesday before the three stooges up front could screw me over. I told them that I had a lot of shit to do and I needed the day off. They booked it off as I had no work scheduled, so I figured what the hell - let's fish. But some in the back knew I was up to no good, as Jimmy made the "fish on" gesture and I replied "Ex-sex" and walked out grinning.
The next day me and the Dfishinfool had made plans to float down the Grand. It was the first float trip of the year for both of us and the morning was chilly and we both knew slush would be a factor further downstream. But being the hardcore steelheaders, we shrugged it off and began our quest for fish. We both felt confident, but the fish had other ideas.
The river was off color and there was a ton of anchor ice on the bottom. With every step you would sink in it and see blobs of slush come to the surface. I've always wonder if steelhead actually hold on the ice as I wouldn't dig the thought of having my gut sitting on ice for hours. Since there was anchor ice that meant the river was 31.9999999F and the fish wouldn't move for shit early in the morning probably because they froze to the bottom. We banged every hole for the first mile and managed two fish - Steelhead Alley can really spoil a person.
The big event for the lousy morning was a bald eagle that flew down the river. Over the years, I've seen bald eagles on several rivers along Steelhead Alley. We watched the eagle soar high above and it was a beautiful sight indeed. We continued to float downstream to another hot spot that holds a ton of fish during the winter. The problem was side ice prevented us from fishing the pool effectively. I proceeded in busting out sections of ice to fish the tailout as I knew that's were they were holding. The slush was a huge pain in the ass as my float or sac got hung up - I really hate slush. It wasn't until 12:00P.M when all of the crap burned off. Unfortunately we only managed 5 fish from a spot that usually yields fish by the boatload. As expected we were running out of time as Don had to be home by 3:30P.M and we had only time to hit another hole. We stopped at another pool that was much smaller but held fish all winter as farther up there was gravel. I caught a nice buck in full winter colors and 10 minutes later Don ended up catching the same fish. That the story of the day - a few fish here and there.
Even though the fishing did suck ass, it was a hell a lot better than sitting in the back starring at the clock and working on my 7th cup of coffee. I've spent so much time in the back I'm considering naming the room after me......