As the guiding season is winding down, and I am getting my fill of Montana trout, I get an itch that just needs to be scratched. It starts as just a thought while rowing my boat down the river in late summer, but by the first bitter cold days of October I have a nagging urge to drive hundreds of miles to stand waist deep in rivers casting to fish I may not see for weeks at a time. Maddening yes, but once you get the first steelhead grab of the season, they have you hook, line, and sinker.
Steelhead are a fish like no other, running hundreds of miles upstream from the pacific, past predators and dams, in their quest to reach the spawning grounds. Beginning in late summer, steelhead migrate out of the pacific moving through rivers like silver ghosts, slipping up fast riffles and resting in slow tail-outs. Some days they chase and eat flies with reckless abandon, while other days you can't buy a bite. O the joys of fishing for steelhead.