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Unforgettable Steelhead Outing - Thanks Solopaddler!

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Wow...where to start?


I remember when I first joined the board and I was reading reports put up here. A few people stand out to me for awesome reports....one of them being Solopaddler. Reading reports about his canoe adventures as well as his fishing trips always made me think it would be pretty cool to tag along on one of them.


I finally got the chance to do so yesterday and when the PM came thru with the invitation to hunt down some Steelhead, I jumped all over it! When I asked him where we were going, he said he didn't know....that he'd have an idea 1 to 2 days before we went. He had a few places in mind....from Georgian Bay tribs, to some Ontario ones....even a day trip to the US wasn't out of the question. With all the info he had, he was really hoping for a banner day for all of us. My best day ever for Steelhead was 3 landed fish...and one of those was a dink in size.


Ok...on to yesterday, I was up earlier than early....LOL. I drove to his buddy's place in Mississauga and the two of us went on to meet up with Solopaddler. I wont say where we ended up going, but suffice it to say it wasn't an eastern GTA trib. If anyone can tell where we were from the pictures I'm about to post and has a problem with them, please PM me with your concerns.


About 5 minutes from where we were fishing, he says "Oh yeah...I meant to warn you, it'll be crowded here...not sure how comfortable you are with that". I said that I'll see how it is when I get there...and that I'd deal with it. I only started steelheading this past spring, so I dont really like people staring at me when I'm fighting a fish...LOL. We pulled into a parking lot that had oh...about 70 cars in it...ack!


After quickly changing into our waders and setting up our rods, we headed down to the river. This was taken a little later in the morning, but this is the kind of sight I was greeted with. Apparently, everyone else had the same idea we did!!! LOL. That's solopaddler in the foreground. The waters were lower and clearer than he had hoped.



I didn't start up drifting right away....I staked out my spot and decided to watch what the others were doing to get an idea of where I should cast and how far away from others floats I should aim for. Ok, that done...i take a deep breath and I start drifting. First drift...I watch my float head down stream....reel it in when nothing happens and cast out there again. This time my float gets pulled under! Quick hookset and the fight is on. Solopaddler's buddy is in the background of this shot fighting a fish as well....double header.



My first Steelie is almost in....I'm happy it wasn't a huge one...got me used to fighting these fish again, and I managed to keep it under control...not heading into everyone else's line.



And the picture....



Ok...3 more to go and I've broken my record for steelies in one trip...LOL.


A little while later, my float goes down again! I'm thinking...wow...a trib where a guy like me can actually catch some fish....LOL. Solopaddler wanted to make sure I had some good pics of this trip, so he put his rod down to take this pic....



Quick picture and then back in the water.



It was Solopaddlers time to get one. I can hear him fighting a fish, so I returned the favour and snap this photo of him fighting his fish.



And his catch.....



The release....



Even though the action wasn't what he had hoped for, I was having a ball out there. I missed a few hits, ended up losing on that I had on, but it wasn't long before I got another one....



We decided to move from this spot and head closer to the mouth of this trib. We wade out a little bit and he says, "Let's try here". He casts his out and begins to drift. I cast mine out and within 5 seconds my float goes down! He took this cool shot of the fight....



This is my 4th fish landed...already my BEST day on any trib and we were only 2.5 hours into fishing.



Very shortly after this, the winds picked up, the current actually would stop and go making drifting impossible, leaves were dropping like crazy and on almost every retrieve you had one on your hook. We decided it was time to try a different trib. On the way to the next spot, they took me to see a great little area where these fish come in from the lake, and let me tell you...it was a CRAZY sight! He's already posted a few pics, but I'll add a few of my own here.....








What a treat it was to see that...it's amazing the numbers that can come in. We could actually see their fins in the lake as they made there way to this tiny little trickle of water.


We looked at a few other tribs, but they were either MORE crowded than the one we just left with no room to squeeze in, or the conditions were just plain chocolate milk.


Anyhow, this is a Steelhead trip I will not forget! Thanks Solopaddler for the opportunity to fish with you...and to your buddy for doing the driving...thanks for the tips, the help landing the fish and the pictures you took. I know you said you felt bad because the numbers just weren't what you were hoping for, but like I said, it was my best day so far numbers wise and seeing those fish coming in from the lake in that little stream was amazing to see. I hope I didn't embarass you too much with my newbieness either.....LOL.

Edited by ccmtcanada

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Thanks for posting that Cliff.

Steelheading is a game of timing, you look at the weather forecasts, check the flow gauges, pick a destination and take your chances...

The spot we fished yesterday is usually either boom or bust, and can be frustrating when you drive that far and encounter those kinds of crowds (most I've ever seen there btw, don't people work anymore? LOL!).

I did feel bad for you as that wasn't exactly the type of experience I was hoping for.

In any case newbie steelheader or not you're a good angler and a nicer person and I thoroughly enjoyed the day.

Till next time bud.....

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Just outstanding Cliff and Mike. And that first pic is a painting waiting to happen. Just beautiful. Thanks so much for brightening the day.

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I wasn't there to enjoy the day with you. LOL! :w00t::D Excellent report and pictures. I haven't seen pools filled with fish like that in years. Probably because I haven't hit the rivers in years. :rolleyes: Good on ya Solopaddler for showing Cliff a good time. :thumbsup_anim:

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That's great Cliff. What a great report. Looks like it was a super day.


I've also always enjoyed Solopaddler's reports, glad to see you two got out together :thumbsup_anim:



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....Hmmmmmm, even as a well seasoned steelheader it's hard not to be impressed. :clapping:


Glad yous had a swell outing.

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Wow, awesome report, soon the doctors will have to surgically remove the rod from your hands, as your having too much fun. LOL

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