Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 107

The skunk didn't work out but it felt good to get back to the casting. Mike was not used to taking orders from his peers but Chick was a good teacher and could read his customers better than most guides. Mike was a good fly fisherman; he knew the water but had been away for a while and needed a little coaching. Two bucks sat forty feet downstream fisher's right and with a new fly, Mike got two rises out of them. He was working some sort of snake roll though, getting more and more frustrated with each cast and Chick sat back and shut his mouth. It was only a matter of time before one of Mike's casts fell apart spectacularly. Chick waited patiently, and finally, one did.

"Tell me. What the hell was wrong with that?" Mike asked, throwing up his hands in frustration.

Chick laughed and gave him the honest answer,

"Any number of things…"

Travis Johnson Photo

Step five in this crazy game of swinging flies for steelhead: This is where I divulge the location of Steelheader’s Eden, the mystical place that seems to be as elusive as the fish themselves. The truth is whatever river you are standing in is better than one you can't get to. All of our rivers have beauty and their very own bits of perfection and imperfections alike. Eden is everywhere and some days nowhere to be found. My advice to the exact location of this place is fish hard, but also open your eyes to see the river in its entirety. I know my heart is at its best doing my best in a river that contains even a hint of a chance of hooking a fish. The satisfaction gained by doing something in the purest manner available is unforgettable and those memories capture the soft spots in my heart.

This sport is a life-long pursuit of hope in the form of a fish. We all will continue to search for the Steelhead Eden of our dreams.