Swing the Fly Issue 2.4 Spring 2015 - Page 84

Seeding the Quest: John Day, January 2012 

The temperature was 22 degrees with a wind chill factor close to zero as we started our January decent into the canyon. We waited until nearly 11 AM to start fishing.  Only then was there enough space between the floating sheets of ice to place our fly and get some kind of swing.  Much to my surprise, all three of us landed fish! This bolstered my confidence and got me thinking about a 12 month quest to land a steelhead in every month.

Setting the Quest: Trask, March 2012 

A cold front descended in March with snow falling at the 500 foot level.  My planned trip to the Trask was put on hold to get a midnight report on the pass conditions.  We decided to error on the side of aggression in the early hours of dawn and make a slow

beeline to the river, which we had to ourselves and our guide Chris O’Donnell. The wet snow hung low over the boughs of the sagging fir, alder and maple trees lining the bank.  It provided a stunning backdrop to a bright ten pound hen that I landed in the