Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Gbay/Huron tribs
Decided to book two nights in the Soo.
I finally had a chance to make it up to a northern Ontario river for some swinging a couple of weeks ago. I didn't really plan this trip, it was just a last minute, let's book some rooms and go trip. After a morning appointment that worked out better than expected, I was on the road by 1030 am.
The 02 Golf with the crumpled fender was in fine form. I had just replaced a wheel bearing earlier in the week and with the drone gone I could hear the diesel just ticking away on the highway. She doesn't purr, just a steady beat down the road among the the prevailing wind noise that comes through the window seals and the tire noise. She smokes on heavy acceleration and the suspension transmits the bumps to my steering wheel and there is lots of rattles in this ride. The radio drowns them out, but I like driving in silence as kilometers after kilometer gets put behind getting me closer to my destination. There is a lot to think about in the seven hour drive from my home. I contemplate changing suspension parts and fixing her up, but also maybe it's time for a new ride. Nah, I'll keep her until the end I think.
I get into the Soo around 530 pm, checked in and headed to the river. I met this guy from Texas in the parking lot who asked me if I knew the directions to the rapids. He said that he was staying close by and people were telling him about these Canadian fish in the rapids and he had to come here to see. At first I tried to explain to him how to get on the right path without getting wet because he had no waders. In the end I just told him that I would bring him to a spot. Sadly I forgot his name. He was a nice guy and we had a cheerful conversation on the walk to the river. Well the rapids are a very intimidating place when you first hear and see them. He was awestruck by the amount of water on the far side of the berm. I eventually set him up on number one spot where he could fire his daredevil in any direction that he wanted to. We parted ways and I went to find some solitude and some swinging water.
I brought my Deathstar with me on this trip. I found a fishy run, looked in my fly box and tied on this Brown Heron that I had tied the previous fall. I don't know why but she called out to me this fly. The hackle just pulsed with the flow, and she swam straight with an even keel as I inspected the fly in the crystal clear water below me. It brought a smile to my face. Starting close to shore and lengthening out my cast, the Deathstar was flawless. I wondered why I haven't fished with her more. She just kept slinging line out and brought a smile to my face again.
At another spot, I had the tip out with half the head when it grabbed. Now I've hooked many Steelhead, but this fish just ripped me. After a good long battle she was no match for the TCX (and a lot of luck), now I understand why they call them the 'leaper'. Words can't describe the battle and emotions felt as I countered everything that she and the river had. Sitting subdued in a little backwater between the rocks she was the perfect specimen. I was shaking but managed a couple of shots. The hook came out easily and I picked her up and walked her to deeper water. I held this beautiful creature in the current and could feel her getting stronger, and then she left swimming back to the hole. I had a smoke and sat on a rock shaking while regaining my composure. The sun was setting, and not a soul around. I didn't even want to cast again and ruin the moment. I could not ask for a better evening.
The next cast that evening and the next morning was surreal also. A story for another day, but this fish will keep me going until the fall.
I tried to insert the photos at certain intervals during the text but don't think that I accomplished that. Regardless, enjoy.