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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With the knowledge base and experience of Speypagers worldwide I'm sure it has happened before: raising a steelhead or salar by dapping a dryfly. But it was a first time for me.

Late last month, a rare August storm dropped some much needed precipitation in my region. It was enough to pique my curiosity and drive over to the local river to see if the steelhead would swim up to fresher pools. The cloud cover that morning was a welcome sight for such an arid summer thus far.

I fished the usual productive slots and rose a fish 3 times to a Steelhead Bee (it missed all 3 times as it chased down the 🐝)...I thought for sure I would get it on the fourth cast but some mergansers started fishing right where the fish was resting and ended the fun.

I kept moving downstream knowing that there might be another steelhead (and indeed there was). I briefly hooked one on the 🐝 and it came off just as fast. Well, I was happy enough with those encounters.

As I was standing in the river, a group text was buzzing away on my phone (tucked in the waders). Pulling out the phone with a click and swipe I realized the group text was from my steelhead support group (random steelhead nuts texting river plans, commiserating about steelhead returns, or sharing the best whiskey find - basically a smaller group of what is discussed on Speypages). As I was reading the messages, out of the corner of my field of vision I see movement:
Water Water resources Liquid Natural landscape Fluid


⬆ below where the red arrow is pointing you might spot a steelhead. It was about a 10lb bright doe. I was so close to it that it surprised me that she hadn't spooked. Upon further observation, I noticed a larger steelhead below her (but it was tough to see in the glare).

It was at this moment that I texted my pals of what I was seeing and they responded in the typical banter that fellows tend to do. I was fully intending to just watch the fish but my support group suggested to "sting 'em with a Bee".

No way, right? But at least I can observe how long before a steelhead spooks with a rod above it. So I deftly maneuvered my 11'7" JMReid to dangle the 🐝 over the fish....soft delicate landing...fly is just sitting on the film...1 second, 2 seconds, 3 seconds...nothing is happening. About the fourth second, the 10lb doe steelhead barely flicks its tail and was instantly at the business end of the Steelhead Bee! It nipped the tail of the fly (missing the hook) and went straight back down to it's lie all flustered...talk about Heart-Stopping! After a second or two, the steelhead seemed restless and took off upstream and following her was the larger fish.

If I could read her mind, she seemed almost embarrassed that she rose to the fly and then told her BFF "let's scram".

Anyway, it was such a terrific close-up view of a steelhead rising from its comfort zone and attacking a dryfly that I had to share the moment.

Water Hand Water resources Lake Watercourse

You can see the "happy rocks" vacated after I intruded upon their peace and quiet.

Cheers and Blessings,
Adrian
 

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Reading this made my day. I almost enjoy reading stories like this more than “I saw a fish, casted, and caught said fish…. It was awesome”.
Encounters like this add to the allure of fishing the surface to me and end up haunting you and wondering “what if”. I can’t help but wonder if an 8’ 7wt cane rod would be a great tool if you’re ever in the situation again
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reading this made my day. I almost enjoy reading stories like this more than “I saw a fish, casted, and caught said fish…. It was awesome”.
Encounters like this add to the allure of fishing the surface to me and end up haunting you and wondering “what if”. I can’t help but wonder if an 8’ 7wt cane rod would be a great tool if you’re ever in the situation again
I really would have loved an 8ft cane rod in this situation!

And I feel the same way: The "what ifs" keep me heading back out to the river.
 
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