I met JC in a motel parking lot where we hooked up his trailer and inflated the floor of his raft by the red glow of his taillights. Normally something all lit up in a red glow looks warm, but not that morning. I have an idea what hell looks like frozen over. It looks like a white raft covered in snow in the red glow of a ford’s tail lights.
Steelheading is a lot like trout fishing, as it should be. They’re just really big trout after all. Steelheading is a lot like trout fishing, except it’s nothing like trout fishing. The steelhead were holding underneath and in really fast moving water. Hard water. They’d find a place out of the current like any other trout to wait for food, except that out of the current meant a slightly easier current than what it was surrounded by, not exactly an easy current.
I’ve never gone for steelhead. They’ve always been attached to a stigma for me that was called the Salmon River. And to me the Salmon River has ninety-nine percent of the time meant crowds, anglers at every bend and pool, before it’s ever meant big fish. To me. I’ve fished it in the heat of summer for smallmouth and it was great, but maybe I shouldn’t say that out of a fear of giving away a good secret. But then you have to ask yourself if I’m just lying to distract you from other waters in the summer time. I am a fisherman after all, and all fisherman lie.