When it Rains; it Pours: Steelhead Fishing

Have you ever heard the saying “When it Rains, it Pours”? Well, this is a story of a weekend like that.

It seems like whenever you buy a new boat you have to learn the boat inside and out. A new boat owner has to learn what makes it work, every inch of that boat. Safety is very important and every captain should make sure the boat is up and running as best as possible.

12963643_696922460411195_1849997965650515530_nI always try to keep my boat in tip-top shape so it’s always ready to go. I had been working on it this winter fixing stuff that had broken throughout last year. The boat was all ready to go for the spring steelhead run and I have been excited.

I have been planning a weekend Steelhead fishing outing with guys from my church for a few months now. I was super excited to get these guys on the water. All I had to do Friday morning was put the boat on the hitch and take off. I decided to check my anchor winch that I had fixed a few weeks before. The anchor didn’t want to work. I hit reset on the fuse box, nothing.

Long story short, everything I did would not get the winch to work. I decided to call some Marine stores. Some helped me out as much as they could and some jerked me around. After 70 miles of driving and 5 hours of calling people, a company finally had what I needed. The only problem was, I could get not get it until Wednesday. I needed it now. The company suggested I call where the anchor winch was bought. Needless to say, they had the part.

image-2I ended up calling up the guys from my church and they graciously offered to go pick up the part. When I showed up, we put the part in but the anchor winch still didn’t work. So we ran to the store at 10:00 PM to pick up some connectors and a new switch. The next morning we found out a cord had come undone from the switched. We used the screw from the new switch and had success. It was time to hit the river.

After all the issues it was finally nice to hit the river with the guys. We showed up to a very cold April morning. The river was very busy and the word was slow. Everyone had a favorite way to pursue the steelhead. Chuck was the first to get hit casting a wiggle wart. As soon as that water warmed up from 42.6 to 42.9 we had a little flurry of action with hooking up with 3 fish. The only downfall was none of them stuck and all threw the hook. The anchor winch worked great. The fishing was a lot of fun, but the catching was not. It was fun to introduce some of my friends to steelhead.

13006541_696701467099961_2187773186852542293_nSunday we woke up to miserable weather. We were getting it all; snow, sleet, and rain. No one really wanted to go out in it so we took a tour of Canadian Lakes. What an incredible area. If you ever get to stay over there, I highly suggest it.

After the guys took off, I decided to brave the elements. I was questioning my sanity on the way. It was that borderline weather when your thinking it should be snowing because it’s so cold, but it wasn’t. It was a pouring down rain. Everything was soaked except for my clothes underneath my warm rain suit. I hooked up an extra chain to my pyramid anchor to stay. I only fished for 2 hours but was able to hook up with a couple fish on beads. These fish were both hot in the freezing cold weather.

While slipping slowly down the river (pulling the anchor and tapping bottom as I moved down the river), I suddenly started to move faster. I was in the faster water so I paid no attention to it. When I got to the end and wanted to move spots, I noticed my chain anchor was gone. The carabiner I was using either broke or somehow unclicked itself. Note to self: don’t use carabiners to attach the chain to pyramid weight.

imageWith the weather getting worse, I decided to call it a day. While headed to Big Rapids to meet up with a friend, my carpet that I forgot to tie down was flapping in the wind. I stopped to take care of it and I heard a loud hissing. My tire was going down. I quickly jumped in my truck and sped off looking for somewhere to keep my boat. The tire quickly became flat and forced me to pull over. There was no place other than leaving it on the side of the road. Luckily for me, an old timer stopped and told me I could leave the boat outside.

The next morning I picked up a tire and headed to the boat. Luckily it was a quick fix and I was able to get on the water quick. Fishing was ok. I did more scouting and chatting then anything. I managed to hook up with 3 fish on beads which only one connected. The other smashed a wiggle wart.

12993339_697291110374330_5846334974549182648_nIt was a major learning curve about the boat this weekend. Problems I had will help me be better prepared for next time. I learned how to diagnose issues with the winch so I will be able to pinpoint future problems.

Minus the boat issues and weather, it was a great time on the water.
Fishing should be really good this week. If you are looking for a guide, feel free to give me a call. (248)229-7226

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