Welcome to the first instalment of “A Thousand Words”, these will be short articles telling the story behind a single photo. I love looking back at photos from trips past as they often bring a wave of memories, the photo of this late summer run steelhead was no exception.
Fishing on Vancouver Island makes you a better angler, period. I have never seen a place where the conditions are so ever-changing, forcing anglers to constantly adapt. Fishing one morning with good friend Dave Page, we were looking at very high water conditions with yet another wave of rain expected to continue through the day.
I worked through a beautiful high-water piece with a dry fly, yielding no results. Dave followed through behind me with a black marabou tube. We were on a mission to get a steelhead eating a swung fly on film, so I passed off the GoPro to Dave as I took my turn sitting on the high bank.
Once Dave had made his way through the likely part of the run, I figured that if there was a fish in this run it didn’t want to eat. Nearing the tailout, Dave wrapped his fly around the blank of the rod. Shake the fly off, regroup, make another cast. Same result. Usually if I hit my rod with my fly on two straight casts I surrender in frustration. Dave maintained his composure, let a few choice words exit his mouth and made another cast.
I watched the fly land, and his Skagit line begin to track perfectly across the rum. Suddenly the swing isn’t so perfect, in fact it has stopped completely. It always takes a moment, usually a few extra moments for me, before the brain realizes what’s happening. His line stopped tracking across the tailout because something had decided to make a meal of his fly.
“Fish!”, he called out with a swift upwards lift of the rod. The fish fought incredibly hard for its size, and we were able to get a few photos without it leaving the water. “I need to be able to experience things like that in order to die happy”, Dave said as we watched the fish swim off. That was a very inspiring and real moment to me, knowing that being able to visit the places that fly fishing brings us is a privilege, not a right. Being able to share moments like this with people you enjoy spending time with makes it that much better.
Thanks to everyone who reads our blog, there will be many more instalments of “A Thousand Words” in the future! To drop us a message regarding a guided trip, hosted destination trip or just to say hello click right here.