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I noticed the water level on N. Santiam was going down today and decided to hit a favorite bank fishing hole after work. It was pouring down rain by the time I got to the river and I was keeping a watchful eye out for thunder boomers after the report of the guy getting zapped last week.

I was nice and dry in my neoprene waders and rain coat and felt like a true Oregonian. No rain is going to stop me.

I started working my bobber and jig out from the bank. On about my fifth cast I threw out to the fast side of the current seam. The bobber was about half way through the fifty yard drift and down it went. I cranked up the slack as fast as I could and set the hook. The response was that ever so wonderful feel of a head shake and then a splash of the tail on the top.
The fish turned downstream and started taking line. I've hooked several fish in this hole and have yet to have one go any further than the end of the tail out, but this fish kept going. With the current at its back I had no chance of slowing it down. I began working my way down the bank, waiting for the fish to stop. I finally started to gain a little line and began working the fish up stream until I could feel that the line was stuck somewhere down stream. I began working my way anxiously down stream hoping not to lose the fish. The bank was over grown and I had to stumble my way down stream. I had to stop several times and free my line from the over hanging branches and blackberry vines. On my FIRST fall I found out the crotch of my waders was no longer waterproof. "Hmmmm, the waters not that cold. On my SECOND fall I found out rain coats don't work very well when your arms are under water. "Yep, that water is cold!" By the time I made it through the rapids I was holding on to overhanging brush to keep my shoulders out of the water. I finally caught up to the rock my line was over and, "YEEHAW", the fish was still on my line. Finally clawed my way to an opening on the bank and had a chance to look at the fish. It was a nice 10-12lbs winter native. I pulled the fish up close enough to grab the jig and pop it free. Said goodbye to the fish and gave myself a smile.

I had to use the end of my pole to climb my way up the bank through a nasty tangle of last years blackberries. I had to laugh when I got to the top and could see that I was 100 yards downstream from where I started. My waders are ruined from the blackberries and I will be picking thorns out of my hands for the rest of the week. I know it was stupid and irresponsible of me, but, MAN WAS THAT FUN!!!

I tried to tell my wife about the fish I caught as I separated the damp contents of my wallet on the counter but she just muttered something under her breath that sounded like "idiot".

I think I had better find a fishing anynamous group. I can see it already," Hi they call me, me fishin, and I do stupid things just to catch a fish." :blush:

So what have you done just to catch a fish?
 

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i asked a buddy last night, if fishing was an addication, obsession or a love affair--
i think a bit of both-

the berrie bushes reminds me of my quest at hagg lake last year.. ended up in a thicket of those things, trying to get to what i thought was going to be the glory hole for crappies and smallies.. no dice, just torn pants, ripped up hands--
 

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It has always amazed me what we will do for a fish. It is amazing how a middle aged, beer bellied man who gets winded going to the mail box is transformed into an olympic class athlete when chasing a steelie downriver. Or the narrow trails down the side of a cliff we take just to get to a good spot, trails most people wouldn't even consider normally, much less in waders carrying all our fishing gear (By the way - surfers are the same way about getting to a good surf spot, probably even worse about it)
 

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Here's a sadistic and sick fish story about stupid things we do to catch fish...

I spent about 15 years living back in the NE and fished the famed salmon river and Oswego river in upstate NY many times. Well come steelhead time. it's freakin cold. Bad enough living in the NE during winter, but fishing in it??? Crazy nutjobs only!!! Anyway, my first official steelhead trip. Drive the 5 hours from NJ in the ice and snow, get up there at midnight, sleep for a few crappy hours and throw on the waders. Being the idiot I am, I throw on the flyweights. No neoprene for this rocket scientist!!! I had fleece under, jeans, wool socks and thought I was set. It snowed about 30" that night, common for lake effect snowstorms up there. Come 5 am, I saddle up and head for the river. First chore is too wade through 30" of virgin powder. where's the snow mobile to drag my butt to the river. Buy the time I reach the water some 1000 yards later, it feels like I am walking on two blunt 2x4's!!! holy christ am I daying from the pain. I'm hallusinating of swinsuit models sitting on a warm beach in Hawaii!! I get to the water and gut it out and wade in. I'm fishing about 10 minutes in the 5 degree air when I slip on some ice and in I go. I plant an arm up to my ear and come up gasping. Make a few numbing steps and in I go again! This time I bob down stream a bit like a lost corkie!
Thank god my angel was with me, a hero down stream grabbed my spent body!! I really thought I was done. By the time I got up the bank my clothes were frozen pretty stiff. I got some assistance and made it back to the car, some heat and changed into dry stuff. Lucky I had them. An end of that trip! Whew!!!!!
My body runs super warm and I think that saved my life from dying of hypothermia. I've been back countless times to fish for winters, with cleats and wading staff, gloves and 5 mil waders. Snowing sideways, with temps well below freezing.

Crazy, but the stuff some of us do to catch a steelhead.
:shrug:
GBS

[ 04-29-2003, 01:55 PM: Message edited by: greenbuttskunk ]
 

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Ever burn off your thumbprint on a just pinned white sea bass? Oops.

How about hold a pike by the gill plate and have it get loose and chomp your finger badly in the free fall? Oops.

Or my best would be gaffing a halibut by mistake in the tail while kayak fishing. Gaff tethered to opposite side of kayak. Oops.

Doc
 

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greenbutt..that water gets cold... i took a trip through the ice on clearwater lake back in MN--

Not sure which was worse, the water, or the cold air and stiffy after getting out..thank god it wasn't deep--

In regards to cliffs and Olympic Athletes.. Or god did I laugh when I read that.. to most, im probably slow like a slug, but man o man, get a fish on or see that perfect spot and suddenly it's michael johnson running the 400, or special ops on a remote desent--

gotta love fishing, that's all there is to it
 

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Here is one for all of the Coos Bay guys, I'm sure they know where I am talking about.
There is an awesome steelhead spot on the Millicoma river above the Girl Scout camp called "The falls". I'm still not sure if that refers to the hole or getting to the hole. Anyway if you are familiar with the number of people at the hatchery hole on the Nestucca that would be a slow day at "The Falls".
So back to the story.......my brother and I decided to go catch some steelies one Saturday morning, we get to the parking area (slightly wider spot on the road) at "The Falls" and see that there is no way we can squeeze our truck in with the thirty other cars parked there, so being the bright, energetic, young fools that we were, we decide to go back downriver a ways and walk/fish back up to "The Falls". So down the road we go......about 1/2 a mile, cool we can see the river down there........did I mention we are about 1000 yards above the river, and I mean straight above the river! Hey
That looks like an easy spot to go down. (Of course it's easy going down!
) So here we go, put on the waders (not the new lightweight neoprene, these were the old rubber/plastic/concrete shoe chest waders), grab the tacklebox, steelhead rod, net, lunch, drinks, let's see did we forget anything.....nope, OK off we go.
So we step off the road, and that was the last "step" we took(did I mention that we were about a 1000 ft straight up from the river), the rest of the way was a combination slide, roll, bounce, cuss, slide, trip, cuss..... to the river's edge! Whew, that was kind of easy!

Ok so now we are fishing, no one else around the water looks great! We fished for about an hour and both limited!

What a great day, now, how to get back to the truck????? Our original plan was to walk up to "The Falls" and follow the trail back to the road, (by the way this trail has a nice rope hand rail to hold on to and steps cut into the hill)unfortunately we didn't take into account the huge boulder on the side of the river blocking our access upriver to our easy access trail home!
So, now what to do??? (did I mention that we are now 1000 ft directly down hill from our truck)
Well I guess there was one more thing we should have brought down from the truck......our mountain climbing gear!
We finally did make it back to the truck, with all of our gear, fish, and concrete waders (have you ever tried to climp uphill in rubber chest waders???) By the time we got to the truck we were totally covered in sweat, our waders were ripped beyond repair, and our fish looked like they had been out of the water for about a week. My brother and I swore we would never again go steelhead fishing, that was just too much work!!!

And that lasted about one week, then we were back to the same spot! :grin:
Got to love the wonderful excursions we go on just to catch a fish!

Thanks for bringing up this topic, made me laugh thinking of this trip......kind of like the Three stooges without the third stooge!

Scott
 

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I did the same thing on the north fork of the nehalem last fall. About a mile up from the hatchery in the canyon area. Only thing was climbing was way beyond dangerous, but the only way out. We climbed a 60 degree mud/dirt.rock slope. I actually thought I might get seriously hurt or killed if I fell. Grabbing roots and loose rock all the way. We were wiped, scared and kissing god when we reached the top. No fish to show for it though.
 

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About two months ago right in the middle of the winter run on the sandy. I saw a guy fishing wearing shorts and teva sandals. :shocked: He had been wading all morning, I could not believe it! He had to be frozen. I nearly was and I was dressed for it.

MH
 

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No, Steelhead and Salmon is like heroin. The only thing you can do is find something even more unavailable, expensive and addicting like Methadone er, um, I mean TUNA! fishing ...........
 

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Great story from a great story teller. I feel like I was there with you. In fact, I think I'll go check to see if the crotch in my waders are still waterproof. :smile:
 

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i was once trout fishing below the dam at deadwood, and slid down a hill about 30 yards and nearly fell off a cliff trying to get to a small hole filled with trout...the only thing that stoped me was me bearhugging a fallen tree..needless to say i had no skin left on my arms
 
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