Thompson River

I was very lucky to catch a Thompson River Steelhead on my first trip there. On the afternoon of my third day I made a cast further than I usually can, finally out into the channel where it looked likely. I left my secure footing on the slick chest-deep rocks and bobbed downstream with the drift. The first feel I had one on was the chattering ripping line as the fish shot upstream to the head of the run, jumped and then he was peeling line off downstream, fast.

The spool came loose off my reel as the powerful fish was streaking down the heavy river current, but I thumbed it to hold it in place and the fish stopped with three turns of backing showing on the arbor of the spool.

I screwed it back together with a dime and let the push of the heavy current on the long line bring the fish over to my side of the river as I gained line by walking downstream over the difficult boulders. Eventually with weary arms and shoulders I landed it and an angler took my picture. The next day I sketched from the spot, looking upstream and down. I will return to the Thompson in November every year if I can but will probably fish most of the time.