H: July 29, 2012: Wow, time sure flies when you're crazy busy at work. I can't believe I'll be flying out to Portland, Oregon in a few days (August 1st). I'll be chasing summer steel on the Deschutes river, August 3–6th with Kat, Michele, and George. Mark Bachmann from the Fly Fishing shop of Welches, OR will be our host and guide. My first ever steelhead trip! It still feels a bit unreal.
Am I ready? No, not really. I've been working on my spey casting every chance I've had for the past few months. But an hour or two, here and there, over the weekend, hasn't been enough to build consistency. I also picked up a copy of Dec Hogan's A Passion for Steelhead for some bedtime reading (not that I've had much time for it–I've been crashing as soon as my head hits the pillow these days). It's not a bad read.
Am I super excited? You bet! I still haven't finalized the second half of my trip. Right now it looks like hiking in Mount Rainier National Park. Perhaps I should just go with the flow... no plans... see where the river and road takes me... (Note: this is not an easy thing for a slightly type A, native New Yorker to do ;)
After the Deschutes, the only other planned excursion is a day of steelhead fishing on the Klickitat river in Washington with 2 bonafide PNW flyfishergirls–Mia Sheppard and Jennifer Mitchell. Hopefully the Klick will be in good shape. It's glacially influenced and can get blown from high temperatures or storms. I'm really looking forward to this! It's going be loads of fun and a tremendous learning experience for me. After that, who knows? I might be so obsessed with chasing steel, I'll dirtbag it on some remote section of the Klick or head back to the Deschutes for round 2 ;)
I need to thank Craig and Andrew for all their help–lessons, tips, lots of spey porn (good and bad),
and most importantly for their constant encouragement. I also want to
give a shout out to my good friend, the easterncaster, who will be
participating in the 2012 ACA Nationals in Cincinnati next week. Luck!!!
Speaking of luck, please send some my way. I'm definitely going to need it pursuing the fish of a thousand casts. I'm certainly willing and able to make a thousand. But hopefully, it will take a lot less :)