11-13-05 - West Side Steelhead Clowns Vermillion
River Steelhead Massacre III!
Waters Fished: Vermillion River
Fish Caught: 1 personally
Outing Date: 11-13-05
Weather: Windy & Cloudy
Air Temp: 40's, rising into 50's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low, approx. 75 cfs.
Water Color: Stained, visibility 1-2 feet
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Spawn
Pattern Color: Chartreuse, White and Pink Mesh
It was early, perhaps 6:00 AM, when we left Mike's
house to head over to Mill Hollow. Renee stayed back - she had work
to do on for her Master's. When she caved at the last minute and
decided to go, the deal was she was only going to fish 1 of the
2 weekend days. My suggestion was that in PA, you're going to catch
fish. Conversely, on the Vermillion at this time, at least in 2003
and 2004, at least 30 guys go out, and
like 4 catch a fish!
For a while it seemed like it wouldn't go any different
this year. We started off back at the spot where Ed Clary first
took me on the Vermillion just over 2 years ago. Yes, this all definitely
looks familiar! I was out fishing the centerpin, floating spawn
today. In the last two years' outings I had come to pick up on the
fact that the fly guys got nothing, whereas if you were floating
spawn, you at least had a SHOT and being one of the lucky ones.
Well, Mike and I broke out the Pinks while RGHooker
whipped out the fly gear. HMM. Our first spot...after 45 minutes
of patient drifting...nada.
On down past a couple bends to spot number 2. We
started bangin' the chubs, especially Mike. Big ones too...some
males in good breeding dress even. But still no steelhead after
at least an hour of work.
But it DID happen. My float went under. I thought
it'd just be a chub, so imagine my surprise when a steelhead went
airborn. I'd say my "drag was singing" except this was
on the PIN - there IS no drag. So, here I am, tied to a steelhead
that's zippin' line off a pin so fast I could have easily backlashed!
As Rich put it, despite being a small buck, definitely
a skipjack, that fish gave me the song and dance. INDEED! The group
skunk was off our backs. EXCELLENT! After a few pics the fish was
sent back to fight again.
And that's when Rich tells us this isn't even the
honey hole. What?! Well, lets go! Downstream, we set up and all
put in about 30 minutes more drift time. NOTHIN. Rich even knew
fish were caught the day prior. HMMM.
So Mikey decides to be cute...or a royal ass...the
jury is still out. He casually says "I'm gonna go back upstream".
After a minute, I breakoff and decide going back upstream might
be a good idea too...so there I am, squatting on the bank retying.
I here splashing...sounds like a fish moving...
My head whips up to scan the water until I FIND
THE MOVING FISH. I just so happens that it's not moving of it's
own free will...the Monkey is carrying it downstream for a picture!
@#$@#%! (that's congratulations Mike!). It's a beautiful hen.
So next thing ya know we're all back upstream and
hoping that Rich will tie into one. If he does, we'll likely be
the first group to ever return from the outing's morning fish where
EVERYONE caught a fish. The pressure is on!
Mike just must have been in the mood to show us
up big time. Here we go again...Mike heads downriver. 5 minutes
later, here comes Mike with a fish - more pictures and we ALL head
back downriver, again! After a few minutes of drifting, wait a second,
I should go BACK UPSTREAM.
Of course, I don't have the monkey's mystical powers
of steelhead attraction...I don't even touch a chub for the next
30 minutes. By this time, it's getting close to lunch (at least
my stomach and the phone call from Renee say so). Mike shows back
up and we decide to call it a day. One missed hookup for Rich too...drat!!!!
As always, the potluck is fantastic. Whoever brings
the PIES needs a doorprize for the best pot luck - I think we could
all just eat PIE for lunch.
Anyway, it's always good to see some guys who I
don't get to see very often. A few were missed (JBlocker, where
the heck were ya - I had to run and get forks!). I'd throw a shout
out to more specific folks like Irish and Reel Easy, but I don't
want to miss anyone and make 'em feel bad. So, how about one big
shout out to all the West Side Steelhead Clowns from the "extreme
You can bet I'll be makin' this drive again NEXT
YEAR! See y'all then if not sooner!