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The Gearboat Chronicles

Steelhead Soup for the Soul

The weather has looked Photoshopped lately, it’s been so nice, so the only real options are: A) Squander the day inside wishing you were up to your knees in a steelhead run or 2) Just give up and go do it. To handle temptation such as this, write out a list prioritizing all the things demanding your immediate attention. Next, start a fire with that list. This will help take the morning chill off while you construct a PBJ sandwich, gather your dog and fishing accoutrements, rehearse calling in sick, then depart for the stream while whistling a merry tune.

Do take note that the appeal of playing hooky to go fishing has its limits. It’s three. Oregon fishing regs allow three steelhead per day. Here’s what that looks like, pictured below. Not pictured: total, utter contentment and the warm flush of a day well spent permeating every cell, right down to the mitochondria.


Next slide please. I saw this majestic beast from the river, all silhouetted on the ridge.


Yes, it’s a cow. But this proves that any creature appears at least somewhat majestic when backlit and peering down from a height. We nodded at one another, this cow and I. And I feel we had some form of understanding. The cow seemed curious as to what I was up to and I was in turn curious if the tavern on the way home would be open on a Tuesday because I could sure go for a burger all the sudden. Maybe even fries. No. Not fries. Better go with a salad. It’s not that I’m trying to watch my figure. The problem is I don’t have to try to watch it, I’m starting to see it in my peripheral vision. This sedentary winter routine is sure having its way with my pants size. Anyway. Fishing. Cows. Right.

Technique Talk: Fundamentals and The Importance of Ignoring Them Sometimes

You know those casts where you think: Nuts, I better try that over. But you fish it anyway, hoping. Well, it’s important to be confident in your technique and you can’t do that if you’re always worrying about doing it better. So, screw it. Let it ride. You never know. That’s awful, terrible advice. Really horrible. But it sure worked out for me yesterday. Twice. I caught this next fish here in water that was way too shallow, in too close and I had no business wasting a cast by—boop! Fish on. Just like that. There was just the slimmest outside cusp of likelihood a fish would be where this one was, and slimmer yet that one would move there. But just enough to let that errant cast go while scolding myself to reposition. Satisfaction Level: Immense.


The second against-my-better-judgement hookup was trying to cover water well beyond where proper line handling left off and the mending attempts looked more like a double-dutch jumprope exhibition where someone could lose an eye. But I will be dog-gonned if that fish didn’t time it just perfect for once and I got a hook set in before the next cycle of trick roping attempts at throwing another wavy mend took place. My, but that’s gratifying to get a connection from way across the river where you have no business fishing, but suddenly you’re in business. Feeling Afterward, In Relation To World: On top of it.

OK. That’s enough of that. To recap: fishing is fun. You should do more of it. Call Winding Waters and Cam or James will get you hooked up.

And for those interested in rowing, I am pleased to present . . .

The Cata-Rainbow-Raft

It’s the latest thing in stealth on the water. Tired of fish seeing you coming? Wish you could just row right up to where the steelhead are, reach down and give them a high-five on the tail fin? Maybe that’s a high-one. Either way, have I got a deal for you. No more worries about spooking fish as you float along in this disguised pontoon boat. Also available in cuttyrainbrown pattern.


This is the kind of thing I do on days when I’m not playing hooky. You know, important stuff.

See you on the river. Unless I’m in my stealth catarainbow. In which case all you will see is a dude riding two huge fish. And you will be confused. But don’t worry about it.