First Time and Last Time
I must admit that I am naive to many of the ways people catch steelhead. I traveled, with my Brother Mike, to Altmar, NY about the middle of November 2009. I dropped him off at the conference center at the cold water hatchery compound and hit the stream and soon wanted to hit the guide boats.
I stopped by, Malinda's Flyfishing shop in Altmar to ask whats working on the Steelheads and where a good place on the River to start would be. I purchased several flys and proper size tippet and a neat hat to let every one I know, I was at Malinda's.
Once on the stream, I did not feel alone. All kinds of fishermen were staked out at likely fish holding spots. It all looked to me like a smorgashborg of Fly Fishing Magazine advertisers wading down a fashion runway.
After a couple of river location changes I found an area with the least amount of fishing competition. I cautiously waded into the swift clear water and began casting on a 45 degree angle upstream and mending my line as it passed me. The hope for a fish pickup was plusating in my chest. Twenty casts later I was slowly wading my way to a beautiful pool in a bend on the river. The egg sack bait fisherman that was there had just moved on. In the flat run a few feet above the pool I had a pickup from a 12 inch brown.
I told myself, well its not a 30 inch steelhead, but it sure is a beautiful fish. Just then I heard some laughing behind me. I turned as I was releasing my brownie to look up stream and headed directly at me was a 15 foot drift boat. I thought, wow, thats what they look like on the water. I studied the boat and its passengers as it easily manuevered around me and, oh my gosh, right over my newly found brown trout hot spot in 3 feet of water. I could feel my annoyance building and thoughts of punching a hole in the boat flashed in my head. The boat manuvered expertly to the middle of the pool or long quiet run, that I was headed for, and anchored. The guide cast down stream three bait casting heavy duty rods and reels into the river with some kind of flashy red, pink, and silver spoon on the end of the lines. He stuck them in boat holders and all occupants waited maybe 2 minutes before the first big fish hit and one of the clients hauled it to the boat and it was quickly netted and dumped into a portable cooler on board. I saw two more fish dragged in this way from this boat. The so called fishermen never touched the fish or the lures. Everything was done by the guide. The smiles and the high 5's made me sick. The guide then pulle anchor and continued his drift down stream to the next pool. No class, no maners, no consideration to us happless fly fishermen watching this rediculous approach to fishing.
This scene repeated itself like the Rose Bowl Parade as float boat after float boat drifted past me that day. There were 15 in all. I didn't really wonder why my flys didn't work on the Steelheads. I did manage 4 more browns between 10 and 14 inches.
Do you think I'll ever go back? No, I'll leave this river to Malinda, the commercial fishermen drift boats, bait and bobber fisherman, and those who don't know the difference.:starwars:
Ps, I have pics to go with this thread, but don't know how to stick them in.