Some Fish I Fear

By April Vokey


There are some casts that aren’t supposed to be pretty. In June, when freshet floods the west’s glacial-fed rivers, raging water molests shore bushes and determined anglers are forced to stumble and “ninja wade” through aggressive brown currents, uprooted logs and unstable rocks.

In these conditions, both wading and casting are difficult. The “cast, strip, step” mentality has a new twist to it; “slide right foot until steady, hold breath, slide left foot until steady, slip, gasp, arm flail, deep breath, set anchor, load with D loop, lasso shrubs and bushes that are equally as unaccustomed to this high current, curse like a trucker, reset anchor, reload with shallow D loop, compensate for 15 feet of Rio’s T14, swing until fly reaches a full dangle, then strip and repeat.”

While most steeheaders are correct in assessing the muddy waters as unfishable, the off colored torrent is ideal for those looking to target ocean-fresh Chinook salmon that seek safety and migration in the fast flowing high water.