This past weekend I made the journey to the fabled North Umpqua River in Oregon. Pointing my truck south from our new home in Bend, I understood the challenge. A take from a winter run steelhead on a swung fly is no easy feat, and the fish of the North Umpqua are known for their snobbery. My homework told me:
- Finishing school for steelhead fly fishing
- Tricky currents, uncertain wading, difficult fly presentations
- Success is measured in days per fish, not fish per day
- Flows are low and few winter run fish have arrived
- The legendary Steamboat Inn is closed for the season
Even so, I wanted to go for the experience. I wanted to see the ecosystem, build a fire, drink a beer, and make a spey cast in pristine waters. All in hopes for a LUCKY tug from a willing participant. Well, I found that LUCKY tug (video below) and it still has me smiling, when I think about it.
On my three hour drive home, I pondered the simplicity of this fly fishing success. TRY. The key to luck is to TRY. No matter what people say, if you don't TRY you'll never know.
I'm glad I did.