When the world is stacked against you

Steelhead fishing can be a torturous sport where sometimes it seems the entire universe is out to screw you. For winter steelhead fisherman this truth is echoed several times each and every week.

After surviving the past couple difficult weeks here in Haida Gwaii our guides are trying to keep spirits high. The problem is that at times like this it seems the entire galaxy is plotting against you, and everyone is in on it. The weather man himself seems to target us with evil intentions. When the rivers are low we watch the weather forecast to see when the next storm is hitting. There will always be a nice 20-30mm rain headed our way destined to land in a few days, however the day before its predicted they pull it right off the forecast. Sometimes it feels like the sadistic weather man is trying to break our psyche.

There are more examples of when the world is turning against steelheaders. Like after a massive spring flood when we know there is enough water to change the course of the river. You often wonder what new magical runs will appear as the river changes shape. However inevitably the river ends up ruining several runs, and creating none. Anyone who fishes the Dean has seen this happen repeatedly over the past 5 years. Again this is an attempt to break our spirits, for how is it possible that so many A water runs are ruined and no new ones are formed.

Or how about the fact that when you are fishing a small river, the best and most productive water level is almost always the one that is the toughest wading. You know the water level I mean, the one where you can just barely cross the river. The one that forces you to bush wack from run to run, and the crossings nearly drown you. The best runs are always on the other side. This is another example of how steelhead fisherman are tortured in the sport they love.

It’s a mystery why ancient Greeks worshipped their gods, because their gods were all complete jerks. They could — and did — steal, rape, torture, or kill pretty much anyone at any time. Sometimes I wonder about our god of steelhead in the same way!.

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