Monday, October 26, 2015
Trinity River ~ Steel On The Brain
My buddy Dave got a hold of me this past summer and wanted to hook into a steelhead and book a trip on the Trinity River, I combined his desire with an early 50th birthday present to myself and it was a done deal. It had been 15 years since I last fished the currents of the Trinity for the mighty steelhead, you know, the fish of a thousand cast as they say. The Trinity watershed is dear to my heart, as a young boy my father and I fished the upper river before it dumps into Trinity lake, and also fished noted tributaries such as Coffee creek, Eagle creek, and Blue Tangle creek. We used to go for a couple weeks every June after the bulk of the snowpack melted. During those times I honed my fly fishing skills and created memories that I cherish to this day since my dad passed away. As we started our float yesterday I held those memories close to me, with a hope of hooking into an elusive fish that has power and strength beyond belief.
I'll admit I was a little rusty in my nymphing presentations since I rarely get to fish on my own anymore, but it soon came back and I got into the zone, focusing on every drift, and mending away. My first hook up was a complete rush! The aerial acrobatics these fish display when first hooked is heart stopping, followed by long runs, and deep bullish tugs of authority. You may be able to stop a trout most of the time, but when it comes to fighting a steelhead - They've got the upper hand, they're in control. My first fish was a beautiful wild hen. I hooked three more throughout the day, one spit the hook, one broke a hook in half (that fish was beyond toad status, a real athlete!), and the last I fought for quite a while before outsmarting me and wrapping me up on the bottom. I was in heaven.
Our veteran guide was Jason Cockrum who makes his home in Truckee, Ca along with his adorable family. Jason is an awesome guide who approaches guiding the same way I do; It's the client's day, and they come first no matter the circumstances while providing the knowledge and instruction despite the skill set. Jason is a great teacher and has SO much patience, along with a wealth of information on the Trinity River. My buddy Dave was a complete rookie with everything to do about fly fishing, let alone steelheading. Jason worked tirelessly with Dave until he hooked into his first ever steelhead. I think I was more stoked than the both of them. Jason is an independent guide and you can contact him here by clicking the link; Jason Cockrum Fly Fishing. He also works out of the Clearwater Lodge taking guests on the Fall River, the Pit, and the Lower Sacramento just to name a few. the Clearwater Lodge is a must experience, unbelievable food and accommodations for the the fly angler who wants the very best. Jason is such a good dude and a pleasure to be on the water with! One of the things I was most impressed with is that Jason networks with quite a few guides on the Trinity like Dave Neal and others. As we floated down the river they would be texting each other sharing reports on certain buckets, and helping a brother out. Commeruatity like that on such a river infested with so many guides, boats, and anglers was refreshing to see.
Dave and I have already planned our next fall trip in 2016 with Jason on the Trinity River, we had an absolute blast! If you're looking for a top quality guide for the State of Jefferson, look no further; Jason Cockrum is the man and a true troutstalker of the highest level!