The next run already had anglers from boats in it, but they were focused on the lower end and drift fishing. I walked down to one of the anglers and asked if I could work the head of the run, further upstream. "No problem," was the response I was hoping for so I walked back to the raft, grabbed my rod and stepped into the water. I flipped my line out and thought my fly looked funny. I grabbed it and realized it was frozen solid... it was more number 2 pencil than a fluffy intruder-ish type fly. I warmed it up and started working my line out swinging the fly through the water. I was about to start stepping downstream after working my line out when I felt that pull. The cold probably slowed my reactions down as line started coming off the reel... but quickly the frozen thoughts warmed up and I went crazy. I lurched back on the rod like I was going to set the hook on a tarpon. I picture myself with my back angled 45 degrees from my hips pulling the rod backwards. Of course, I'm gonna blame the loss of the fish on a dull hook, a grab closer to the hangdown, or something other than the fact that I went beserk after months away from steelheading and then a massive slump since moving back to the Northwest fishing interior rivers enjoying record runs of steelhead. I'm sure a muttered a foul word or two before getting back to business and working this run twice before drifting further downstream.
I didn't encounter any other fish that day, but I swung some beautiful water and tried some water types I might have passed over on previous trips with the hope that come warmer temps and warmer seasons (spring) some native fish might be resting just primed to jump all over a swung fly.
Hope to get back soon and find my steelhead slump-buster. Hope these pictures get you thinking about swinging flies through emerald green glacial streams for your slump-buster, however long or short the slump is.