Monday, January 5, 2009

A Teaspoon full of Redemption

Sunday morning I got the call from Commander Tom. He stated that once he took care of some family responsibilities he would be available to fish Sunday afternoon. He suggested a trib by his house that was slush free and green. I agreed that I would be ready and waiting for his call to meet him at his house for an afternoon engagement. This was good news because I had been slumping since the flood water wreaked havoc on my stream and a change of venue was in order.

I spent the early afternoon getting ready and dressed for the elements. As I looked up from the football game I noticed it was already 2:30pm and no call from the Commander had come down the pipe. I knew that he probably got caught up with pressing family responsibilities and so I made plan B. It was 37 degrees out and I was twitching like a crack addict waiting for his fix so I jumped in the truck and hit my stream somewhere around 3pm.

There were 4 cars at the access point so I knew I was going to hit 2nd water at best but a man can’t catch fish sitting on his couch. I took a slow walk into the gorge taking my time as I slowly crossed the icy stream. I worked up stream to a slow tail out that I know holds fish. Well that is at least for competent fisherman. I was questioning my own skills after my mini dry spell. I shuffled my feet in thigh high green water to the outside of the shelf ice and look at my options.
The green water was of moderate flow and filled with floating slush but it was fishable. The rod loaded as I flung my presentation across the stream to an open spot in the flow. My Loomis was held as high as possible to help maneuver the float around the slush. I mended left and mended right and on my third drift of the afternoon I found my redemption. The fish was a nice sized female who looked relatively fresh to the creek. I screamed at the top of my lungs “Thank God!”

I played her slowly to my side and with the cold water she was more of a bulldog than a runner. I tailed her and placed her on the shelf ice to remove the hook and took a quick picture. She swam away hard and healthy. I was a happy man with a smile on my face.

Though I only caught one fish, I was still happy as I was only out for and hour and a half and had to tolerate the constant flow of slush. There would be a price to pay for my redemption. That price was my back. The sunlight was slowly waning to half light and I knew it was time to make my way downstream to cross at a shallow area and make it out of the gorge. As I waded my way past the shelf ice to the near shoreline, I walked with authority to the bank on what appeared to be a gravel covered surface. In fact it was gravel covered muck. My right leg sunk in calf high and I awkwardly fell to my knees with a giant splash.

I knew I damaged the back and slowly made my way out of the gorge and home. My self prognosis was sciatica. I had the tell tale signs of pain radiating from my lumbar region into my right calf and the buckling of the right leg from weakness with every spasm I experienced. Needless to say it was not a comfortable or solid night of sleeping. I was up every 15 or 20 minutes attempting to find a comfortable place to sleep. The couch, the bed, the living room floor. Sititng, laying standing. It all was not good.

Today I am taking a day off from attempting to fish. I don’t think dragging my self down the shore in neoprene’s and corkers would be a happy experience but I got my dam redemption and that is good enough for me.

Well back to the coffee……….


  1. :0)
    Right on dude! Nice Hen.
    Redemption sure feels good after a dry spell doesn't it?
    I hope to find mine this Wed.

  2. Nice fish Joe, with the extended forecast, I believe our steelhead days are all about over.


  3. Nice fish!!!!
    My back is killing me too but at least yours is from fishing.
    That last bit of shovelling did mine in and it still isn't right...

  4. I just played Joe Strummers version of redemption song for you...