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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The cure for cabin fever - fly fishing for early season steelhead in ontario

Cabin fever…..oh yes, it sinks in very heavily come March. Most areas in Ontario are closed to fishing this time of year, but there are a select few that are open year round for migratory steelhead and other species.

Ontario steelhead fly fishing

It had been a few months since I was last out……sinceNew Years Eve in fact! I really needed to get out and get the arms and shoulders working again. A couple of friends and myself decided on a location, and headed first thing in the morning to the river. The water had a beautiful green tinge to it, and it was running at a perfect level tosneak up on a few steelhead.

Initially, I had been dead drifting a stonefly pattern and had one take……which I very quickly lost in the fast water. I was pleased though…..first trip of the year and hooked a nice steelhead within the first hour……I wasn’t going to complain!!

As the day went on, the fishing was rather slow……the sun was beating down on the river now, and many of the fish we had seen earlier had disappeared into some of the deeper holes.

Ontario steelhead fly fishingIt was at that point that I decided to tie on a small bead head nymph with a single, bright orange glow bug made of “Mcfly Foam”, and about feet above that an indicator to make things a little easier.

Within just a couple of drifts, the indicator stopped dead in the current. My first thought was that I had hooked up on bottom and I’d have to shorten the distance between indicator and fly. A gently tug on the line proved otherwise. Just as I raised my rod to free my hook, a giant silver torpedo (read steelhead) shot straight out of the water, and
took off like a bolt of lightning downstream.

Fighting an Ontario steelhead

Amidst all this, as I fumbled with the drag on the reel, I found myself fighting a massive knot in the fly line. I had so hastily grabbed my gear that I hadn’t even checked to see that everything was in order. My last trip with this reel would have been salmon fishing last fall……and the know was probably caused by the last salmon I hook after it peeled out line and caused a terrible mess within the reel that I failed to notice.

So of I went, running like a madman downstream chasing the fish……while disassembling my reel and trying desperately to untangle the mess. It was at about this time that my fishin partner showed up to lend a hand. He got himself about 60 feet downstream of me while I tried to
manouver the fish towards shore.

After a wonderful battle and many long runs…Tim landed her for me. A beautiful shiny steelhead to start the season.

A fresh ontario steelhead

We took a moment to inspect for tags, fin clips or anything. None of either were found. She was wild! A couple of quick shots and she was back in the water to continue upstream to fulfill her
instinctive desires.

Releasing a nice ontario steelhead

For more great fly fishing information visit: www.flyfishontario.ca


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Steelhead Fly Fishing, Ontario Fly Patterns, Free Fly Fishing Videos. What ever Ontario Fly Fishing information you are looking for, you are bound to find it with the help of Fly Fish Ontario. Don't forget to check out the full length online fly fishing video series Bingo Bango Fly Fishing.

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