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North Coast: , by Drew Griffith: Closing time: 3 stars

I just wrapped up my last winter steelhead trip of the season with Roff and Bob from Mendocino. We had a typical wet welcome for our first day that saw us on the Smith River due to everything else in the neighborhood being blown out. By noon the rain had lifted and gave way to a picture perfect spring day on the coast. We poked around up river but by days end came up empty handed. Day two we floated the main stem and had it nearly all to ourselves. A marked difference from earlier in the season that can see heavy boat pressure and bank pressure. We got Roff dialed into his spey cannon, a Sage X 10150. Yup, a 15 ft 10 wt. Roff got into a groove by mid day and was making some epic casts. Finally it came down to the last run of the day as the sun dipped behind the redwood curtain. Bob found one in the bottom of the run.  A shiny little buck hammered his fly on the hang down and preceded to but on a nice show for all three of us before we netted him and sent him on his way. I can't think of a better way to end my season guiding for these elusive fish. 

The last day of fishing for winter steelhead is coming to an end for the 2019 season. Most rivers will be closed starting tomorrow, 4/1/2019. Two exceptions are the Smith River and the main stem Eel River. The Eel continues to remain high and muddy after recent rains took her off the table. There was a window when nearly all of the South Fork was fishing and reports were good. The Main Stem came oh so close but again, no cigar. With more wet weather forecast into April it's anyones guess when the main will come back online. The Smith will see another nice bump of rain during this coming week, but fishing has slowed down considerably. Most of the fish in the system are down runners headed back to sea at this point. Although there are a run of smaller "blueback" steelhead that always make an appereance during spring, the majority of the fish have come and gone. All in all it was a good season on the coast that saw better numbers of fish but fewer fishable days due to a very wet winter. The game certainly isn't for everyone but for those who braved cold mornings and soggy afternoons in the hopes of feeling that electric grab I am eternally grateful. Thanks to everyone who came and fished with me this season on the coast! See you next time. 

Spring break weather
Spring break weather
Bob and Roff with a dandy chrome steelhead
Bob and Roff with a dandy chrome steelhead
Bob and yours truly with a buzzer beater
Bob and yours truly with a buzzer beater
Bob with a nice bend in his rod
Bob with a nice bend in his rod
Roff getting dialed into his 10150 Sage X
Roff getting dialed into his 10150 Sage X
Next 10 open days for Drew Griffith: Mar 2, 3, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
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