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Trinity River: , by Luke Geraty: Steelhead Dreams on the Trinity River: 3 stars

I have learned to manage my steelhead expectations with a simple assumption: it will be a great day if we touch one fish. You read that right... I didn't say LAND a fish... I said TOUCH a fish. Steelhead can be extremely challenging to catch because they aren't always in the river system, they can be spooky, and it's been said they are the fish of a thousand casts. Anyone who has put in the time knows that hooking them is half the battle -- putting them in the net is another story. Enter Gavin and JT, two teens I had the pleasure of guiding today on the Trinity River. Since JT's dad is a Confluence Guide (Mike Wright), I let him know that I'd be holding him to an excessively high standard and since both of them have been to fly fishing camp(!!), they had better not disappoint! Well they proved they have the skills to pay the bills... or at least catch some fish! We put in around 8am and shortly into the drift hooked a nice 'tweener that was somewhere around 16 inches long. Apparently no one told that fish it was small though and it gave up quite a fight for its size. A short time later and the "old man dad boat" hooked a nice adult fish, so the score was tied. Not bad for the beginning to a beautiful sunny day and we already had a great steelhead fishing trip on the books because we'd touched not one but TWO fish! But Gavin and JT decided to crack things open some more and within the next hour we had hooked three more adults, landing two of them! Gavin's first fish was a beautiful hatchery fish that took three powerful runs before we finally managed to put it in the net and snap a quick photo. After enjoying the moment and reflecting on just how great these fish fight, JT made a terrible cast but under my expert tutelage he was able to hook and land a fresh chrome wild buck. Full disclosure, we developed that story and I made sure to embelish it with the "terrible cast" and insert the "expect tutelage" into the story. Guides have to coach retelling stories too, ha ha! JT's fish took a run toward some branches hanging in the water but JT played it perfectly and turned the ffish and after the fish gave up some powerful head shakes, we put it in the net. Again we took a moment to appreciate that fish and live in the moment but before we could even start to think about the rest of the day, Gavin hooked ANOTHER adult! Three fish in less than fifteen minutes? Yes please! Unfortunately right when we were about to put that fish in the net, the hook pulled out and we all let out loud sigh of disappointment. But we saw it and Gavin fought it for awhile and we knew we'd just had an incredible moment. It was cool that most of it happened while "old man dad boat" was able to enjoy watching these young men put in work, plus we have a lot of it on video and I'm sure it'll make a future YouTube river report soon. At any rate, hard to complain about a day on the Trinity when you're with cool people, enjoy marvelous scenery, and know that you've touched fish that have travelled some mileage from the ocean and evaded sharks and seals and many other natural predators. The rest of the day slowed down with just a couple grabs from half pounders but no fish to net. But we were all smiles anyway because the Trinity delivered another wonderful day with lots of fun and excitement. Book your next fishing trip on the Trinity and try your hand at touching a bit of chrome steel! 

All smiles!
All smiles!
Fathers and sons on the Trinity.
Fathers and sons on the Trinity.
The fall colors are looking good.
The fall colors are looking good.
Gavin's nice adult fish.
Gavin's nice adult fish.
JT's wild chrome buck!
JT's wild chrome buck!
Next 10 open days for Luke Geraty: Mar 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17
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