You are using an outdated browser. For a faster, safer browsing experience, upgrade for free today.

Loading...

View All Fishing Reports

Trinity River: , by Luke Geraty: Mark caught his first metal face!: 3 stars

This is the tale of a good dude and that elusive fish of a thousand casts. Mark and I have been chasing steelhead together for a few years and though he's landed half pounders and caught a lot of big trout on the Sacramento River, he'd yet to land an adult metal face on the Trinity. But it hadn't been because he hadn't tried! It's been said that the steelhead is a fish of a thousand casts but I know a lot of really good anglers who would maybe add a few more casts to that number. But there's something special about a fish that survives the perilous waters of the ocean, dodging sharks and sea lions and all of the other natural enemies, not to mention nets and all of the other human things that have damaged their spawning ritual and existence. My point? Landing a steelhead is something special and if you don't pause to take it all in, you may just miss out on part of the blessing of connecting with one of these trophies... and trophies they all are.

At any rate, Josh James and I were doing an exploratory trip on the Trinity recently and Mark joined us. Josh is a Confluence Guide and he brought the 'ole spey pole with and we shot some video but were mostly hoping that Mark would connect with one of those amazing unicorns. The weather was beautiful -- sunny and in the 50's. Hard to complain about steelheading in such weather, especially since I spent most of my earlier days chasing them in Alaska and I didn't even know it was possible to target anadromous fish if it wasn't pouring rain and nearly freezing! Oh the wonders of fly fishing in Northern California!

As we floated down the Trinity River in my Flycraft raft, we came to one of my favorite runs and pulled over to make casts, fly the drone, and take some time to make our thousand casts. Boy I wanted Mark to get one! Like... I REALLY wanted Mark to catch one. He's paid his dues... he's earned his stripes... and I offered up numerous prayers along the way asking the good Lord to bless his line! And that's when it happened... I hooked a beautiful wild steelhead. Ha ha! Sorry Mark! The fish came right at me and I had to jump out of the water and backtrack while lifting my rod high and stripping in line as fast as I could in order to do my best to not only KEEP it tight, but to GET tight line! The stars aligned and Josh, being the expert guide that he is, put it in the net. It ate a small nymph and as I took a moment to admire it, I noticed it had a large cut on it's side. I wondered if it had been chased by a sea lion or maybe had an eagle attack it. I'll never know, but I didn't take that moment for granted.

After we pounded that water and made two million casts, we hopped back in the raft and were back on the chase. Mark needed a fish. He now knew there actually WERE some steelhead in the river and he wanted one. And we wanted one for him too. So we continued making casts and fished hard until it finally happened. And oh did it happen!

When we came to a spot that Josh and I have both caught a LOT of fish at over the years, we had Mark make a bunch of casts. It was probably pretty overwhelming for him to have two guides constantly telling him to mend, sometimes in opposite directions just to mess with him. But he largely ignored us and just kept casting and mending and setting on anything that looked like a fish. After about twenty casts, all of that time spent ignoring us paid off and he hooked an adult steelhead! And not only did he hook it, he fought it and it fought back and they did battle and he finally landed it. High fives and fist bumps commenced and we couldn't have been more happy.

The fish of a thousand casts? For Mark it was more like the fish of multiple trips and lots of hard work. But it was so worth it... just ask him.

Hey, even Luke got one!
Hey, even Luke got one!
Mark’s beautiful steelhead
Mark’s beautiful steelhead
A closer look at Mark’s fish
A closer look at Mark’s fish
Josh James throwing spey bombs
Josh James throwing spey bombs
Next 10 open days for Luke Geraty: Jun 1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 20, 21, 23, 28, 29
Book our Guides Online!