The news said it was going to snow and snow hard within the next few days. Nobody likes driving in the snow when it dumps 12 inches overnight and it’s Monday, so I headed down to the Clackamas River near Barton Park. It was one of those 20 degree days that you can just feel the steel hiding in the shadows. After an extended departure from my well heated truck, I put my wading gear on, grabbed my Echo 3 8136 Spey Stick and my pup Sage and headed down to the water.
Armed with an arsenal of Intruders and marabou tubes, I dove into a stretch of water with a strong run that transforms into a deep channel with a shallow tailout. My first run at this stretch was a bust but I could feel it, they were in there, maybe just a little deeper this time. I threw on an Airflo F.I.S.T. 570 gr head and went back to work.
Knowing that these chromers were hiding in the depths, I shot my line a little farther up this time and altered its track with a soft mend that allowed it to gain some depth. “There you are,” I said in a whisper as I felt the gentle taps at the end of my line. I waited for the magic to happen and it was no surprise when the harder tug came just seconds later. I gently lifted my rod and my reel started to whine as she made a break for it. After a short yet memorable battle, I was able to tail my new friend, and after a quick handshake, I released her back into the cascading beauty of the Northwest waters.
After a 30 minute game of “chase the stick” with Sage I deemed my day a success and drove back to the warmth of home and dreams of next time.