Fly Fishing on the Klickitat River

Another day fly fishing for the elusive Klickitat River steelhead today. It was a beautiful morning, starting to get a little chilly; in the low forties to start out. Wading in a glacial ice melt river adds to the chilliness. October and November are the best months for fishing here so you have to handle the conditions if you want to catch fish.
I get in the river before first light, so a good strategy at this time of the day is to swing flies; cast out into the river and let the fly “swing” across the river downstream of you. This morning I started out with a Klickitat favorite; a purple and black fly on sinking fly line, 12lb. test tapered leader and 12lb. test fluorocarbon tippet. I was swinging my fly down this section of river

Klickitat River 10-4-12

I hate to say “the big one got away”, but today it was true. On the end of a swing, I started pulling line back. The line stopped and I thought I had a snag when I felt the telltale tugs of a steelhead shaking his head. I yanked on the rod and a nice sized fish started splashing around. I could tell by the bend in the rod that it was a nice fish, but after about thirty seconds, there was one last tug and the fish was gone. Kind of bummed, but I’ve only been fly fishing on the Klickitat a couple times so I can write it off as part of the learning curve. At least I know my gear is working and the fish are there.
Too windy for the Columbia again tomorrow so I’m back on the Klickitat. I’m going to get one of those steelhead!

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