Washington Lewis River  Steelhead  Day #22 State #25 July 4, 2009 06/13/09 Pennsylvania
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Erik's World Class Fishing Adventures
Guide: Erik Brigham
1087 Lewis River Road, Suite 139
Woodland, WA 98674
Phone: 360-513-2331
Email: erik@columbiariverfish.com
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Is it Day #21 or Day #22?  We had a slight change of plans.  It turned out that our guide Eric Brigham had an opening for the afternoon/evening on July 3rd so we jumped on it.  If we could get our Steelhead fishing for Washington done in the evening then we would have the entire day of July 4th to drive the 780 miles to Bozeman, Montana.  It was a no-brainer.  Erik could also spend the day with his family – a rare summer treat for a fishing guide.

We met Eric and his deck hand, Mike on the Lewis River near Woodland, WA around 5PM.  I was no stranger to steelhead fishing – just a stranger to catching one.  Our family lived in Washington in 1997 and 1998.  It was during that year that I spent many a Saturday south of Seattle trying to catch one of these elusive fish.  But, given our blessed morning with Eric and Mike on the Columbia River we felt this would be our day.

First, let me say – our day on the Columbia and Lewis Rivers with Erik Brigham was an absolute joy.  Not only was the fishing “and” catching outstanding, but Erik’s personality is truly infectious - an awesome sense of humor, great father, and just a wonderful person to be around.  I couldn’t recommend him more highly.

Erik taught us a bit about the orchestration of steelhead fishing.  In fact, if done properly it actually looks a bit like a chorus line as the four of us in the boat each cast in unison – hopefully the video will illustrate that part.  An hour into our adventure we had landed 3 small steelhead – really small.  These were babies and not what we were looking for.  But, then it happened.  Taylor had a Mack truck of a steelhead slam his line and the fight was on – or so we thought.  Erik said, “you’re snagged up – break the line”.  Taylor said, “I just saw him jump!”   I thought, “let’s err on the side that this might be a fish.”  It sure looked like a snag to me.  The fish was dead stopped in 10 foot of water in swift current.  Erik maneuvered the boat up stream and that’s when the fish took off.  Dodging, darting, long-runs screaming out the drag, pull bent double.  Taylor was circling the boat as the fish gave it everything he had.  I don’t think you can ever have to big of a net.  After 10 minutes of exhilarating fun – it was high five time.  The first steelhead I had ever seen caught in person – I was elated for Taylor – a 10 pounder

An hour and a few more small steelhead toddlers later and I would get my chance.  It was the same kind of acrobatic fun.  I was skeptical that we would ever get the net under him, as we dodged countless sunken trees and stumps – but in the end both of us would have one, and as usual Taylor’s was a big bigger.

We never did find that store to buy that lottery ticket – probably best not to push our luck.  It was a wonderful day – one for the ages


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Fish    Last Updated July 4, 2009  - Copyright 2009