Dave Graybill - 12/6/2011
Boy, I could get used to all this sunshine. Coupled with warm days it makes for a great time on the water. Some anglers are out after steelhead on our area rivers and others are after triploid rainbow trout on Rufus Woods. There really hasn’t been any wind either, which makes it even better. I hope the trend holds as I have a couple of trips planned to the Methow in the coming week.
I did manage to get out on the water in the Pateros area. I jumped on board Shane Magnuson’s boat to shoot video for the new cable television show. He had two clients on his boat, and I had fished with the pair earlier this season down on Drano Lake for spring salmon. Bob Hall is from Camano Island and his fishing buddy, Pete Fiones is from Gig Harbor. They traveled to Pateros when Shane told them about the hot steelhead action. They had fished with Shane here before and didn’t waste any time getting over here.
We started the day down river in the area know as The Rocks. It’s a good thing I had plenty of memory cards for the camera, because we were into fish almost immediately. The first steelhead that Bob Hall hooked was a really big wild fish. We guessed its weight at 14 pounds when we got it next to the boat for release. Hall had the hot rod at this spot. He brought four to the boat and got a nice keeper before Shane decided to change location. The Maxi-Jig made by Yakima Bait in the Sunrise color was the hot ticket on the Columbia. The hooks were baited with the shrimp that Magnuson makes, that are died red and have a touch of his Graybill’s Guide Formula in the carton.
We didn’t have to run far to set up at the next spot. Magnuson ran the boat up under the bridge at the mouth of the Methow and then proceeded up the estuary a short distance. He was careful to change jigs before Bob and Pete started casting. You see we were in the Methow River now and the rules change. No bait or scent is allowed here, and even if the jig you were using before had a barbless hook, it may still have scent on the feathers or hair. That’s a no-no on the Methow.
It turned out that not having bait on our jigs didn’t affect the action. This time Pete had the hot rod and his bobber was going down often. Magnuson was busy grabbing the net, and I was busy with my camera recording the action. In pretty short order Bob and Pete had their limits in the fish box, and since it was so early asked me if I would like to make some casts. You bet I did! I threw out where they had been placing their casts, and in about 15 minutes I had two hatchery fish in the box. Magnuson even hooked a hatchery fish while texting a message on his phone, which shook the hook when he got it next to the boat. We had fished less than three hours and had hooked 16 steelhead, got 13 to the boat and had six keepers in the box. That’s pretty good steelhead fishing in anybody’s book.
I am heading back up north to do some more video, and I am really looking forward to it. My plan for the new show, which is an hour long, is to spend the first half of the show doing a tutorial on the kind of fishing my “guest” specializes in. The second half of the show will take place on the water, using the techniques they described.
The first trip will be to the Methow where I will meet up with Keith Roe. He checks fish on this river and others in the area for the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and on his days off can be found casting a bobber and jig, usually on the Methow. He has a finely honed technique for catching steelhead, and he catches an incredible number each season. He has agreed to allow me to capture his description of what he uses and even, if conditions allow, video of him showing how he actually catches fish. This should make for an excellent show in January.
A couple of days later the plan is to meet Kevin van Bueren, North Cascades Fly Fishing, also on the Methow. I have fished the Methow with Kevin before, and he has shown me how he instructs his clients and he himself catches steelhead on the river. He will describe his tackle and favorite flies in the first half of the show, and then we will put all this together on the river. Getting video of van Bueren actually catching steelhead will be so cool! You can tell I am very excited about the new television show. I did sessions with both Roe and van Bueren way back when I did shows in the studio. These shows aren’t available any longer, but viewers will be able to see the new programs whenever they want on their computers with a click of a button. Wow! I will have four great shows lined up for January, and you will be able to see the schedule on my web site right after the first of the year, and instructions on how to log on and view them.
As you can see, I have a busy shooting schedule this month to get ready for the debut of the new show in January. My wife, Eileen, will be busy putting the shows together, and we sure hope you enjoy them.
Dave Graybill - The Fishin' Magician
week of Dec 6th, 2011