my paradise…

I live just over an hour away from the nearest rivers with steelhead running in them. This makes it just far enough that when I go, I feel committed… but close enough that I can fish it early in the morning, then return to work by noon. With the good weather, I felt lucky to be where I am.

I fished one of these rivers this morning and learned two new things about fishing this time of the year… First, is that sucker fish [aka: white sucker (Catostomus commersonii)] also spawn about this time of the year and they hold in water similar to steelhead, perhaps in slightly deeper waters. They seem to love the egg pattern and you find yourself catching many of them, as you search for steelhead. I caught a bunch of these sucker fish today, some pretty big & giving me a good fight. They may not be the prettiest fish, but it sure is fun catching them. You have to appreciate that they are there, I sure did.

Second, is that I really enjoy catching steelhead, but for reasons that are different than I originally thought (which being they are big and powerful). I love catching big fish as much as the next guy, but as I caught the second steelhead of my life, I found myself mesmerized by their beauty more than size. As my fishing journey continues, I find myself learning to appreciating all kinds of fish in their own way regardless of size or shape, and the different challenge each kind puts forth. I guess this is why I love the different seasons so much, as each provides an opportunity to target different fish. I am sure I will enjoy this steelhead season, but I look forward to summer when I will find bass, bluegills, & northern pikes at the end of my line.

I can’t recall where I read it, but I recall explaining to a non fishing friend one night after many drinks that fishing is a way to experience nature, but experience it through participation. That the uncertainty of fishing is the attractor that keeps one coming back. I’ll probably never be one of those guys who fish so well that they catch fish each and every time, but I am starting to think that it’s okay to stay that way. If I do catch fish each & every time, I’m pretty sure I’ll be bored and move onto something else. But for now, I am far away from that worry becoming a realization, so until then – fish come to me.


  1. as the weather warms the sucker will increase edging out the all to lovely steelhead before you are ready. eventually leaving only the sucker. I recommend heading up to the milwaukie and swinging flies for some drop back now! As the world turns my friend......