Time: 05:00
River: Skykomish
Reel: Pflueger Trion 30
Rod: Okuma Celilo 9' 6"

Don't you love it when you compose the most beautiful vignette, and then your internet connection ceases to exist? Take two, Washington Lakes.

This wet, 51 degree morning, I had the privilege of training astute Bass angler, Rich and guide trainee, E-Mag, on the lustrous waters of the Sky. She has been kind as of late, and always seems to reward those anglers who choose luck, over fishing (preparation plus opportunity, people).

We decided to stretch out our legs since the Rockstar Mocha and black coffee didn't kick in that well this wet morning, and stroll on down to the fishing hole. Rich and I talked about technique real quick, rigged up the float and scented the jigs up. The third, long lined cast down (spoon fishermen, I challenge you!) the float was met with a sudden halt, and rod with an aggressive bend; this scrappy contestant nearly ripped the rod away! A few long, drawn out runs, a dozen head shakes and numerous up and down rod bends later, Rich landed his first Skykomish River Steelhead; respectable in weight around 10 pounds minimum. When it comes to scent, I highly recommend covering yours up in any way, shape or form, due to the fact that 1/3 of a Steelhead's brain is strictly dedicated to olfactory senses. Though many may say that the visual acuity of the Steelhead accounts for the majority of hook ups, never forget your foundation.

100 casts with multiple jigs, drift gear and spoons later, we got bored; happily, the Steelhead sitting in the hole answered, with the lack of response (I could hear them cry "throw something new, knucklehead"). So off we went down river, turning our jigs into Exxon Valdez replicas and slightly lowering our depth; It's a good thing that Rich chose pink, because shortly after, he was met by a willing "float down" candidate, armored and ready for battle. This Steelhead was significantly smaller in size than the last, but great in willpower to pop Rich's jig into oblivion. It sported short, sprint-like runs, aerial attempts and one single drawn out run, that led to a nearly drowned guide (me...). Two soaked arms, a bunch of thrown boulders and the precursor to my current common cold later, I tailed this stubborn beast of a fish. On the beach, Steelhead heart punched and catch card maxed out, we departed from the illustrious, alluring waters of the Skykomish River. Note to self: Bass anglers do not mess around with hook setting; I salute you, my fellow brethren!

If you're looking for a once in a lifetime experience, want to tune in your Steelhead angling skills, increase the efficacy of your outings, and procure the rock solid confidence that will provide you the opportunity to bag a Chrome Ghost each outing, I'd be honored to walk with you and see you to the pinnacle of your angling career, regardless of experience level.