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Chris McKee
"Attila64" - Guest Blogger

Brass and Steel

Guest Blog by: Chris McKee , Texas 12/22/2014
Standing in Cold water up the knee he casts the Spoon directly across the river. The other side is deeper as the channel makes a lazy curve in an arch away from where he is standing. Water is clear with a green tint from the reflection off the rocks. Each ripple is accented with the golden glow of the sun reflecting off of it. One would think this would make everything clear but the reflections just mask the view both directions.

Soon after the spoon hits the water the current draws the slack out and through the rod the rhythmic humming of the spoon can be felt. Tempo is important, to fast the spoon will porpoise out of the water and ruin the drift. To slow it is either snagged in the line or will get lost in the river rocks.

Once the tempo is set he holds his breath. The feel of the spoon has his full attention. At this moment the world slows down and the boy becomes one with the equipment at ready for the strike. Spoon finally makes it to the last of the drift and now needs to be reeled in. He starts to breath again and retrieves the spoon to make another cast.

While reeling he scans the river looking for a shadow or rise, something to indicate where his quarry my be hiding. At about 2 O'clock a shadow slowly hangs around the back side of a boulder submerged in the river. Could it be, his heart misses a beat then starts to race. He becomes so excited he reels the spoon all the way up and snap swivel gets tangled in the eyelet. As he relieves the pressure of the line and shakes the rod the spoon finds its way between the line and rod and tangles up at the tip.

He silently takes issue with powers higher than himself but realizes that will not help the situation. A plea is made to please allow him the grace to not be bothered by these little distractions in the pursuit of his intended prey. A quite deep breath is taken and again the eyes scan the area. Unfortunately the shadow appears to have disappeared. He will have to cast blindly again.

Many more casts are made each with the perfect rhythm to the spoon but the intensity of each cast is waning. He starts to wonder if he actually saw a shadow or just wishful thinking on his part. Well he decides to refocus his effort and casts again.

Line goes taunt the feel is awkward as if the spoon is tied up in the line. All of a sudden it clears up and starts to feel right as the current draws it across the zone. As the spoon reaches the 2:30 mark almost directly down river the tempo stops, goes cold, dead even then a Steelhead breaches the surface in a wonderful display then goes deep back across the river. The tension is back on the 8lb test as the fish races up the river and pulls every direction it can.

With the weight of the fish and the pull of the current this fish will need to be handled with patience and proper drag techniques. The fish decides to head down river and takes 75% of the line with it. He knows now he can not turn it as the fish is rapidly approaching the tail of the pool and about to go down to the next pool he opens the bail.

Just as he was hoping the sudden slack in the line fooled the fish into staying in the current pool. He watches his line continue to move back up the river while reeling just enough to keep the line from wrapping in the rocks. After the fish made it back up into the proper area he reapplies the pressure and fight is back on. As the fish and boy slowly tire he starts directing shorter runs to get the fish closer and closer. With no net he will have to gill this fish to land it.

As the tired fish drifts towards him he reaches down to gill the fish and slips just enough to alert the fish the end is near. With one last leap the fish evades his grip and throws the line. In a combination of shock and utter bewilderment he starts to ask what had he done wrong.

He discovered the line had not broken but the brass snap swivel had pulled straight allowing the spoon to slip off. The snap swivel he used did not have the little hook to prevent it from pulling out like the steel ones. Up until this time he had never considered it being a possibility. Form that day forward he never used that kind of snap swivel again.
Have lived in all over the United States and served in the Marines in Asia. I have fished all these regions for almost anything that will bite Salmon, Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch,Cusk, Carp, Crappie, Blue Gill, White Bass Pickerel, Cod, Rock Cod, Halibut, Flownder and many others. By the graces of the almighty it came to be I am now and plan on forever more being a citizen of the Great State of Texas. My favorite fish to go after are catfish especially the big Blues. Pound for pound I believe they are the strongest I have ever had the pleasure to fish for. I am also fond of White Bass and someday soon hope to start catching alligator gar.
Blog content © Chris McKee