In a few short hours I'll be sharing my favorite river with one of my boyhood idols. Harry Lemire and I will spend this week chasing winter steelhead on the North Umpqua. Frank Moore will join us on Wednesday. I'm hoping other friends will join us as well.
The river is running high, but will be dropping over the coming days. We have over 4,000 fish that have crossed the dam at Winchester in February, so fishing should be at least decent. Actually, fishing will be incredible with Harry and Frank...even if the "catching" turns out to be slow.
When I was 12 or 13 years old I bought my first steelhead fly fishing book. Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies by Trey Combs. In it, he outlines just a few of Harry's early achievments as a steelhead fly fishing pioneer. In the early 1990's, Trey wrote his third book on Steelhead fly fishing and again, Harry plays a huge role in the pages of this epic book, Steelhead Fly Fishing.
Harry and I have fished his home waters (Skagit and Sauk) as well as mine (North Umpqua and a secret coastal river) over the years and have always caught fish and had a great time on the water together. I always look forward to spending time with Harry. He and his friend, Stacy Lamaroux were instrumental in introducing me to my newest flyfishing pals, Justin Crump and Kate Taylor.
I don't know what the coming days will hold for us with regard to steelhead encounters. Of course I want us all to feel that powerful, electric grab we all live for. But if it doesn't happen, I really don't care. I want Harry to raise a fish more than life itself, and I know that I'll enjoy every minute that I get to spend with Harry and our other friends doing what we all love and cherish. Stayed Tuned!