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Ronan's report

Wednesday 18th March, 2009

Happy belated Saint Patrick’s Day. Hopefully you all have fully recovered from your green beer and whiskey induced hangovers.

Lots going on here in my neck of the woods.

Business Week just announced that Portland, OR is the "Unhappiest City" in the USA. The person who wrote that was probably a steelheader, since the fishing this winter has certainly not been giving us a lot to smile about. But things change as winter flows into spring.

The good news is that the weather is warming up and the rains have brought a fair number of fish into our rivers. The arrival of spring typically brings a big push of bright, native steelhead into the rivers. Smaller streams begin closing to protect spawning fish, but if you can intercept one of these beauties on their way to the headwaters, it’s something you won’t forget.

I managed to finally bring an end to the recent losing streak on Saturday, by nymphing up a pair of nice steelies in the morning before the river I was fishing blew out and muddied up. One was a spectacular wild hen of eight or nine pounds – plenty bright with just a touch of pink on the gill plates. A fish like that has the power to make you forget all those cold and wet days since the last big pull.

A couple of other guys I know also found fish, so I’m hopeful that the upcoming PNW Winter Steelhead Gathering will include the actual catching of a few fish. Rob is ready with the Trophy for International Steelhead Excellence (whatever that means), and we have at least two emergency steelhead on hand. I’m headed across the big river today to pick up some demo gear for us to try out from the boys at Rajeff Sports, including a couple of the new ECHO TR and Dec Hogan Series DH Rods. It should be a great event. Get in touch with me via email if you’d like to join us. Too bad Lars can't come. He knows how to tie a mean steelhead fly.

I’ve also been invited to be the featured fly tier at the monthly “Flies and Lies” gathering at the Fly Shop of The Dalles, in The Dalles, OR. That’s happening tonight (3/18), and at the time of this writing, I’m still not 100% sure what I’m going to tie, but I’m leaning towards a theme like Trout Flies of Yellowstone. If you’re nearby, stop in and check it out.

Fish On,

PS – Get going and sign Ronan’s Petition in opposition of salmon farming Ballynahinch River Estuary. Demand science based management. The science all shows that salmon farms within estuaries and near river mouths have significant adverse effects on wild, native salmon and sea trout populations. I’m a bit embarrassed that it took me so long to sign. #717 and counting…

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