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Gualala River Metal

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  • Gualala River Metal

    You know it does happen, once in awhile, that your dream steelhead trip comes true! For me it happened to be fishing with my Dad and a good friend on the Gualala River in the late 2000's. It was one of those fishing trips that was made extra special, not just in the numbers of fish we hooked and landed (We nearly lost count) but because it was a picturesque day with great company. It will be one trip that is always etched in the memory bank of a son who had the joys of fishing with his dad. If you have ever read much about the silver metalheads of the Pacific northwest you should be familiar with the 100/1 ratio that seems to hold true for so many fisherpeople that pursue these special fish. For every one fish caught you might spend up to 100 hours on in the water fishing to catch that one fish. This trip was definitely an outlier in the steelhead statistic book. Let me offer my fish tale about a wonderful day with my Dad.

    My dad and I could not have forecasted that this particular February day was going to be one for the records and one day we'd both remember for the rest of our lives. In fact, it started off anything but ideal for It was cold and raining sheets when we left our house at 3:00am. We figured that after a two and a half hour drive we'd pull up to a blown out river that was unfishable. All battle tested metalhead junkies have experienced this nightmare scenario at least once during their tenure of metal pursuits! However, the fish "god" was looking out for us today because by the time we arrived at the river's bank the downpour had become just a light mist and fog. Better yet, the river was a perfect "steelhead green" with just the right amount of color (these coastal rivers are known to be perpetually in a state of "low-flow). Needless to say our fears of a bust day quickly turned into fantasies of fabulous fishing busting loose.

    We dropped the boat into the river As quick as we could as I tended to it and to preparing our fishing gear while my Dad and our good fishing partner drove a few miles down river to drop the truck off at the takeout spot. Note* Anyone who has ever drift boated the Gualala River knows: it is mostly private property along the banks. We happened to be one of a select few that had been given the rights to launch from a private gravel bar and the takeout was the same: private property making it substantially easier to fish by drift boat.

    Stay tuned for more.....
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