This hard working dog has a good life!
Ironically, it was when the river pushed at my knees that I felt the most grounded. ~April Vokey
We were there when it was 25 degrees and our eyelets froze with every cast. We were there when the flow was rising, dropping or holding steady. We were there on weekends or the chance weekday. We were there with a buddy, a happy dog, or simply on our own.
We stood frigid and tense on icy riverbanks. We trudged down muddy trails. We tied and retied, snagged and broke off. We waited, and waited some more. Roll casting. Mending. Roll casting. Mending. Hoping for a steelhead to take that lucky egg or swung fly.
And we caught fish. In big pools, small pockets and narrow runs. Some in shallow tail outs and others near barrier falls. In Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Our rods throttled. Our adrenaline pumped. Our sprits lifted.
We were on river time.
I spent my last steelhead outing with a good friend and my dad last weekend. We were there right up to the end, when the steelhead were dark in color and dropping back to the big lake. We managed to land one fish.
We were stopped for a creel survey and asked the usual questions. We rated our experience on a one to five scale (always a five for me), reported the number and species of fish caught, and we disclosed more guarded information about what we caught them on.
But it was the simple questions that hung us up.
“What time did you start fishing here?” the surveyor asked me. “About Noon?”
He had just asked my friend and dad the same question and assumed my answer would be the same.
“No I think we started around 1:30,” I told him.
Yep, we were clearly on river time. When the day is measured by the number of rivers fished, short takes on a swung fly, cars parked at popular holes, and the length of that steelhead that ripped line from our spools.
Now it’s time to transition out of steelhead season. Maybe we’ll tie a few crayfish and target smallmouth. Maybe we’ll spend some slow nights tending to the garden. Whatever it takes.
And we’re okay with that transition because we know we’ll be there again, settling in to our favorite runs, chasing steelhead on river time.
Video by Cory Mooney.
“The world-class riding opportunities that exist within Duluth city limits are the direct result of a community rich in cycling advocates.
Advocate Cycles brings the Watchman fatbike to Duluth, Minnesota to showcase what the area has to offer. From dawn until dusk—this video takes us on a ride from the top of the hill all the way down to the frozen shoreline of Lake Superior.
Music by Teague Alexy with riding and appearances by Casey Krueger, Andy Kienitz and Caleb Wendel.”