Written by: Doc Thompson
Here is proof that a trout bum from the mountains of Northern New Mexico can find a few gems while feeling out of place on the Olympic Peninsula. After hearing steelhead stories for four years from Matt Cassel, I joined him for a four-day adventure on the OP last month with steelhead guru Rooster Leavens. They suggested I not shave for a couple days prior to the trip—somehow that would help bring good luck. They also suggested I not shower, again, for luck. And yes, wear the same shirt for luck. They warned me of rainy/cold weather. They were right, and fortunately, I had packed my Tailwaters rain jacket. I stayed dry and warm. As a guide, I always hope my clients listen to me, and now that I was the client, I wanted to do the same. Sometimes I did, and other times, it was ugly. Fortunately, I listened just enough and had enough luck on my side to land this hefty 20-pounder. We landed several steelies each day, remarkable for a steelhead trip! I’m a long way from calling myself a steelheader, but I’m definitely planning to go again.
Doc Thompson, 2006 Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide of the Year, operates High Country Anglers in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.