The Fish That Took Three Anglers to Land

I’LL NEVER FORGET THE EPIC BATTLE THAT TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THREE ANGLERS AND A TROPHY SALMONID ONE FREEZING DECEMBER MORNING IN 2010.

I was having the time of my life on a steelhead fishing trip with my great friends Louis Cahill and Murphy Kane. We had made the long drive up from Georgia to chase after Great Lake steelhead for a week. Many of the rivers that feed into the Great Lakes hold huge numbers of salmon, steelhead and brown trout. Unfortunately those large concentrations of fish also attract every fishermen within a 100 plus square mile radius. We all agreed we couldn’t handle putting up with shoulder to shoulder fishing conditions, so we came up with a strategic plan to avoid it at all costs. Our strategy was simple, watch the extended weather forecast, and try to plan our trip around the nastiest weather we could find. This way, angler traffic would be at its lowest and we’d hopefully have plenty of water to ourselves.

A week later I got the call from Murphy that a huge snow storm was rolling in, and we all immediately needed to pack our gear and hit the road. It ended up being one hell of an adventure just making the trip up there. We had to drive in snow and ice conditions from North Carolina all the way up to New York. I’ve never in my life seen so many wrecks and vehicles sliding off the road. I’ll tell you one thing, it wasn’t easy driving on snow covered roads with sheer drop offs on both sides, and having to guess where your lane begins and ends for hours on end. If that’s not bad enough, then add to that having to safely pass eighteen wheelers that are throwing up blankets of snow on your windshield completely whiting you out for a couple seconds at a time. My ass was puckered up so tight during that drive up, I don’t think the jaws of life could have opened them.

God willing we survived the treacherous drive up to New York and our strategic plan ended up paying off big time. Temperatures never climbed above the teens during the trip, and I remember the wind blowing a constant 20mph with gusts 35-40mph. You had to really want to catch fish to hack it in those arctic conditions. The strange smell of butter filled the air from us constantly spraying down our rod guides with Pam in our efforts to fight off ice build up. Apparently none