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On the 36th hour I couldn’t keep my head up or my eyes open. Fatso’s pizza and wings finally took me down after the beginning day of a Steelhead bender. Luke and I made the 7 hour drive through the night arriving on the banks of the Salmon River at 3 in the morning. With a zombie like appearance we strapped on our headlamps and got rigged up in the 25 degree air. Crossing the river in almost complete darkness (not a good idea) Luke and I posted up on a solid run and watched the fire ball creep into the sky. Day one was now over and looking back on the days events, I still don’t know how we managed to fish the entire day without killing ourselves. When I spoke to my girlfriend that night she found it so bizarre that we put ourselves through this type of punishment day after day to chase a fish. I told her that she would never quite understand why until she too felt the tug. But, it is true. A guide in the Northwest told me that a steelhead angler is one of the heartiest anglers. We will go out in the middle of the winter on a windy snow blown day and say “there should be less of a crowd” when no other soul would even consider thinking about what we are about to do. It is a subculture that lives year around but comes to life in October-April. The rest of the year is fulfilled by catching trout on 6x tippet, tying bunny leeches and glo bugs and planning your fall Steelie trip. It is the fish and the environment in which it lives that drives us to the point of insanity.