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Leaves, rain, slippery rocks, hard falls, fog, raging currents, wind and miles water ahead. Steelheading, the way we do, is not easy. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a relaxing day on the water. From sun up until sun down we forge rivers. We don’t break for lunch. We don’t small talk and we cover miles of river. So today marked our third day of fly fishing on the Salmon River. We were determined to hook some steelhead, but we had a honey hole packed with big Brown Trout if times got tough. We started at a guaranteed steelhead run. Wrong! We walked down to the river laughing and joking about all the steelies we were going to hook. First stretch, nothing. Second stretch, nothing. Third stretch, zip. Wow! We should have known, nothing is ever guaranteed. So, we walked to our trucks with our tales between our legs and heads hung low. Then, we snapped out of it. We showed up to another spot that was almost a guarantee, zero. Ok boys, let’s go get them Browns. That was a guarantee. The sun was shining on our honey hole and there were more Browns than the day before. We could see them flashing everywhere. It was not long before everyone was hooked up, multiple times. But, as fun as that was, we all had steelies on the brain and the big Browns just weren’t cutting it. So, we left our honey hole and all those big Browns and went in search of steel. There were only a few hours of daylight left and we had to work hard. It would have been easy to call it quits or not put in the extra effort to get the perfect drift. I was trying every trick in the book and the more tired I got, the harder I worked. Actually, in the last hour, everyone got back in the swing of things. We knew the steelies were in a certain run, but we were running out of time. I looked across river at an overhanging tree. It would have been easy to convince myself not to cross the river and make a drift that looked promising. But, I did just the opposite. I crossed the river. I cut through the brush. I edged my way upstream and positioned myself as best I could. I was backed up against all sorts of overhanging branches. I could see the seem that I wanted to drift. So I threw a long upstream cast. The fly began to make its downstream drift and my indicator was moving at the exact same speed as the bubbles. Wham! The steelie hammered my fly. This was not the typical indicator jiggle. In fact, I never even noticed the indicator because I noticed the fish first. He lit right up. He exploded with anger and tore across river. The first run was blistering hot and the second run was just as good. It was surely a great battle and Joey helped me land the fish. We all felt a sense of relief because we had all worked hard for the steelies and we were just glad that one of us finally tied into one. So, it was clearly exciting for me to tie into a hot steelhead. Of course it would be that’s why I am here. But, in the long run it is what I learned that will stick with me for a lifetime. If you want something, fish or not fish related. You can and will get it. Just work hard, don’t expect it to be easy, don’t do the bare minimum and never quit. We know where they will be tomorrow! It’s absolutely not guaranteed.