Seeing the boats on the water for the first time was really something. These wooden boats are like works of art. Handcrafted by Greg himself, these Mackenzie style watercrafts take about 1,000 hours to build. Everything about them is custom and purposeful. The blend of style and function was particularly attractive to us as we pursue the same combination in our clothes. Can you get down the river in a metal boat? Sure. But after riding in a wooden boat, you'll never want to.
We rode the rapids and fished all day. We were looking for mostly rainbow trout, and caught a bunch. Like always, my brother and dad immediately established a competition and the trash-talking started between the two boats. It was a blue bird day and the temperature was in the low 60s. It was the perfect time to wear our new Lincoln Vest. The two chest pockets made access to my phone easy, which made documenting the great day (I didn’t catch too many on day one…) a lot easier.
The next day we went after steelhead. They have a reputation for being hard to find and harder to catch, but if you’re lucky enough to get one, you’ll never fish for anything else. We got lucky with the weather. It was a cold day with an overcast sky, and there was a heavy fog for much of the morning – ideal weather conditions for this sort or fishing.
Like I mentioned earlier, I didn’t do too well day one while Lan and my dad were pulling trout out of the cold water every other cast. So on day 2, I wanted a steelhead - badly.
We fished into the late afternoon, but had no bites. I had basically given up hope. We were getting close to the end of the trip and still no steelhead.
Then I got lucky.
No one probably cares about the details, so I’ll keep it short. After a 40 minute fight with this beast, I finally got him to the net. At 34 inches and 14 pounds, he was a really nice fish. Though we competed the whole time, my dad and brother took as much pride in catching him as I did. Taking pictures with them in the middle of one of the most beautiful rivers in America with a big fish was the most perfect way to end this unforgettable trip.
My one regret was not having my other 5 brothers with us. But there’s always next year. We just need a few more wooden boats, and they need their own gear – I’m not sharing mine.