The smell of black berries fermenting on the vine is sweet and syrupy – the result of daytime temperatures pushing one hundred degrees. A wall of smoke hangs down in the gorge with a spotter plane and occasional air tanker dropping in low. The half pounders grab hard and as the night bugs start to sing, so does my reel as a small adult yanks hard and long. My first adult steelhead on the two-handed rod – small by any standards, but made up for with a hard grab and long, finger rapping run. He was sitting right in the seam where I had nabbed a few last year and this was my second pass through the run for the evening – one of those nights when I left work with the intent of fishing only one spot at just the right time. A river to myself, no wind, fish landed and a crescent moon on the horizon coming home after dark.
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