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FISHING LOGS: New England
Freshwater

STEELHEAD STORY, PART TWO

Posted By Rod Teehan, November 6, 2017
 (Part One appeared in last week’s Freshwater Report) While I maintained a tight line, Chris pulled the anchors, started the outboard engine, and putt-putted in reverse over to the blowdown. Once we were close to the snag, I was able to pull the steelie out far enough for Chris to attempt netting it. Because the current kept dragging us away, Chris kept the engine running to permit him to shift from neutral to reverse whenever he needed to adjust our position. Eventually, he had the boat positioned perfectly. With the engine in neutral again he leaned out to slip the bag beneath the fish at which moment either the net frame or bag caught on the shift lever and threw the engine back into reverse. The suddenly spinning propeller blades grabbed the mesh nearly ripping Chris overboard. Somehow, before he was injured and the net destroyed, Chris maintained the presence of mind to shift the engine back into neutral. But a good portion of the net was now wrapped around the propeller. All the while I just kept my line high over his head hoping the steelie would stay hooked. In what seemed an eternity Chris managed to disentangle the net which now sported a large tear in the side. Incredibly, he was able to net the trout and keep it from falling through the hole. The steelhead—my first-ever from the Salmon River—weighed 12.5 pounds. Later back at his house Frank told us we had put on quite a show. Lots of people were watching and laughing. Yeah, we might have put on a show, but it certainly wasn’t a clinic. At least not one on how to handle a steelhead.
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