My buddy Dave got a hold of me this past summer and wanted
to hook into a steelhead and book a trip on the Trinity River, I combined his
desire with an early 50th birthday present to myself and it was a done deal. It
had been 15 years since I last fished the currents of the Trinity for the
mighty steelhead, you know, the fish of a thousand cast as they say. The
Trinity watershed is dear to my heart, as a young boy my father and I fished
the upper river before it dumps into Trinity lake, and also fished noted
tributaries such as Coffee creek, Eagle creek, and Blue Tangle creek. We used
to go for a couple weeks every June after the bulk of the snowpack melted.
During those times I honed my fly fishing skills and created memories that I
cherish to this day since my dad passed away. As we started our float yesterday
I held those memories close to me, with a hope of hooking into an elusive fish
that has power and strength beyond belief.
I’ll admit I was a little rusty in my nymphing presentations
since I rarely get to fish on my own anymore, but it soon came back and I got
into the zone, focusing on every drift, and mending away. My first hook up was
a complete rush! The aerial acrobatics these fish display when first hooked is
heart stopping, followed by long runs, and deep bullish tugs of authority. You
may be able to stop a trout most of the time, but when it comes to fighting a
steelhead - They’ve got the upper hand, they’re in control. My first fish was a
beautiful wild hen. I hooked three more throughout the day, one spit the hook,
one broke a hook in half (that fish was beyond toad status, a real athlete!),
and the last I fought for quite a while before outsmarting me and wrapping me
up on the bottom. I was in heaven.
Our veteran guide was Jason Cockrum who makes his home in
Truckee, Ca along with his adorable family. Jason is an awesome guide who
approaches guiding the same way I do; It’s the client’s day, and they come
first no matter the circumstances while providing the knowledge and instruction
despite the skill set. Jason is a great teacher and has SO much patience, along
with a wealth of information on the Trinity River. My buddy Dave was a complete
rookie with everything to do about fly fishing, let alone steelheading. Jason
worked tirelessly with Dave until he hooked into his first ever steelhead. I
think I was more stoked than the both of them. Jason is an independent guide
and you can contact him here by clicking the link; Jason Cockrum Fly Fishing.
He also works out of the Clearwater Lodge taking guests on the Fall River, the
Pit, and the Lower Sacramento just to name a few. the Clearwater Lodge is a
must experience, unbelievable food and accommodations for the the fly angler
who wants the very best. Jason is such a good dude and a pleasure to be on the
water with! One of the things I was most impressed with is that Jason networks
with quite a few guides on the Trinity like Dave Neal and others. As we floated
down the river they would be texting each other sharing reports on certain
buckets, and helping a brother out. Commeruatity like that on such a river
infested with so many guides, boats, and anglers was refreshing to see.
Dave and I have already planned our next fall trip in 2016
with Jason on the Trinity River, we had an absolute blast! If you’re looking
for a top quality guide for the State of Jefferson, look no further; Jason
Cockrum is the man and a true troutstalker of the highest level!