Fly Fishing With a River Damsel and a Cardboard Kirk

by Rebecca on March 14, 2011

in Fly Fishing for Steelhead

The sleepy look of 5 a.m.

This weekend I had the privilege of taking Emily aka The River Damsel out for two days of fly fishing.

Our first day of fly fishing took us to an un-named river fly fishing for big brown trout. In typical Rebecca fashion, the batteries on my camera were dead and I didn’t have backup. So the big browns that were caught shall remain in memory forever…

I may have scared Emily off from ever going fly fishing with me again with this next twist, but for our second day of fly fishing it was deemed Steelhead time and in order to do that, we had to leave town at 3:00 A.M. I’ve never heard anyone refer to Steelhead fishing as a leisure sport, and Emily took this first Steelhead initiation like a trooper…with a smile. Off to the S.F. of the Clearwater we went.

"Just Happy To Be Here"

Now, since we are generous fly fisherman, we decided to bring along another angler with us for Steelhead day. He didn’t even grumble about the 3 a.m. wake up call, nope, not at all. In fact, the only words out of his mouth all day were, “Just Happy To Be Here” ….

Kirk Werner of the Unaccomplished Angler tagged along with me everywhere on Saturday. If truth be told, he was a bit needy in the fact I had to carry him down rocky embankments, hold him up out of the water while I waded through the swift areas and even went as far as strapping him to my chest just to keep my hands free and his feet dry.

Now, I can’t believe I’m going to admit this next part, but it sure gave Kirk a thrill, so I’ll mention it. Only I could be out swinging for Steelhead and catch my nemesis. A whitefish. No, make that…a freaking Whitefish. Emily said, and I quote…”That’s a bad omen.” And sadly, I’m sure she’s right.

Mr. Kirk and Mr. Whitefish share a moment....

Although I was dying a thousand fish deaths inside for hauling in a whitefish on a steelhead day, Kirk–Mr. Just Happy To Be here–was so excited that he accidently took his first dunk in the water for the day. Whoops! But he wanted in on the whitefish action, so after rescuing him from floating away, I obliged.

Fun Times, Fun Times….

The Steelheading was tough on the first river we went to, so we made a change of rivers and headed south to try our hand at the smaller steelhead on the Little Salmon River.

Lunchtime for Kirk

Beer Time For Kirk




However, we did have to make a pitstop for waterlogged Kirk who was hungry and thirsty.

The River Damsel.....Unaccomplished Angler....Outdooress

And then we did a little sightseeing……

Hanging Out

And then I strapped Kirk back into the fly pack and we were off  Fly Fishing for Steelies again….

R-Dub Special

When Emily first came to town she gifted me a little box of Steelhead flies she had acquired from some great fly tyers. In the last hour of the day I reached for that box and pulled out a Lightening Bug that Rory from the blog R-Dub Outdoors had tied up and put it on. I’m glad I did….

And now, for your viewing pleasure, a steelhead on the fly. I have to formally apologize to Kirk though, I know it was a bad friendship move to unceremoniously toss him to the ground when this steelhead took me through the first fun phase of the catch, but well… must make sacrifices in times of great struggle….
Thanks for coming up Emily and Thank You Slayer for driving us and the video!


{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

ClifNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 1:54 pm

My god, she’s back AND she’s on video.


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:47 pm

I know!

Shocking…on all 3 valid points =)


ClifNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

I should be more careful around people who write good.


IvanNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

From the looks of it, you three (i suppose it was four) had a good time this weekend. Were there a plethora of curses heaved in the direction of the whitefish? Or does last year’s resolution not apply to 2011?


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Ummm……well lets just say it’s a good thing Emily was there to remind me to “be nice to the whitefish”

I did make him kiss Cardboard Kirk…would that be considered a form of Whitefish cruelty?


IvanNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm

I think if you made the whitefish kiss Real-life Kirk it might be considered cruelty.


ShoremanNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

When I found out Emily was heading out to Idaho, I asked her if she was planning to see anyone we knew (mainly you) and she hemed and hawed and never comitted. Glad you two had a good time. Nice steelie. Nice to see what they look like.



RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:50 pm


I’ll get you into some Steelhead that like to play


OwlNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm


If I had known there was a chance to fish with you guys by proxy, I’d have made Emily take a burlap sack filled with foam with her. ;) And as for the camera thing…I specifically insisted that Emily take photos. They don’t show up somewhere, I’m going to hitch-hike my way out there and noogie some heads. LOL

No matter how the steelheading turned out, it looks like you found adventure in every…oh you know….


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:51 pm

LOL Thanks Owl.

If you’d like to fly fish with me by proxy, I’ll keep an eye out for a good piece of cardboard and draw you up =)


The River DamselNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Maybe we better rent a minivan next time…lol.


KirkNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Well, I’m not quite sure how to interpret this single dimensional placeholder , but since I was feeling beat up, cold and waterlogged on Saturday, I have to assume your voo-doo worked. And for what it’s worth, catching a whitefish when steelhead fishing is a good thing: means you got your fly down where the fish are. Plus you ended up hooking into some steel so I can see that you have anything to bitch about! What kinda beer did I drink?


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:53 pm

You tried to make me feel better about that Whitefish on Saturday, even went as far as kissing the Whitefish to show me about to doll out some lovin’….I’m still not buying it.

Don’t you remember? You had a Keystone lite beer. You claimed you were on a beer budget.


Cardboard KirkNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 2:11 am

Keystone Light? Really? Never listen to me when I tell you I’m on a beer budget. After driving all that way the least you coulda done was treat me to a Bud.


cofisherNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Great post and video. I can’t wait to see RD’s post. Kirk you should feel honored to have the ladies take you fishing, even if by proxy. They won’t even tell us where they went. Rebecca it’s nice to see you back in blogging action again. Emily, hurry up with your post.


The River DamselNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 3:34 pm

Sheesh!! I got home @ 9 pm…unpacked…10 pm…my head was ready to fall off after fishing for 3 days straight (also fished the Boise River) without virtually no sleep…and had to get up at 4:30 am to go to work…AND most importantly, I wanted Rebecca to post up first since she had the video and “Kirk” Lol. We will shoot for tomorrow if all goes well.


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Thanks cofisher! It felt good to get out and actually have something to write about for once!

And now…we wait on Emily—she who had barely any sleep this weekend =)


KirkNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 2:09 am

For the likes of me I suppose there is some measure of pride and satisfaction in fishing vicariously through a poorly-drawn cardboard likeness of myself. I’d tell you where we went, but I was lying face down under a pile of gear in the back of a truck and didn’t get a chance to mark coordinates on my gps.


The River DamselNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

Oh Cardboard Kirk, you were the lucky one…I was in the back of the truck for 10 hrs…haha…you were lying in the sun on the front dashboard…getting an ultra tan! (And some wrinlkles…sorry about that!)


Fontinalis RisingNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Getting it done Idaho style. It’s good to see Kirk doing so well. It’s very difficult to get THREE bloggers in one spot at any time, so good work. Nice to see such a fun post- too bad my shipment to the Damsel didn’t get out in time to go along.
How about a game of Where in the World is Cardboard Kirk? Send it on.


RebeccaNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Fontinalis– Excellent idea.

Are you ready to take Cardboard Kirk fishing? I saved his slightly water warped cardboard self and I’ll send him on to you. He needs more fishing experiences!


Fontinalis RisingNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm

I’m ready. Pacific Northwesterners are incredibly snobby about Great Lakes steelheading, so I think it’s time we introduced Cardboard Kirk to the real deal. I fish with another OBN blogger, Coyote Luke of Most Things Custom and we would love to have Kirk along for an outing. He may be forced to chase steel through the rapids, but I’m sure he’s up to it. Email me and we’ll make arrangements. When I’m done, I’d be willing to send him to the next OBN blogger who wants to fish “Unaccomplished” style.



KirkNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 2:05 am

This is getting WAY out of hand. If I’m sent to the Great Lakes I’ll have to endure fishing with egg patterns for fish that have never met with sea lice.

I’m game. How much to send me first class? It’s how I roll.


The River DamselNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Haha…there’s the name of the game…such brilliant bloggers in the OBN!!!


The River DamselNo Gravatar March 14, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Jason…I got them today! Thanks so much…they will go with me to Idaho in May and I will share them with Rebecca…they will get used…no worries!!! There’s always time for more catchin’! : )


brad melvilleNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 2:48 am

Well what a great trip… and to think the steel is just starting to make it to your neck of the woods… Hope to see alot more great posts as the season proggresses, and KW, its a real man that can stand in an Idaho river all day wearing nothing but an empty capt crunch box… your my hero!


MelNo Gravatar March 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Well, it is not the first time in my life that I have been late to the party. Thanks for letting me in late on the commenting of it Rebecca, RD, and Cardboard Kirk! Congrats on the steelhead, Rebecca. Nice fish and great technique in landing the fish. Have to admit that your sense of humor made this an “Outstanding Read” and one that I will remember each time I think of steelhead fishing.

BTW, I am old and wrinkled so if you want to take me along sometime you could easily put me in your vest pocket. Tee Hee!


troutrageous1No Gravatar March 16, 2011 at 8:29 pm

Don’t feel bad Mel…the cool kids like you & I always show up late for the party. You know…gotta get the G-T-L & a little “t-shirt time” in first.

Anywho…that was a very enjoyable post Outdooress, and a fish to be proud of in that video. Glad to see a cardboard angler’s evidently outfishing me these days too.


stephanieNo Gravatar March 16, 2011 at 7:48 am

Great video, brought in like a pro! You rock, chica.

Looks like you ladies had a fantastic time. Thanks for sharing with all of us.



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