Absolutely wonderful day on the Mighty MO with Charlie and his nine year-old daughter Katie.  With mid-twenties temperature and a breeze to boot along with ice under foot greeting us at the start of the day, though, I found myself wondering how long Katie would last–an hour, maybe two, maybe until lunch at best.  How wrong I was!  Not only did she stay the day, Katie fished the entire time and did so with nary a whine or whimper.  She caught on to the cast and drift very quickly, but regrettably, the steelhead chose not to chase her flies.  If it bothered Katie, however, she didn’t let it show:  she would cast a while, take a break to warm her hands, only to pick up the rod and begin laying out cast after cast.  Needless to say, her dad was beaming and rightly so;  she toughed it out, and along with dad and me was rewarded by the warmth of the afternoon sun.

But wait; there was more—much more in the form of Katie’s dad’s bringing to hand a drop-dead, gorgeous hen that pulled 13 lbs. on the Boga.  Indeed, if this fish is indicative of the condition of the steelhead this spring, it’s going to be one memorable season!  Big shoulders, substantial girth—a truly special steelhead taken in February on a nymph and eight pound tippet.  Congratulations, Charlie! First and foremost for raising such a wonderful young lady and second, for continuing to believe that the take of a steelhead is only one cast away.

As for the pictures, I couldn’t resist popping up three of them because they captured in small part the essence of the day and the love father and daughter have for one another. Thanks, Charlie and Katie, for making today a special memory for me.

Captain Tom Kuieck