The Fever: Report from Kjel Olson
Take me to the doctor, I have the fever! With each passing day of winter I am growing more and more excited for spring! Seven weeks ago I had wrist surgery to remove a ganglion cyst from my wrist. My one goal of the cyst removal was simply to limit the aching pain from my wrist after a long weekend of fishing. Nothing else seemed to set it off quite like three days of fly fishing did. I made a deal with my good doctor and it looks like he will win the bet. When planning my surgery I had a big dilemma, would it effect a fishing season? Mainly steelhead. I made a deal with my doctor that if I am able to fish for steelhead at the first of March I would take him fishing, if I was not ready I would take someone else. My doctor will be going fishing…
With the help of Michael Cole, my therapist at Peak Performance PT in Missoula I will be ready to fish for the elusive three foot steelhead this weekend. I tested out my recovering wrist in the field this past weekend on the upper Clark Fork to ensure that several hours of casting and fighting fish would not be too much. I landed a bunch of fish in the 10-17 inch range over the two days fishing that gave me hope that the aching pain in my wrist will be a thing of the past! For the most part I was catching brown trout with the occasional rainbow using small nymphs under an indicator. All the fish I caught on the snowy days were subsurface. The windy, snowy days were not the most ideal for fly-fishing but the wrist rehab was needed. I did not see another fisherman on the cold days and the solitude was needed as I regained my form and strength in my casting wrist. The hot flies were definitely the zebra midge and the pheasant tail as the fish were wanting to look to the surface for midges, but the top water bugs were absent.
The past few days I have began to sort through my steelhead gear and I have started to tie dozens of the multi colors of egg patterns I will take with me to Idaho on Friday. I look forward to giving my wrist the true test on Saturday and am anxious to give a full report of the big fish in Idaho when I return.