Aww, Man. It’s Just a Butt-Hooked Sucker

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending a morning on the Deschutes River in Oregon with my good friend Chuck Smock from Cabela’s. The target of the outing was steelhead, but after hitting three good runs early with no strikes, the sun came up over the bluffs and lit the river. Our guide told us once that happens, the chances of getting steelies to hit anything other than a plug or spinner running deep drops significantly. But Chuck kept at it with the fly rod while I found a comfy spot under a tree and decided to take a breather and just enjoy the beautiful surroundings. I wasn’t relaxing for ten minutes when Chuck let out a yell and off he went running down the river with a bowed rod.


I immediately grabbed my camera and set out after him, trying my best not to slip on the snot-slick basalt boulders. Chuck tried to do that, too, but ended up going down on both knees in an attempt to not let the fish that was screaming line off the reel move down into a fast shoot. When I reached him, he was still wrenching on the fish. That’s when we saw the tail of the big sucker he had snagged in the rear end break the surface. I had to laugh, because some of the most exciting fights I can remember were those of butt-hooked suckers and carp. Of course, they’re only exciting until you realize what you have. We told our guide about it and he just said, “Yep, you always hook them right in the *** hole and off they go.”

Fish enough rivers and streams, swing enough streamers and spinners, and this is going to happen to you eventually. I’ll bet it’s even stopped a few of your hearts on the water. Let’s hear about it.