The morning started off slower than both of us had hoped, only having one trip on an Automatic Fisherman with nothing to show for it. After two hours in this spot and not another bite, it was time to try some different water. Our second spot yielded similar results, with only 1 bite here and nothing landed, we were once again on the move.
As we neared this one, we instantly noticed that the rod was doubled over and could even hear the fish peeling drag. I grabbed the rod and held on for dear life! The fish nearly spooled me before I could turn the fish around. Once turned around, I could barely keep up with the fish as it came right back towards the hole! We briefly got a look at the fish through the 2" of clear ice enough to determine that I was fighting a large Steelhead! To make things even more interesting, we were using chiseled holes which had sharp edges. My rod tip spent most of the time below the ice to ensure that my line wouldn't get caught on the ice and break. After several more long runs and multiple failed attempts at landing this fish, I had finally put him on the ice! Kerry filmed the entire fight, which made for a really neat video and a new challenge of hand landing a fish on my own!
Kerry was talking with another fishermen about 100 yards away, and had not noticed me make my way over to my lucky hole again. Rather than yell for him that I had one on, I decided to let him carry on his conversation and attempt to land the fish on my own. After 10 minutes of line screaming runs and intense thrashing below the hole, I somehow managed to land yet another giant buck Steelhead!