I've spent a few days this fall trying to swing up a fish or two on the Salmon River. I've spent most days tuggless or just a quick grab. It's still early and swinging is not a numbers game. It turns mental after a while as you cruise through your gear, your fly, the water, the weather, the conditions, the cast (oh the bloody casts), the moon, the stars, the sun, gravitational pull, and the list goes on. I fished a stretch last weekend to no avail, only to have 3 drift boats come through and spank out eight fish. Yeah that gets in your head for sure. The appeal of drifting a tiny plastic bead under a float just isn't my thing on this river. As one guide put it, "when the steelies are on the eggs, it's hard to turn them off". "Good for them", was the comment from another Spey angler. He was right, good for them. I'll take one grab on a swung fly for every 6 that watch a float stop moving. To clear my head, I went back to the river and sat stream side til fishable light and pondered a lot of things, some fishing, some just life. I fished some really great looking water and not a thing. I soaked in the day and covered lots of water. I fished down through a known run and kept going as I approached a spot I call "the spooky water". As I described it to my buddy a few weeks back as we fished it together, it just screams monster steelhead lying in wait to thrash a fly. The water rushes fast and drowns out all other noise, the choppy looking seams, the over hanging trees, it's just plain spooky. Well the spooky water came through in the end. It wasn't a monster steelie, but a steelie none the less. Head is back in check.