HAIKU MONDAY: On Making Steelhead Fishing Too Easy

Tom "Anthony Bourdain" Erspke with a Rogue summer steelhead, his second ever.

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is busy ruining the myth that steelhead are tough to catch, one new angler at a time.

Like Medford’s Tom Ersepke. His brain is totally polluted now on what it really takes to get into summer steelhead.

Guy just catches fish./He sits in the boat, clueless/Steelhead come to him.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comse to mind, with some bad forms of old Japanese poetry tossed in as the schtick.

So, Ersepke is an old bud and out Tax Deductions play sports together. Dude never fished til Hack took him to Diamond Lake two years ago and he catches, like, 50 rainbows in one afternoon.

Last year he popped his Rogue River fishing cherry by catching and whacking an 8-pound hatchery summer steelhead, declaring “That was easier than I thought.”

Don’t test steelhead gods./They don’t like rooks kickin” ass./Due to get skunked, Bro.

So Hack takes him Sunday evening on the upper Rogue, Hack’s home waters. Get that bad-karma skunk trip out of the way, Hack says.

Sitting on a plug below Takelma and, BAM, the rod goes down and the acrobatics begin.

A big, bright chromer does a few 4-foot jumps then bee-lines it downstream over the break and into the next chute. Fish Hack gives suit, with Ersepke with the rod butt drilled into his belly-buttom, reeling as fast as he can.

Hack scoops him up — a 10-pound buck that gets a free pass back to the Rogue.

“Not so easy this time, eh?” Hack says.

Ersepke, rockin’ the Anthoiny Bourdain hair, posed for some fish porn.

Next chute and BAM, another monster chromer, but this one cuts Ersepke off on a sharp rock.

He does an epic battle with a fourth 10-pounder before losing it at the boat.

That was in the first hour of fishing, and all before 6 p.m.

Dude fishes the Rogue a total of five hours and gets four steelhead, nothing under 8 pounds.

And all rocking shorts.

No year of casting in the cold rain waiting to get your first bite. The fish of 1,000 casts just come too easy for this former TV foof.

“It’s not supposed to work this way, Dude,” Hack says.

Hack pollutes his mind./Makes steelhead seem so easy,/Dude needs to be skunked.


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  • Blog Author

    Mark Freeman

    I've underachieved as the Mail Tribune's Fish Hack since 1989. I can't help but find a few things to yuk about with pathetic regularity in the outdoors. My most treasured award? An OSHA citation for a messy desk -- Fire hazard. YEAH! Read Full
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