Took a weekend and headed up north to the Cascade hoping we would find the early run of steelhead. There hadn't been any reports so it was kind of a toss up. A buddy and I showed up to the hatchery and decided to walk past the group of guys already lined up top. He hadn't been there before so I assured him we could get down below everyone and fish in solitude. There were zero winter runs in the intake creek, usually not a good sign. We walked down to a lower hole away from the crowd, which I'd rather fish alone and work at it than fish arm and arm. Those guys hadn't hit anything yet either, and usually when it's on there are a few fish sitting on the bank by 7am. It was cold :) Started fishing around 7:30 and worked the lower hole for a while. The water was so gin clear you could see just about anything swimming. I spotted two coho moving up into the hole and a dolly chasing their eggs. I put a clob of two eggs on, threw it in their path and sure enough hooked into the Dolly. Nice to get my rod moving. Released it. The coho sitting in the hole were pretty lock jaw to eggs. My buddy comes walking back and decides to switch from fly fishing over to his gear. He sits in the hole with me, on the low side. His drift wasn't quite right from where he was standing so I told him to move up above me and swing into the far side as I knew of the deep pocket. Sure enough, first cast with a spoon he hooks into a fish. It had weight. It splashes it's tail up out of the water and I kinda figured it was a large coho. Finally he gets the fish closer to shore and I can see it's tail. Not a coho - a beautiful steelhead. It brought him down stream and finally I got a good angle on it and picked it up out of the water with my hands. It scaled in just around 15 pounds. It was truly beautiful. We celebrated with some whiskey and continued fishing. The rest of the day was slow but we picked up some nice Dolly's to keep it interesting - one that was over 6 pounds but unfortunately we didn't get a photo of it. I marked it a two because for one, I didn't catch a steelhead, and it really was not a hot weekend like it can be. Still a wonderful time and putting my buddy on the nicest steelhead of his life thus far was very satisfying.