Outdoor Storytellers – Jerry Woods

SPOKANE – Jerry Woods began fishing at age six, he is now 54-years-old. He has spent nearly all of his life in and around Spokane. But in his 50 years of fishing experience, for whatever reason, he has never caught a steelhead. Actually he’s never even had a chance to fish for a steelhead, never an opportunity until recently.

Jerry, with the help of fishing guide Jim McCarthey, would change his 50-year curse one day on the Clearwater River.

“Don’t lose this fish. Get this fish in,” Jerry yells.

What is most interesting about Jerry Woods is that he’s a volunteer for the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council, the same group that puts on the Bighorn Outdoor Show each year. What’s even more ironic is that Jerry is the Fishing Educator for Youth within the council.

Over the years he has taught generations of kids how to fish. But he’s never, until recently, caught one of fishing’s prized game fish, the steelhead. But on one afternoon on the Clearwater he caught more than one, finally nabbing the fish that has escaped him his entire fishing career.

 “It was fantastic. It was an experience I’ve been waiting for a long time. It was a great day. And to catch fish on top of it was even better,” Jerry said.

It’s hard to imagine the feelings that were coursing through Jerry as he brought his first steelhead into the boat. He waited 50 years for that moment. Jerry offers a simple yet to-the-point explanation of his day on the Clearwater River.

“It was a full day. A great day,” Jerry said.

Although his words are few, they speak volumes of a fishing trip Jerry will never forget.