Outdoor Storytellers – Patience Is Rewarded

It’s called Heller Bar, but it doesn’t serve drinks. Heller Bar serves up a cold hefty plate of humility to fishermen on a daily basis, because catching a steelhead there can sometimes seem impossible.

Steelhead anglers come from all over the Pacific Northwest to Heller Bar. Trucks with boat trailers line the parking lot like stacked dominoes.

The real lure of Heller Bar is that the Grande Ronde River flows into the Snake River there, making what can be a great steelhead hole. That’s where I started, on the Grande Ronde just upstream from Heller Bar. But after a full afternoon on the Grande Ronde, nothing.

Heller Bar is upriver from Asotin and Clarkston, Washington. So if fishing gets tough, you can head back and regroup, which is what I had to do after day one.

The steelhead were right at my feet or just sitting in the current in front of me. But as anglers know, just because they’re there doesn’t mean they’ll open their mouths. Which they didn’t, so I went back again, looking for better luck.