Stop talking about the one that got away and get one on record. Saturday Jan. 25 begins the Mad River Steelhead Days, two weeks of fishing-related competition and festivities that run through Feb. 8. Tickets ($35) get you into the whole kettle of fish and register you for the contests, and the proceeds go to the Mad River Alliance (of which you'll be a member). Troll Mad River Tackle in Arcata and Redwood Marine in Eureka to register.
From 1-4 p.m. in the Blue Lake Business Park, the whole family can learn to bait a hook and catch a big one at a fishing workshop taught by a ringer, then do a little face painting and cruise the arts and crafts booths. At 7 p.m., Dell'Arte presents Fish Tales at the Carlo Theatre with Jeff DeMark, Thomas Dunklin and Kit Mann, with Kingfoot providing the music. Donations are accepted, and reservations recommended.
The competition is daily, with a first catch of the day award, prizes for biggest fish and best photo. Every time you drop a line in the river you have a chance to pull out a hatchery steelhead and win a drift boat trip from North Coast Fishing, a fishing trip with Full Throttle Fishing and a boatload of rods, reels and tackle. Awards go out at the big dinner at Blue Lake Casino on Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. with music from The Hip Joint.