Tuesday, November 25, 2008
A line snap..... a bobber gone..... later swims itself up stream.... to dive down and disappear.... a chase under way... up and down a pool below Highway 101.... as we search for the float which shows and tells then is gone again.... "Let's get back to fishing."..... "Well we are and this is kind of fun, we'll get her yet!"
I feel like a minesweeper looking for a sub, it's not far off of an analogy Moby Dick and Capt Ahab. We do this for about fifteen or twenty minutes. Then in desperation six casts across the last known sighting and a line comes in.... Grab the billy club and start wrapping line around it, I wonder if the fish is going to rip it out of my hand..... as the bobber rises, the fish starts to flail and after a couple of short runs, tries to hide under the boat. I hold on against it and after a few minutes it's exhausted and quickly netted. We celebrate like madmen at this crazy way of catching a lost fish...
Monday, November 24, 2008
Evening falls fast when you don't want it to..... heaving and wheeling down the line.... offshore wind wrapping around my back as I paddle out and over for one last ride before I can't see a thing anymore, trust the feet to find the board and the board to find the bottom of the wave.
Friday, November 21, 2008
From what was first thought to be a cutthroat trout, it grew. A soft bite, barely any resistance in the first fifteen seconds.
To the fifteen pound range at the first sight of it's silvery side. It went for the bottom and stayed there refusing to show itself again. When it did it cleared the water in an amazing jump, right next to the boat and in Lance's face. I thought it was gone then.
A half hour later it was closer to twenty five. Landed on a steelhead rod and ten pound test. Blood on the boat just behind Lance's left elbow....
One of the reasons people love this upper corner of the country, small rivers with wild salmon that get in the forty pound range, swimming right under you. On their final leg of a five year cycle.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Woke up at o'dark thirty, went outside with coffee and toast in my waders and tackle(whoops!) toolbox in hand. Dropped toast, hit the car seat ate it anyway, today was gonna be a toughie. Raining sideways as the stormfront rolled into town. Hit the boat launch, second driftboat in the river. An hour later rounded the deep bend without so much as a bump. Anchored up just above the next riffle and kwik fished for about 10 minutes, zzzt,zzztttt as line peeled off. Yelled at my partner to grab the pole. He didn't believe me that he had a fish, no headshake, just a slow pull as he reeled, like a back-eddy, but there isn't one any eddy in this section of the river. The fish just created a force of it's own.
As the line got near the boat the water exploded as a silver flash turned away from us. It had to be at least 35lbs just from the girth of the belly. Jack had the fish on for about ten minutes, it would hide under the boat and we would stamp our feet to force it out. After a few of those and at the crucial moment we were about to net the beast, the rod exploded under the pressure of a high stick. The line separated and the fish disappeared downstream.
Stunned and bummed we just sat there, a few minutes later at the bottom of the run a fish jumped completely out of the water and tried to throw a yellow kwikfish from it's mouth. We just shook our heads. And for the rest of the morning talked about her.
This beauty hit Jack's bobber bait about thirty minutes later and we at least felt redeemed when we netted it without any drama. That and the rainbow against the hillside a few minutes later were lovely respites from the winds and rain.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Offshore and raining. Grey waves, pretty faces with an acne bump. Light fading in an hour. Nobody out gotta get some before dark, the north west windows swinging open and closing in tune with the weather. Paddle with the rip, get pulled into no man's land and take a set on the head. Big males come by bellowing and leading their harems, throwing themselves toward me they disappear under the surface to no doubt get closer. At least they're here, my mind conjures up worse scenarios when they're not. Especially dark grey evenings.... "Screw you guys, do that circus trick where you clap your flippers and then leave me alone!"
Solid head high-plus peaks on sets, trying to stay on the bubble against a relentless pull. Best it's been in a while. Thumpy but not shallow enough to hit bottom. Fading left and drop into a turn, left knee scrapes the surface of the wall as I lean back into the right, the new board skates through with acceleration, nice feel. The chop is there but the wave reforms through the middle and races across the inside. An hour of waves ensues as it begins to clean up a little, punchy sets keep swinging across to see if I'm sitting in the right spot, drop and go. Paddling back into the dimming light, the horizon is a smudge which no longer moves. Lights coming on in houses down the beach and headlights swing across the dune as people do a last minute check.
Time to go in......