Thursday, April 30, 2009

Below the surface.....

I have to share this story from a friend who commercial fishes here in town, probably the most die-hard and capable dory guy in the area. He's fun to watch as he launches solo day in and day out through some lively surf, he has it wired and you seldom see him second guess himself. We were talking about fishing and crabbing, wondering how it is creatures hide so well, when he started laughing about his first experience diving for crab.

After getting certified to dive he hit a local bay, the same bay his father had been crabbing recreationaly for years. He was convinced that with air he could just dive and start plucking the largest males off the bottom as he swam over them, however once under water he couldn't find a single crab to put in the bag. He searched fruitlessly over favoured sandbars but found nothing. If he had set traps they would normally fill in 30 minutes, but he was in a crab desert it seemed.

Finally, in frustration and ready to give it up he swam over the shadow-shape buried in the sand that he thought was a discarded crab shell and reached for it as the only proof that there were crab here at all. As his hand approached the mounded sand two claws instantly popped out of the sand just beneath his fingers and in unison from better coverage flew out(for the lack of a better term) about 200 other crabs also claws flailing in defense. "I freaked," he said "and I swear for a couple months I had dreams of crabs popping out of sand and pulling me down into the bottom of the bay!"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On the surface...

Today I keep the south end of the rock just visible around the basket as I prone paddle toward it. The waves are crossed up and refraction from the cape adds to a bouncing journey, once past the sand point it will get smoother as I stroke over deeper water. The west wind skips around to the south and then back to the west, out at the handle it will race around from any and all directions, gusting when it wants even though there is no call for it. Whitecaps and waves wrap and meet then dissipate into deeper waters past the kelp bulbs being played marionette style by forces unseen.

It feels like being where the paper tears apart, between the deep and the birds above swirling, calling. The rock is full of birds and they land and change places in a protesting cacophony, if for a moment they fell silent it would be time to pay attention.

Yesterday a gray whale swam through the kelp forests, tailing and spouting within the afternoon shadows. I want to see him today, but I don't want him to see me. It's a long way back. Houses along the sand are small, a windshield winks sun as it passes behind buildings on it's way up the hill. Sounds out here come from the birds or waves washing the rock or lapping against the board. I concentrate on baiting the hooks, the world is small and right here, when I look up it's big again and I am small and alone on the surface.

On the SUP-per table


Dinner's out there.


Bring it home.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Sonja over the bar, feet planted, rail glide. Wind whipping out to sea, trying to lift the nose and flip us off the shoulder. Gloriously clear and cold water, as cold as a witch's tit. Nobody on it, I passed on fishing the finger in the wind as a chest high set rolled through unmolested. Thought better surf this now and see where it goes as the tide pushes in from dead low, fun fun two lengthy sections linking, solo for an hour, then me and the detective for a bit more.

In the lee of the dune a large group of Orthodox something or others, clothed head to foot. Women with full length dresses and men with beards straight outta Pennsylvania yo! Not driving horse and buggies, no, mostly Yukon driven all SUV'd to the max. But if you looked in a certain direction removing the modern vehicles it could have been a 100 years ago......

Loads of their kids, loads, boys all dressed up and little girls with head scarves like their mothers and aunties. Climbing up the dune and into the teeth of 30 knots before it turned toward the surf and pushed them back down the steep sand. The wind cleaned the wave face and thinned out the lips in translucence as the marine fog filled in to the rock and grabbed the handle near the surface.....

Monday, April 20, 2009

SUP to good use

If you're hungry, this is when a sup comes into its own . Other than that I guess you could run it in knee high slop. It's not called Kook Bay because of its quality.

More harvested goods from the estuary (where you'll often find a SUP beginner), between the fish and the clams..... a lovely addition to the meal the locals are putting together tonight. Kawanda rocks!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter's summer Zambezi steelhead.

It seems appropriate to fish(Jesus and the soup kitchen on the mountain miracle thingy) on Easter Sunday, in a relentless rain(the tears of god) with a howling wind in your face for good measure, a sort of castigation for mankind's "sins". Not many other sinners out though which probably means this will be repeated next year....

First confirmed summer steelhead after much discussion of clipped fins, un-clipped jaws and spotted bellies and other biologist nuances, whatever it was it tasted really good last night and Surftwin, post-tax hell week gets dibs at week's end for sauted and oven baked slab o' steelhead prepared Zambezi style......

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Silliest River

Got lucky on the drift boat yesterday and got a couple of edibles. Went 2 out of 3 losing a wild fish after a long battle as we followed it downriver from pocket to pocket of cover. Finally it rolled itself in the shallows and released the hook. A nice release as we didn't have to touch him, good sized maybe 15lbs?

Weather never warmed up really, snow in the hills but a dropping river and only 2 other boats all day was pretty cool. Eggs curing, last week's steelies all smoked up and tying yarnballs. Sheeitt I'm going redneck!

Surf was being shredded by the spring north-west as we were reminded around each bend where it blasted us deeper into jackets...