chehalis coho

Making memories with family

With the announcement of the Gray’s Harbor fishing closure, we were left on Friday scrambling to put together a fishing trip for one last outing to our favorite fall fishery.

We ended up heading out into the bay in hopes to find some coho or even chum hens. We were a little surprised to only see 2 other trailers at the boat launch and knew there was some nasty weather in the morning before the 11 AM high slack tide, but thought we’d try it out anyways. Once we got into the bay, we turned around right towards the launch because it wasn’t going to be possible to successfully troll with the rough water and strong winds going against the tide. We waited until about 10 AM hoping the wind would die down and the tide slack out, but it was still a very rough troll.

We called it quits  after making just one pass and headed to the Chehalis! We clearly can’t fish out in the bay, so might as well try to the river! We didn’t get the boat in the water until about 11:30 am and Jeff hooked and lost a coho on his first cast twitching jigs! We hadn’t heard very good reports for the river lately (which is why they closed it and why we fished the bay in the morning), so we were super excited to have the opportunity to hook a fish! LOL. It was a slam dunk from there and we ended up with all 9 coho (and a bonus jack) by 3 pm, all on jigs.

The next day we had a full boat and only hooked 2 coho, 3 chum, and 3 kings. Something drastically changed and the last day the river was open was a sure indication as to why they closed the fishery, although I’m hoping that once escapement is met, it is opened back up for sport fishing.

Fishing was good on Saturday, but it was so much more than a box full of fish. We fished with a good family friend Peter. Peter and Jeff met over 10 years ago on the river where Peter took young Jeffrey under his wing. Jeff taught himself how to fish for the most part, but Peter saw a desire for fishing within Jeff and they became fishing buddies immediately. After several years of fishing trips, Christmas cards, and family dinners, Peter and his beautiful wife Mona were part of Jeff’s family. They are invited to every family event and Peter is like Jeff’s second dad. It was rare and a true pleasure to be able to fish with just the 3 of us.

The first time I met Peter happened to be my first drift boat trip. A trip I’ll never forget, Peter is partially responsible for the success of Jeff and mine’s relationship. It was a blizzard outside, I literally thought my feet were going to fall off, I cried all day, and Jeff yelled at me because I wasn’t fishing. Peter gave Jeff some advice about being patient with me and Jeff listened.

We got to create a very special bond with Peter this weekend and got some great advice about successful relationships, life, and being happy. He has fought from the bottom to build a wonderful family with 3 very successful children, a wonderful wife and life partner, and will soon get to retire and enjoy his life just the way he’s planned. Oh, and he’s apparently the master at twitching jigs. He out fished us by immeasurable numbers LOL.