Columbia River

Positive Attitude

What we anticipated for and what happened this weekend were 2 completely different things. The weather was going to be great, we were going to limit on springers by noon, and we were making new friends. While some of those things were true, it definitely wasn’t what we expected.

We were going with a friend that I met through Jury Duty back in November and a coworker that fished with us last springer season. We headed out bright and early Saturday morning only to see blue flashing lights behind us about 45 minutes into the drive. Turns out, the trailer lights must have shorted out because the super kind officer “ALMOST RAN RIGHT INTO THE BACK OF US!” After he threatened us with a couple of tickets, had quite a rude attitude, and intentionally tried to find as many things wrong as he could, he came back from his patrol car only to see that our trailer lights turned back on and let us kindly go with a warning about my tail light which is actually out.

We got to the river early, headed out, and saw 2 fish hooked right at first light. It was going to be a great day! Well, we didn’t see much more action, didn’t get a single bite, saw 2 fish lost to the sea lions, and fished until almost sunset. We got a bit sunburned, were running a bit late, missed the bit on tuna because we forgot the tuna at home, and were exhausted, but the guys had a lot of beer and we all had awesome attitudes despite getting skunked. As we’re on our merry way home, we here a “POP”. Strange! Nothing felt different or smelled or anything. Sure enough though, we blew a trailer tire!

I didn’t exactly have the appropriate equipment but we made due with what I had, improvised, and it took ideas from all 4 of us to get this tire changed. Still, positive attitudes and we were not letting this ruin our moods! We got to the park and ride only to find our new friend Ray had a dead battery! Full of laughter and disbelief, we quickly jumped the battery and all headed home.

Ahhhh, time for sleep since it was so late and were getting up just 7 short hours from now. Except we needed a bit more brine and guess who was out of salt! Well, it’s okay because we can get pizza while we’re out and have food for fishing the next day!

We started Sunday off great until we realized that we left the tuna at home again! That’s okay because we were just going to get them all trolling at first light like it was supposed to happen Saturday! Well, that didn’t happen either……….We saw even less fish caught today and DFW did a test gill net pull and even they came up empty. But then, a bite! We have a fish on!!!!! Ray did awesome landing it and we had it in the net! OMG!

It had an extra fin. It was wild. It couldn’t be retained. We defied the odds, beat our luck, only to find out we had to give it back to become sea lion bait.

But it was action right? We maintained a good attitude and prepared for another strike! That didn’t happen. Hours went by, the tide changed, we sat on anchor, and watched 1 boat right behind hook up. We had one strike on anchor that didn’t stick and finally called it quits around 5. We thankfully got home safely and without trouble and still had our positive attitude and left laughing.

It was great to get to fish with Brian again! He fishes the salt water quite often and has his own boat for that, but freshwater isn’t something he gets to do but a couple times a year. This was the first time we hung out with Ray outside of the horrible Jury Duty, and he was awesome. We talked business, politics, fishing, hunting, family, you name it! I had such a great time despite our horrible luck and despite not bringing home any delicious springer, we made great memories and new friends. Hopefully we’ll get one more shot at the URB springers next Saturday, but if not, we’ll head back to the good ‘ol Cowlitz to get our springers until we get to fish for URB’s at Drano in May!

Here’s to hoping our string of bad luck is over right now!

Buoy 10 2015

After seeing everyone else catch huge Buoy 10 fish and limits by 8 AM, we finally got to get out of the mountains (elk scouting) and hit the water!

Saturday morning we trolled above the Astoria bridge and got 4/6 of our kings. Once the tide slacked out, we headed down river and fished below the bridge to find 2 more kings and hopefully a few silvers! Since there are so many native silvers and they can’t be retained, we don’t target coho and most of the time, head for the launch after we get our kings. With the water so warm, coho have a very difficult time surviving period let alone after being hooked, landed, netted, de-hooked, and then released. We tend to find wild coho floating down the river because their mortality rate is so high. So, we really just needed 2 more kings and we were done :)

 

It took a few more hours to get those plus a hatchery coho but the weather was great and times were good! We BBQ’d, had a few beers, and even watched the Doc and his daughter go swimming!

We finally got our last 2 fish and hit the launch around 1 PM. Back at it Sunday but this time we were a bit more dialed in! We hooked at least 20 fish by 10 AM and got to be a little bit more picky about which kings we kept and got 6 awesome kings by 9:30 AM. Most of the fish were caught on bait behind a flasher, however, a few on spoons.

We packed up camp headed back home by 11 AM with enough time to hit the Puyallup for a little humpy fishing!

First springer trip!!

We finally made the official first springer trip and were quite successful! We ventured down to the Columbia for the last scheduled weekend that it was open in hopes to bring home some quality dinner. We started out on anchor with sardine wrapped plugs while the tide moved out.

We saw a couple fish on first thing in the morning but didn’t get our first fish until about 11 AM. It was biting for a few seconds and the rod was loaded, but in our boat, you don’t touch it until the reel is peeling line. It wasn’t peeling line but man it sure looked like it was on there good so we picked it up and….NOTHING! We didn’t get anything else on plugs that morning, but when the tide came back in and slacked out, we decided to pick up and troll herring behind flashers. We go one within 15 seconds of the rods being out and it was my step dad’s rod! He did great fighting it and it was extremely exciting to see him land his first springer!

We ran back up and got hit again! This time it was my co-worker and it was his first time out with us. He had a hot little fish that took several runs and dipped and tucked under the boat weaving from one side to the other! He thankfully landed it and we were feeling great with 2 upper river brights in the box!

 

I was glad that the two people that don’t get out with us were the ones to get the fish, but I really wanted one. It’s just always so much pressure to get the first one and then it’s all fun for the rest of the season.

So the next day we headed back down to the Columbia for some Easter morning fishing! We didn’t have any plugs wrapped to start the day so after we got 4 rods out, I spent the morning wrapping 20 more plugs to switch out. I wasn’t thrilled about that because I knew that if I was looking down with my hands full, I wasn’t going to be the one to see a rod get hit which meant I wasn’t going to be the one to get a fish. I watched 3 rods get hit while I was busy keeping them baited up. We got one hatchery and 2 wild fish and I was obviously irritated.

Jeff thankfully announced that the next fish is mine since everyone else already had their turn. Again, at high slack tide we pulled anchor and began to troll. Again, I was dealing with the plugs and was cutting off all of those beautiful wraps because we wouldn’t be using them again for at least a week. Sure enough, a rod goes off and my hands are full! We unfortunately lost that one which only added to my discouragement because I know (I say that) if I was fighting that one, I wouldn’t have lost it. We ran back and made another pass and sure enough, the same rod goes off but this time, we announced it was my turn!

I was kind of happy to have gotten this one, although it was smaller than all the others we got this weekend, it was definitely the best fighting. Stripped me out 130 feet upriver all on the surface. It was pretty awesome to watch it run on top of the water like that, but even more nerve wracking. Once we finally landed it I was happy to finally have the first one of the season out of the way!

Next weekend is my birthday weekend and the Columbia is still set to close so maybe a little drift boat action or back to the good ‘ol Cowlitz!

June fishing

Well haven’t I just been slacking this summer! I really haven’t fished much, but a little here and there but I’ve been running around doing everything else under the sun!

Before the rain and chilly weather came we were fishing up at the Sky and actually had a pretty decent day a few weeks ago!

Once the river dropped we risked it and fished anyways. Much to our disappointment we got the first Skykomish skunking. Not even a bite all day :(

Because of the low water, we decided to head down to the Columbia with my friend Kari and her husband Derrick and we had a fantastic weekend! Other than being exhausted from a lack of sleep (which I made up for while we sat on anchor all day), it was great to fish with new friends and we caught a bunch of fish! We got a super nice king, quite a few summer steelhead, and even a sockeye! I didn’t get to see the sockeye so my life still goes on without ever having seen or caught one (they’re on the bucket list). We were one fish shy of a limit before the tide rolled in and we had to call it quits on the second day.

We’ve even been getting ready for hunting!!!! Scopin out the spots!

This weekend we’re heading out to the canal for some more fun and crabbing! I managed to finish my homework for the week so I just get to kick back and relax! We may go fishing on Sunday, so I’ll be sure to post Sunday night if we go out!