Cowlitz

Springer fishing the big C

Ah, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend; Amazing weather, fish on the end of our line, great neighbors, and a quiet trip just for me and my best friend!

With the springer season expected to close this week on the lower Columbia (but hopefully extended!), we decided to head down to put in our time and continue to learn a tough fishery. We have been fishing the big C for 3 springer seasons in a row and only make it down there about once or twice a season, but rarely have luck. We have caught one fish in the 3 years and a total of about 5 trips but we know you have to put in the time and effort to learn a new fishery; they don’t just produce fish for everyone!

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Merry Christmas to me!

WOOHOO!!!! What an amazing weekend! And I still have 3 days off from work and 2 weeks from school!

We didn’t put our efforts in at the Cowlitz again, but we worked hard and were generously rewarded! On Saturday, it was just me and Jeff and despite my anxiety and nervousness (I’d rather Jeff ONLY run the boat, not try to fish and run the boat), Jeff had the hot rod and we hooked 5 and went home with 4 steelhead! Yes, one was a downriver summer run, but we still got our 4 fish. The first winter run to the sled, and we managed to limit the darn thing. :)

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Keep your chin up

Along with a new boat means new fisheries, new techniques, and essentially starting over. Instead of the “cowlitz experience” that we were so looking forward to this winter, we’re spending our weekends putting effort into a new fishery so we can really have that experience. We side drifted and bobberdogged for the third trip so far this year only to see fish in basically every one else’s boat, and nothing for us. One little change up and I hit one first pass, but didn’t end up landing it and left the river with a stomach full of humble pie and the longing for that chrome bullet.

Knowing that not every trip will be as successful as the salmon fisheries we got to try this year, we were prepared for a few “skunks” but I certainly wasn’t expecting this many. And not just always in the boat, even bank fishing for winter runs, chum fishing the Nisqually, I’ve gone high and dry for weeks! But staying motivated and positive is what is going to make my next fish so much more special. I’m sure, a fish I won’t forget.

So when you’re new to fishing and can’t seem to catch a break, know that even experienced fishermen have bad periods and make every time you get to go out really count. Fish hard, stay positive, and remember, you can’t catch a fish if your line’s not in the water. I’m still hopeful for next weekend, but am just taking this down time with a grain of salt and learning more than I learn on a day that I catch my limit. Fishing is always about learning and improving and sometimes that means taking a few skunks, losing a few games, and going home with a long face.