fall salmon

Fall Salmon

I’ve been slacking on blogging, right? Yes! I have actually been out fishing doing more than just studying – well, sometimes both LOL.

A few weeks ago we headed back to the Hump before we got all that rain and we were still fishing down low. It was one of those days that I was contemplating staying home to study and sleep but figured one more time before the rain was coming. This year with all the pressure that came along with studying I sadly find myself regretting being on the water if I’m not actually going to catch a fish. This never used to be the case – I was a “bad day on the water is better than a good day of work” kind of gal and the river is where I went to escape real life. But I can’t seem to escape the guilt that creeps up inside of me when I do ANYTHING except study – even cook dinner. So, if I don’t catch anything, I feel horrible.

This was one of those days. The weekend before I was on fire in the same exact hole, although I couldn’t quite get to the same spot which makes a big difference in the river. So, I watched float after float go down and the few times mine would go down, I’d be a bad position and set the hook too late. I was ready to leave. It was afternoon and this was more of a grind than I would choose to partake in knowing I should be studying. We headed down river and fished a few holes on the way out and I FINALLY got one to make it to the net! All of a sudden, my day was made and the regret and guilt were gone….just like that. I just need one fish every time.

After all the rain we headed out for a half day – because I needed to be home to study. We got skunked and were happy to call it in early. So, I took a weekend off not really by choice but forced by the rain but I really wasn’t complaining – no guilt this time! We headed back to the coast last weekend with the water still a bit high but just dropping into shape. We did get a few coho to the boat caught on twitching jigs and spinners but I really had a blast with the chum! We pulled wrapped K15′s searching for any willing biter and I got to study while waiting for the bites. I didn’t get much study time in since we were getting hit after just a few minutes, but I had a great day!

I took another exam last week (that was number 4 and I have zero passed) but I won’t find out for another month. So, in the meantime I’m moving back to exam number 1 and hopefully some more fishing this weekend!

How I Refill My Cup

 

 

I spent an entire year preparing for the last 2 weeks of my life. A time of my life that I look forward to starting from the time it ends. Jeff and I started hunting 3 years ago and how I lived my entire life without it, I have no idea – much like fishing. We spend 2 weeks every September camped up in the mountains with his best friend in search of ourselves and elk. This year has been rough for me with studying for my CPA. I can’t explain how much more horrible studying is than going to school, but trust me, I’m a different person because of this (and not for the better) and it will probably take me years to become the original person that I was after the pressure and stress of my CPA are long gone. I needed this elk trip more than I even knew.

I was hesitant about going because it’s 2 weeks with no service and I literally hunt from before the sun comes up to when the sun goes down…….how can I take 2 weeks off from studying? Well, I did and it was AMAZING. In addition to hunting, I watched my best friend get married on opening day and finished my vacation with a trip to the river. My cup is overflowing with gratitude and peace. My relationship with God is stronger than ever and I don’t really care today that studying hasn’t been the number one thing on my mind and for a brief moment, it wasn’t the most important thing in my life.

I struggled this hunting season with many things and while I came home reborn, it took a few days of depression and regret to get there. I learn every year that without the bad, there is no good; without the rain, the sun doesn’t feel so good; without the devil, you don’t see how great God is. I headed up the mountain on day 2 of the season and Jeff got one down that morning. There was excitement both for his accomplishment and because we will eat this year! But there was jealousy and pressure to keep up with my teammate. Hunting brings out some of my greatest fears: heights, my lack of strength, the dark, scary animals, being lost, car accidents, and myself. I stayed on the ground although our greatest opportunity was tree stands 30ft up. After 5 days and an insane amount of pressure, I finally caved and admitted that to get close enough to an elk this archery season, I was going to need to climb a tree…….And I DID IT! I got myself up there in the dark and hunted several stands over a few days. I wasn’t given the opportunity, but the feeling of accomplishing my fears is what put the last drop in my cup. I felt like a million dollars! It wasn’t easy and I was exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My body ached from the adrenaline all day long, my mind was tired from talking myself through sitting there all day long despite the wind or creeks, and I was emotionally drained from going from such a negative space to such a positive one.

         

I ended the season back on the ground and without an animal, but what I accomplished and came home with was worth far more than a few hundred pounds of meat (of course because we’ll come home with that anyways).

Now, for what you guys really care about! I spent a day cleaning and unpacking and then went fishing!!!!! FINALLY, back on the water! It was a SLOW morning and I hadn’t seen a single fish hooked or a bobber down and it was 2 pm. Finally, my float goes down! I set the hook and my line wraps around the tip of my rod as I feel the pulse of a fish on the other end. CRAP! As I’m trying to twist and turn my rod before the tip breaks, I’m certain the fish will lose itself. And I start to reel, I feel the weight again. WHAT?! This little king whooped my behind taking several long runs to the snags and 3 leaps out of the water. We finally got it in the net and just when I thought I couldn’t be more full, I began overflowing with happiness. My life is complete in this very moment.

I was just telling my mom the day before that this year, fishing has almost been more stress than relief. Because I didn’t get to go as much, I had less opportunity which meant less fish caught. I grew jealous of those that got to fish all the time like I used to and even more jealous when they would have good fish days. Getting up early wasn’t worth it if I wasn’t going to catch fish and I started only going when conditions were in my favor. Without the reward of the catch, I wasn’t getting what I needed anymore and the pressures of knowing that I could be studying weighed so heavy on my mind that it wasn’t worth it.

But today, it would have been worth it either way and now it was REALLY worth it. I got one! The only one so far! We still had many miles of water left and the tide was changing to our advantage. We ended up filling the boat within another hour and were out! So happy. So full. So peaceful. So grateful – for life.

Today, I opted out of deer hunting to sleep in, clean my house, and blog and while I regret it a little bit, I’ll also study so it’s a nice way to ease back into my regular schedule and pressure to study. I’m back but I’m rejuvenated and feeling ready to take on my next exam!

Salmon Season

Fall salmon are upon us! We’ve taken a few quick trips to the Nisqually in the past couple of weeks and while it’s still a bit early for that river, it’s so close to home and it’s easy to make half day’s :)

Fishing has been a bit slow and we’re picking them up randomly via float fishing, divers, side drifting, you name it. I was a very happy girl when I picked this one up because it’s been since springer season that I caught a salmon or steelhead! It’s about time!

Buoy 10 this weekend for the Fish Like a Girl Tournament with Brandon Glass and a boat full of ladies! Good luck to all the ladies who are participating this year and I can’t wait to see who wins the boat!!

Good People

 

We started off our Saturday getting stuck at the boat launch (which is just a gravel bar) because my 4 Wheel Drive went out in my truck. With prideful heads, we tried every attempt we could think of and just continued to dig ourselves deeper. We tried reverse, using boards to drive on, pushing and even jacking it up and putting a MATTRESS under it to hopefully gain traction (that was a bad fail and we ended up sling-shotting a mattress from under our wheels). We finally swallowed our pride and decided to ask a couple others that were launching if they could pull us out.

After asking a couple people with “trucks too small” and “transmission problems”, we came across the kindest group of anglers ever! James Mitchell and his friends assured me that they would get me out. No questions asked, no hesitation, they forgot about the rush at the launch, the others that may be before them and came right over to help out some fellow anglers. They got us out easily with one try and I felt so blessed and grateful that I had to fight back my tears of joy. I know how anxious we can get at the launch at daylight and how hard it is to stop what you’re doing and help someone else but they did it without question.

My expectations of the day were different now and I didn’t care if I even landed a fish. I had just encountered a rare form of generosity that was greatly needed and I was able to fish instead of sitting and waiting for a tow truck that I couldn’t afford. The fishing and weather were terrible, but our boat was all smiles and laughs. There were some positive vibes with us and as we neared the end of our drift with no fish in the boat and soaked to the bone, we decided to pull plugs in the last hole.

within a few minutes, we were hooked up! Back to it, hooked up again! One more try and one more king to get our limit on kings! It was clear which side was getting hit so I swapped seats with Jake and when we were just getting ready to call it quits, BAM! Taking me out 130ft TWICE, we limited on kings just as we got to the takeout.

With all the rain, we were forced to take out the sled on Sunday and hit a different coastal river and weren’t quite as lucky. The weather was awesome, company just as good, but no fish. We fished near some awesome high school boys that were doing exactly what teenage boys should be doing and having a blast. It was refreshing to see good ‘ol fashion kids playing and fishing outside and hey! We made it both in and out of the boat launch today!

PS, there has quite a bit of controversy over whether or not my fish was photoshopped and I’ll clear the air right here. NO! I WOULD NEVER CROP A FISH IN MY PICTURE! I have more integrity than that and would never lie to impress or gain attention. I was initially confused and slightly offended by the accusations but there has been an outpouring of support from so many fellow anglers and supportive people in our industry. I can’t be anything other than grateful after a weekend like this. There has been so much support and help from anglers in our community and I’m proud to be part of it.