grays harbor

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.

Last coho trip?

Not sure if I’ll be chasing the elusive steelhead or searching for more b run coho…..Oh what a tough decision to make when just 2 days I caught my second biggest coho ever! This year is full of big fish for me so let’s hope I can make it into the 20 lb steelhead club this year!

I only fished one day this weekend and spent the other day off doing some Christmas shopping. Another great day with the b run coho as we filled the boat up with scale shaking fish. Near the end of the day, we were getting ready to call it a day and we all really wanted one more fish so we were fishing harder than ever. We find a new hole and whack! first pass, Curtis hooks up. Second pass, whack! Patrick hooks up. Now I’m really wanting another one and sure enough! WHACK!!!!!! Third pass and before I could even set the hook, the fish was leaping upriver with my spinner in tow.

“WOOHOO!!!!” Thank you for one more fish! This coho, about 15lbs was acrobatic as ever! A little color to it but this buck was my second coho ever! We’re usually in full steelhead mode by this time of year but we are just loving these big fish and certainly aren’t quite ready to switch gears yet.

We all pretty much got our limits and got fish in almost every hole we fished and probably have the last coho fillet in the freezer for this year.


This weekend I’ll be going to a meeting in Olympia regarding the Gray’s Harbor fisheries to support the “1000 man march”. This is a fishery that we fish often and finally have an opportunity to voice our concerns and help support some very dedicated men who has put their blood, sweat, and tears into keeping this fishery alive for anglers.
The commission, a citizen panel appointed by the Governor to set policy for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), will convene in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. on 12/7/13.

An agenda for the meeting is available at

I hope to see many fellow anglers there to support what an amazing fishery we currently have.


Exploring turned out to be beneficial

Because the water was is so low everywhere, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to explore some new water today. Have fun, have low expectations, and see if we can’t find fish where we haven’t really fished much.

Surprise….It worked!

We headed out to the salt water on Saturday with 3 of our friends and went 4 for 5 on coho. They weren’t a tremendous size, but they were nice! We do catch fresh fish in the rivers, but geez, these guys were so super fresh! We hit a river on the way home and was unsuccessful, but went back out on Sunday and went 10 for 15 in just about 3 hours!

It was unreal and awesome! Usually we are praying for rain but we’ve had amazing fishing two weeks in a row and I’m  not sure I’d like anymore rain!

Grays Harbor Excursion

It was the last weekend to keep kings out in Grays Harbor and we definitely made it count! It was a “mom and dad” kind of weekend I guess with Jeff’s dad, Lloyd and his wife (not our parents but someone’s!), and my parents. After all they have gone through and continue to put up with, they couldn’t be more deserving of a wonderful day on the water.

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