pautzke

Last hoorah

We had one last hoorah before we go in full force for hunting season! We’ll be gone for 2 weeks and we might come back to do a little salt water fishing, but I’m glad we got to squeeze in one day for fishing before we re-gear our minds for animals :)

It was an awesome bite in the morning but it quickly died off and with a lot of other angler pressure, we struggled to find places to fish that w=had fish in them. We released about 5, 2 in the box, and lost who knows how many!

It was a great day none the less and we had a lot of laughs and got to spend the day with a good friend we haven’t seen in a while. My first passion is definitely fishing and all the preparation that goes into hunting has left me aching for some more time on the water and I couldn’t have asked for a better day today.

Good luck to all you ladies fishing the next 2 weeks and hopefully the next time I’m on here, I’ll have a freezer full of Elk ;)

Updates!

Steelhead University has a brand new website! The new owner of Steelhead University, Terry Wiest, is very near and dear to Steelhead Girls’ heart. In fact, he’s the inventor of Steelhead Girls! I met Terry many years ago through, believe it or not, the Steelhead University Pautzke photo contest! We stayed in touch and met again at many fishing functions before I started blogging on Steelhead University. Terry reached out to me about a year after I was blogging and thought of the idea for Steelhead Girls, which I obviously LOVED! Steelhead University not only includes fishing updates and reports from some of the most well-known guides in Washington State, but many videos, articles, and product reviews. Go check out their new website and give their Facebook page a like!

http://steelheadu.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steelhead-University/651083741685788?fref=photo

Now, for fishing! I have actually been fishing quite a bit the past few weeks, but since we’ve moved into our new house, I haven’t had internet hooked up! But I’m up and running, moved in and settled down, and………I’m graduating school this week! I couldn’t be happier about getting my life back and having time again to write more articles!

The past few weeks, we’ve been heading to Barrier Damn on the Cowlitz and I actually really struggled out there on the island because it’s so deep hip-deep on me) and you’re casting really, really far. If you don’t make the cast, you almost aren’t even fishing where the fish are. So, with the low water this spring, it’s actually been to my benefit! I’ve been finally getting springers out there again!

We went crabbing this last weekend and let me tell you, what was supposed to be an easy day, ended up being pretty torturous. We thought we would just catch the 7 AM high slack tide and crab for just a few hours, maybe 3 sets. We did our first pull and had 2 dungees and 3 rock crab. Great! If every pull was like this, we’ll be limited in no time!

So…..We set when low tide started moving out and we had about 100 extra feet of line so we figured, no big deal if the tide is moving fast, we’ll have the extra line to keep the buoys afloat…..Wrong! We watched our buoys go under and thought, well, we’ll probably see them again in an hour. Since we planned on only being on the water for a few hours, we brought no food or water for the entire day.

4 hours later, we finally see on of our buoys. We have been sitting tied up to a post for hours baking in the sun with no food or water. It took another hour for the other 3 buoys to appear and we were ready to get the heck out of there! It was 3 PM and I envisioned myself eating crab soaked in butter after a 2 hour nap by this time. It was low slack and we could see that close to the launch, there was almost no water. Good thing we have a jet! Again, WRONG!

We beached ourselves…..I waded back to the launch, ruined by favorite white chucks, got lost trying to get gas and food, and finally made it back just in time for the tide to have come in enough to take the boat out of the water. Did I mention how many crab we got though? 2 dungees and 3 rock. We should have stopped at our first pull. We are burnt to a crisp and hiding inside today. At least we have a few crab to eat! :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Graduation and hanging out at Hood Canal next weekend! Hopefully my sunburn heals by then!!!

Loving coastal fall fish

Some of the best fishing happens when we transition from summer to fall. The rivers are low and clear, the fall fish are patiently awaiting in the Bay for big tide swings, full moons, and bringing those water levels up and dirty so they can begin their journey up river.

The water conditions were perfect this weekend and we headed to the top of the river to get those traveling fish that are staging up for a little break. It started out very slow in our first hole and the few fish we did catch, were a bit on the dark side. Not quite what we were expecting. We headed down river and searched around for some more fish and found a few more pulling plugs.

The fish were biting alright, but we were having a difficult time keeping them on and most of them were chrome silvers. Jeff pulled over and let me give it a whirl on the oars! I’ve pulled plugs and divers before in the drift boat, but never got any participants until Saturday! I got my first plug fish and got to finally return the favor, and put Jeff on a nice fish!

 

We kept fishing around and were a few silvers shy of our limit but headed to the takeout to get the evening low tide and dig our own sandshrimp! I unfortunately spent most of the night doing homework, but was well rested for another day of salmon slaying!

Sunday, we headed down river a bit to see if we could find some brighter, fresher fish and we did just that! We released quite a few darker fish, but managed to fill the box with chrome! We even got a bonus hatchery steelhead! It was our friend Zak’s first time in our drift boat and he did great! We all got fish on so many techniques, but majority of the fish on Sunday were on eggs.

We had several groups of friends in their boats and it was another fall fishing trip to go down in the history books. I love steelhead, but fishing the coast each fall with tons of friends is the type of trip that I look forward to every year and it’s exactly the type of trip we needed to get our fishing “fix” after so many weeks of hunting and preparing for hunting!

Springers are so emotional!

We didn’t get out to the Columbia again for the last day, but we did hit the smaller rivers and were pleasantly rewarded :)

I had a very rough work week last week and decided, again no homework for me! Not so much because I didn’t want it, but I just couldn’t focus and I paid for it when I took my midterm today. Back to the good part! We got up bright and early, found the sweet spot and pitched bait for hours. Jeff got one on about 9 AM and it was definitely a nice one. Took up upriver and kind of hung out in some really heavy, boulder water and sawed him off at his main line after about a minute of fighting.

He was devastated but had never been more motivated. We were drifting bait and I started getting a bite. I lowered my rod to give some slack and after about 4 good bites, I put the wood down. FISH ON! And I just so happened to be breaking in my new IMX 13ft center pin rod!

After 3 seconds the smile wipes from my face and I get into a comfortable spot to bring this guy in. It seems as though the longer I fish for springers, the more stressful they get. I get this knot in my throat and this nauseating feeling in my stomach. My heart races and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to hide the sheer panic in my face. Jeff usually has to tell me to breathe and relax and that just makes me lose focus on the fish, which makes it worse. When I finally get the fish landed, a huge wave of relief washes over me. I get pretty anxious about all fish, but nothing quite like these guys. Perhaps because there are so few and far between and we’re fishing primarily for the table fare, not the rush. Funny how that works….

Anyhow, all of this emotion happened in about 20 seconds and we see the fish hit the surface. It’s a jack…..Now, it’s just a bonus fish and it’s all in fun! I’m actually playing around and I realized that I was tricked because my rod is so sensitive! How cool is that?! We have the IMX 13ft center pin rod and that’s what Jeff fishes with for springers so I know my rod is more than capable of handling a 15lb springer, but how awesome that I can actually play and enjoy a fight from a jack!

We fished for several more hours and when I went in the car to take a quick nap, not even 10 minutes went by and Jeff had a nice 13lb’er. He was extremely happy that he made up for the missing fish this morning and we get to bring home dinner again :)

Now hopefully I can find a good balance again between work, fishing, and homework! Off to Drano Lake for the next couple of weekends! Springer lovin’!!!!