I’m just ready for springers

z riI’m really kind of over steelhead and just want to fish for springers. We did manage to get one steelhead to the boat, and a bonus springer on a coon shrimp behind a diver.

Always very, very exciting and it was super nice outside! But next weekend, we’ll be on the Columbia forgetting all about steelhead! YES!!!

I did a little soul searching this weekend and realized a couple things that I’ve allowed to impact my mood while fishing. There are a few days where I’m just a cranky B**CH; typically towards targeted people.

These are people that I like very much and I enjoy their company so I’m surprised when I find myself short tempered and not as happy as I should be doing what I love.

I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year and this weekend, I reinforced something that I learned last summer: I don’t like being in a position where I’m forced to either be a pushover, or compete. I’m not a competitive person until I realize someone is trying to compete with me. Whether that means directly with me personally, or simply competing to catch fish. And even then, not competing to catch more fish than me, or better fish than me, but competing by an individual player on the boat and trying to put themselves in better situations, even that means putting someone else in a worse situation.

I’m basically a deckhand every weekend. Some weekends are easier than others, but it’s my genuine nature to make myself useful and help others. One thing that fulfills me greatly is being a part of someone else succeeding. Even if I didn’t catch the fish, if I was able to make that persons day a little easier, help them tie leaders, bait hooks, net fish, or simply be a positive attitude to help their day, I am fulfilled.

When people purposefully cast over others, cast out of turn, act lazy, stand in front of rods so it’s easier for them to grab when one goes off, or pick up a rod that’s already rigged up when they see 4 broken off rods, I start to get defensive. I emphasize purposefully because we take a lot of new friends and family and as long as you are willing to learn and grateful, I want nothing more than to go out of my way to help you. When it’s the people that know better, I feel that instead of keeping the boat (and everyone on it) operating smoothly, they prefer to ensure their opportunities to catch fish are above others and that’s when I allow negativity to seep into my mind and I start being forced to live in a dog eat dog world and that’s just not me.

So, now that I’ve identified what impacts my mood, I know that only I can change this. My new mission is to stop allowing this. I can’t change these people and being a b**ch to people doesn’t make them want to help out and my mood never changes. I don’t know quite yet how to fix this or how I’m going to do this, but I feel ready at least now that I’ve identified my problem.

So here’s to getting back to relaxation and FISH ON!

Springers are here!

Even though I had yet another weekend of fishing, the real excitement and success came from a springer that Shawn caught on the boat! The first springer of the year and I can’t wait for dinner tonight!

We weren’t exactly targeting springers but we did make sure to have a few bait rods out just in case. We almost always have a couple people fishing bait no matter what, but this springer happened to be hungry for an artificial lure with steelhead scent. One of my favorite things about springers is their unpredictability, change of preference, and the uniqueness of each one. We didn’t believe Shawn when he hooked up and said “it’s a springer”. It ran to the other side of the river and I quickly jumped on the bow to show him how to steer the fish back to our side. He got a bit nervous and told me “don’t mess with my fish” lol. Once he got the fish back over and we saw that purple back, the atmosphere changed. Jeff grabbed the net, I grabbed the  motor and there weren’t anymore words said except between Jeff and Shawn. The fish was now in the boat and they celebrated with beer.

Aside from the springer, we had another great accomplishment! Shawn’s son’s (mother’s, brother, cousin, just kidding) girlfriend was out with us. She got her first salmon with us this fall and she got her first steelhead this weekend! The first fish to the boat and she did awesome!

We had almost everyone else get at least one steelhead and I hooked 4! Another victory for me!

Springer article!

New article is up discussing the most important factors when fishing for springers in small rivers:



Birthday fishing!!

We really haven’t been fishing much lately so all I wanted for my birthday was to fish all weekend and not have any homework so I wasn’t worried about getting off the water at a decent time. I took last Friday off work so I could finish all my homework for the weekend and we headed down to Kalama in search of our first springer for the year. With the reports last week, we were pretty confident the odds would be in our favor, especially since it was MY BIRTHDAY!

Jeff, Andrew and I headed down to meet our buddy Kiley and start the weekend celebration! We started out Saturday anchored up with plugs dancing away. We watched as a couple boats around us hook up and wait patiently. As the tide slacked out and our plugs lost energy, we picked up and trolled herring the rest of the afternoon. Again, we watched a couple boats hook up and patiently waited our turn.

Andrew and I celebrated a bit too much and dozed off while Jeff and Kiley kept an eye on the rods. We wake up quite startled when Kiley’s rod goes off. In a complete panic, we reel all the rods up and get the fish in the boat. FINALLY!!!!! It wasn’t my birthday fish, but it was the first springer of the year in the boat and a huge relief to know we weren’t complete bad luck or something. The wind and tide made it extremely difficult to fish so we packed up and headed out with our one fish. We continued my birthday celebration and Kiley graciously gave us half of his fish! YUM!!!! lunch tomorrow!

We hit the sack early and woke up refreshed and ready for another beautiful day on the river. Again, we anchored up with our dancing plugs and again, watched as a few select boats got tagged repeatedly. Jeff, being the genius that he is, figured out where we needed to be based on a few variables and we re-anchored and put the dancers out. After just 30 minutes, a plug gets hit. “DID YOU SEE THAT?” I could hardly think. I couldn’t decide if I was happy or mad because the rod wasn’t going off. I relaxed and went back to eating that delicious fish when that same rod goes off just 5 minutes later.

Jeff picks it up and hands it over to the birthday girl. I could hardly breath. I can’t lose this fish. This is my birthday fish and my first springer of the year. It gets within sight and I swear, I see the native fin. In fact, I see it twice! I actually am a little relieved because if I lose it, it doesn’t matter! I bring it up closer and it’s not native at all. My mind is playing tricks on me! Oh my gosh, get this thing in the net ASAP!

Thank goodness, the Kwikfish completely sewed it’s mouth shut and we get it in the boat. I’m smiling a little, but I’m not jumping for joy. My knees are shaking profusely and I can’t think. Andrew and Jeff are so excited and start taking care of the fish and get the other rods out as I just stand there. Speechless. I start crying. Balling. Tears running down my face; I can’t think of a time where I felt a bigger sense of relief. They think it’s hilarious and I try to wipe my tears so I can take a pic of that plug and get it back out there dancing around.

We finish out that tide cycle and go back to trolling hoping to get the last two fish. Again, we watch boats hook up patiently waiting our turn. We didn’t end up finding anything else, but we all split the fish that we did get and made a million memories this weekend. I couldn’t be more grateful for getting to spend it with 3 awesome people and getting my first springer of the year. :)