springers

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:

http://steelheadgirls.com/the-springers-are-here/

 

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. :)

A little catch up

I’m finally on spring break so I can do a little catching up on my fishing life! It’s been fairly nonexistent compared to normal which is very disappointing but I passed another quarter of school and still have a job :)

Since we got the sled we’ve tried several times to do the whole, Cowlitz Blue Creek boat full of cookie cutter winter runs. Last year, we went about 6 times and failed every time. We managed to hook ONE for about 2 seconds and that was it for the entire year. Jeff’s been doing some research and trying some new stuff so we hit it up a couple weeks ago when everything else was blown. We didn’t get skunked, but again, we weren’t very successful. It didn’t sound like anyone was very successful so it wasn’t a terrible day. We got one fish and it was a good thing that it was Jeff that hooked it, but it really wasn’t the “Cowlitz” that everyone hears about. This was all I was able to capture of the moment!

We took another week off and got geared up for SPRINGERS! Springers might be my favorite fish to target (and to eat!) mostly because the time of year. It’s finally getting nice out again, we fish the Columbia and Drano lake a lot which is a little more relaxing and easy to take family, and we are just so darn successful on the Cowlitz (as compared to winter run)! Plus, our birthdays are in April and May so we do birthday trips for springers :)

We spent all night Friday night switching our gear, wrapping plugs, and getting the boat ready. We headed down with a truck full of buddies and the sun in the weather forecast. I was so excited I couldn’t even sleep on the way down. And I sleep everywhere. EVERYWHERE: school, work, cars, dinner, everywhere. So for me to not be able to sleep, I had to have been REALLY excited!

We found out spot and set up. Since it’s still a little early, we were anchor fishing Kwikfish. Of course, the boldest colors with the juiciest sardine wraps and all 5 rods were out. We had a great day BBQ’ing, sharing stories, napping (I wasn’t the only one this time), and of course, trying to catch the first springer of the year! We didn’t catch anything, but we did get a pretty cool show from a couple of bored tugboat drivers! They were right across from us obviously killing time, doing donuts, racing, and even a little face off to see who could push who harder.

I even drove the boat! I don’t like driving the sled, especially not in small rivers. It’s big, expensive, and fast. I don’t like going fast in anything and in the sled, if you’re not going fast, you can’t stay on plane and you won’t get very far in a small river. I try to avoid having to drive it at all costs but Jeff insists that I learn. I don’t mind driving it in the big water because there’s really nothing to worry about except seals and logs but at least I practiced! ;)

 

One more week of spring break and a couple fun birthday trips coming up! I’m ready for springers :)