summer king

LOVING the sun!

I couldn’t have asked for a better, more beautiful weekend! We put away the Cowlitz springer gear last weekend and headed to a smaller river for some beautiful scenery and peace and quiet. I’m happy to say we didn’t see a single other boat, and we got quite a few shots at some fish in all different techniques. What a nice little change of pace from Drano, Columbia, and Barrier Damn on the Cowlitz!

 

Sunday, we headed up to the Sky for the opener and it wasn’t the greatest fishing, but it was another beautiful day! It was busy as expected, but the weather was perfect! Overcast morning with some good biters before 8 AM. The bite really did down in the late morning/afternoon after all the boats have gone through, but we ended up going 7 for 7! Only one hatchery fish, and 3 of those fish were down river steelhead, but it was still good fun and a great way to end the weekend!

Back to the grind this week, field course on Saturday, and fishing again on Sunday! I have finals next week too so either fishing will clear my mind enough to do well, or I’ll have to fit some serious studying in between all that :)

Summer fun

I think it’s safe to say that my dry spell is over! What a great weekend! I am truly blessed to be able to fish every weekend and any negative thoughts I had while I was pittying myself are long gone :)

We fished the Skykomish and right off the bat in the morning; I hit another great native summer run. Again, I am so grateful that she only jumped once. I REALLY HATE WHEN FISH JUMP! My buddy asked me why, and I said that because when I get a fish that does jump, I almost always lose it and I lose it on the jump. He replied, “But it’s so much cooler when you land it and you can say the fish jumped x amount of times!” This is true, but I don’t care. I lose more than I land when they are flipping and jumping all over the place. Coho and summer steelhead are my most nerve wracking fish to fight.

Right after I landed that one, I hooked into a nice low-teen size king and after about 30 seconds of digging and making its way towards the boat, my heart began rapidly beating as the fish made its first jump. “These guys don’t jump! What is wrong with this one!” I loosened my drag and watched the fish do flips around the boat, I lowered my rod and began panicking.

What a silly king. It must be hanging out with the summer run because it was jumping like a dolphin, rolling under the boat, AND using its wide body to defeat me. We’re using the steelhead series 6-10 lb Loomis sidedrifting rods and 10lb leaders. They are absolutely my favorite rods and we use them for ever species, but when you’re trying to land some strange king like this, it just kept using its body mass to sink back down away from the net when I finally lost the fight.

I was really disappointed, but Jeff made up for it by landing this 22 lb hatchery king. Again, it was a challenge to land, but he landed it on the same gear that I was using and he had a blast fighting it. I on the other hand, was almost crying because I didn’t think that I would be able to net it. I had very little time between when Jeff could pull his head up and when he realized he was next to a large boat and decided to take off again s I ended up just sticking the darn net in the water and letting him drift right to his death.

We lost another steelhead and Sunday was much slower. The weather was great, but I have to admit, we spent most of the day playing in the water after Jeff got a king first thing in the morning. After that, we were about done fishing and just enjoyed the river :)

Crabbing this week! Can’t wait!!

When life gives you lemons…..

In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t been catching many fish in the past 4 months. THIS IS RARE! I had a phenomenal winter steelhead season and since we’ve switched gears to springers, I’ve been in quite the rut. A normal springer season for me means having anywhere between 15-20 springers tagged on my license and Jeff the same. This year, Jeff had about 10 and I have an unbelievable TWO! One of them was a plug fish while trolling so I really don’t count that as MINE unless I was on the motor AND I landed it.

This is really the first year that we’re targeting summer steelhead on a regular basis and it’s not proving to be any better for me than springers this year. I’ve been out a few times and still had yet to get the first summer run of the year and still am not even catching any kings! The boat as a whole is doing great and we’ve taken A LOT of new people out so I spend a lot of time tying leaders, baiting hooks, and getting out tangles, but I was still VERY discouraged that I have only caught 5 fish (3 downriver steelhead) in the past 4 months.

I had VERY high hopes for Saturday with a boat full of our oldest fishing buddies and amazing weather. I was going to get the biggest and best making all of this suffering worth it. I was sadly mistaken when I still landed nothing and our buddy Ben got his 2 kings, one being an extraordinary 15 lbs and chrome bright.

On Sunday, I had damn near given up by 9 AM. Feeling defeated and discouraged, I was contemplating taking a few weeks off fishing and finding some witch doctor to cure me of this curse. Months of my prayers and/or begging the heavens for a fish were going unanswered, the weather was dreary, and nothing sounded better than to put my rod down, drink a beer, and take a nap and beer on the bow of the boat. I continued to fish my hardest and held back my tears of frustration after 2 rods were broken within 30 minutes.

Around noon Jeff finally hooks into a little summer run! I surprisingly wasn’t angry, and was very happy for some excitement. The motors still scare the living bejesus out of me, but I jumped right on them and worked with him to get the fish netted. Unfortunately, that little native steelhead did one jump and snapped the leader (I swear I did NOT tie that one!).

We went back up to hit the slot again and to my GREAT surprise, I had a fish on!!!! All I could hear was my reel screaming and all I could see was my high vis line heading for the snags. I finally got a fish and there’s no doubt it’s one helluva fish!

After a few LONG minutes of the fish playing hide and seek under the boat and through the motor, we landed this native summer run. She thankfully only jumped once and all my friends now, I panic when fish jump. I don’t like it at all!

I’m all smiles for the rest of the day and GLADLY watch each person land a fish for the rest of the day. We ended up going 2 for 3 on summer run and 2 for 2 on kings (jack only). We fished new water and I broke the curse!

So, when life gave me lemons I prayed and begged and when that didn’t work, I held back my frustration and fished on. I didn’t quite make lemonade, but I didn’t give up and I ended up being greatly rewarded. Let’s hope I can get my groove back! :)

Here are a few more of some other fish that we caught this weekend!