Day two started bright and early, before dawn. Packed the car and headed to get Breakfast. Why is it that I eat nothing but junk when I go fishing, somehow I find myself shopping for food and the gas station… again? Grabbed some "I can't believe they call this a breakfast sandwich" sandwiches, gas and off to the Oasis.
Today we decided to hit a lesser know section in hopes of getting into a big one. We shoved off and started the morning warming up by tossing streamers. After yesterdays disasters I had one goal, to get a Kokanee. I had also promised myself that I would take the time to stop and target the sippers. You get to enjoy the surroundings a bit more. Ripping streamers and floating is great but you either target the approaching bank (that always looks good) or you can take a look around. I would like to say that I take more time to enjoy it but sometimes I get locked into the trace and before you know it four hours has whizzed by.
The first bend was a beautiful long right-hander. Classic set up, picture perfect. There was a steep embankment with the foam line gingerly flowing down the length of the curve. The opposing shore held slack, stale water with a larger than normal dead current. Nate was in front heading for the bend and I was following a fair distance behind taking the same line. We hit the bend with no success, great another one of these days. Nick took the left side with the slack water. Made a few casts… SLAM, the reel was screaming. He was mid river, the deepest section and the fish is running in every direction…. Again the drag is screaming, there is nothing he can do but hold on. Being in a pontoon has some advantages and some disadvantages. He gained control of the fish and headed for shore. After a good fight the brute was landed. What a fish… a fat, colorful Rainbow. After having a front row seat watching the fish, I was impressed with the smoothness of the Ross reel. There was times when it just took off, acting as if it was a fish twice its size. The drag never hesitated, sputtered or was slow to respond to the initial jerk… good ol' Ross. Well, the day might just pan out after all. We spent the rest of the morning picking up a fish here or there. By this time I had a few grabs but nothing to hand. Looking ahead I saw a sipper. I had nothing to loose and a 6" fish will at least get me on the board. So I rigged up with the trusty Ant trailing tiny midge. Figuring that they would sip the tiny #28. To my surprise the Ant was slammed right away. I'm on the board. Looking around I saw a few more sippers, feeding in a small faint foam line tucked away tight to the bank. The next few casts landed fish including a healthy little brown.
For the next few hours the float was great. Nick picked up another nice Bow and Nate had a few under his belt Including a beautifully colored Cutthroat and I didn't do to bad either with the sippers and two off a streamer. We pulled over for lunch, while eating I looked over and saw a few feeders. I grabbed my rod and proceeded to stalk these guys. Yep, as fate would have it I hooked them… and lost them. Oh well that's how my luck has gone lately. We pushed on and started to pick up a few more on streamers. Nate even got a Whitey on a streamer, Circus Peanut of all things. Around the bend I was scanning water, I swear I saw a jumping red fish. I yelled over to Nick and told him what I saw. Nick stayed in the boat while I ran up to get a better look upstream. I didn't see anything.. So my mind is playing tricks on me Nick thought I was loosing it. As I got back to my boat I looked down stream. There was a small split in the river, a side channel but didn't look like anything special. I had been checking side channels all day. The guides pushed right by this one or else they would have been here by the time we arrived. As I was giving it a glance over I noticed a sipper. I thought what the hell, it's been a slow day. So I yelled over to Nick once again and we made our way over there. At the split we looked down to noticed a red fish, then another. I am sure that we yelled out loud at the same time, KOKANEE! We got out of our boats and crept down the side channel, well I crept and Nick walks as quiet as Shreck : ) A big Trout scooted out, crap was that the sipper? I think I muttered something like quit spooking the fish or some gibberish like that. Walking a bit further from the boat we now saw the "sippers". Once your eyes got adjusted to seeing the entire big picture, the water was alive with red. These were not "sippers" but Salmon. Had to be a hundred of them, stacked side by side. I had never seen anything like it. They were going nuts, snapping their jaws at the surface, chasing other fish and just going bonkers. We walked the entire side channel it was choke full of these crazy looking fish. The other side of the island that split the river was also full of Salmon but not nearly as many. We ran to get Nate, yelling and screaming like idiots. This is why I came.
After rigging up we attacked with "four hours of not catching fish" fury. It was insane and Nate had the money Kokanee fly… so he handed them out to the rest of us. Making our way down stream I found myself standing above the outlet of the side channel. Like any jackass I decided to fish (casting a nymph rig) down stream. A few casts the line went tight and a rather large Rainbow was on! I tried to horse it across the fast water seam to my side of the bank to land the fish. That's right about the time when the line went slack. Man, my new found bad luck is really getting on my nerves. We proceeded to make our way over to fish the seam like smart people. Nate hooked into a healthy rainbow. He right hand is fast water and Nate was doing a good job of keeping the fish in front of him and away from the current. I grabbed the net and got into the river. I have no idea but somehow we managed to get this stubborn fish into the net. At one moment I thought that the fish was going to dart between my legs and I would somehow loose it for him, the downside of netting someone else's fish. What a fantastic fish, bright and healthy. We stayed fishing that run for a bit, taking turns hooking Rainbows. Every fish ran down stream and tried to make it to the fast water. I lost another good fish of course and Nate hooked a few more.
By this time it was getting late and we made the decision to push on and cover some water. Well, that wasn't the best idea due to the fact that we left fish to get no fish. The sun was setting and we were a little more than half way according to the GPS. So we rowed and rowed and rowed. It seemed like hours, oh wait it was. We finally made it back to the car, tired and hungry. The drive back home is was a long one. It was a great trip and I can't wait to go again.