Sunday, June 8, 2008

North of the Border - Day 1

Got the call there was action in the north, it was good, big bugs are out… you in? I have never caught a fish during a Salmonfly hatch… hell I have never caught a fish on a Salmonfly pattern! I did what any fisherman would do, I said yes. Now I am thinking about it, I am penniless just paid all the monthly bills and huge unforeseen bill that came in… this will put me over, oh well. I was pretty overwhelmed but I sat down and gave myself the good old slap in the face, yelled something like "get a hold of yourself", my conclusion was that there are fish up there and that's just life, everything else is a hobby. I'm going, no matter what.

My work is pretty much awesome; my boss-es are very cool about letting me get time off, rearranging my shifts and understand that hatches happen. I think that they are probably sick of me anyway so it’s a win-win ; ) More often than not, I am a pain in the ass when it comes to scheduling, I'm always switching sifts of sorts to chase fish. I am lucky. So far so good, got the time off… I'll just need to power out some double-shifts when I get home.

Arriving at the water Grizz plucked a big bug from the willow, finally, a good sign for sure. Got a chance at a fish on top. I am not sure why but I am always a day late or too early when I target these bugs, who knows really why I suck at finding these things but I'm pretty much over it, today's the day…. I hope.

We both rigged only one rod, dry fly only. I had a long, really long drift (OK too long) when it happened. The fly was engulfed in a large angry outburst that I was not expecting. I went for the long, really long hook-set, a Hail Mary really. Inside I think Grizz and I both doubted that I'd stick it, doubt was now gone, the fish was unquestionably caught. At that moment there was a sense of peace…right, just kidding, not really anything that enchanting happened, it was just sweet! I learned right then that one is not enough. The fight was great, a fat health bow was to hand, I couldn't have asked for anything more… well, maybe a 10lber. Must have been too caught up in the moment, I was too excited, and forgot to take a picture of my first fish on a SF, I'm an idiot, I should have got a shot of that, after all that's what I'm here for!

My turn on oars…. lets see, its not as hard as I thought it would be but its harder than you'd think to be good at it. I am more of a walker than a boat guy, so my skills are at about zero when it comes to this style of fishing.

My goal was to put Grizz into position for at least one fish, not get yelled at and most important not to flip the boat. I gave it my best and he had fish to hand on the dry. Guess I didn't do too badly or maybe it’s the fact that he is an accurate caster, either way it want pretty good for the first try.

The last few miles were a nightmare, windy! Gale force winds blowing up the river created a challenge to say the least. Grizz would power us for a bit, when he got tired I'd hop on the oars. My job eventually turned into just keeping us in one place until Grizz was rested as I sucked. I'd row for what seemed like an hour and we'd move only a few paces. Grizz would row and we actually went somewhere. Repeat this for a few hours and we finally made it to the take out. A great day on the water... and the trip has just started.

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