Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Buzz Clears at the Root

The alarm came and went on the Monday morning, the day after our night of booze.  We got on the water as quick as possible.  We knew that a weekday wouldn't draw the kind of crowd we just put up with the past two days and had a good feeling about the day in general.  The air was brisk with the sun slowly working its way over the treeline.  We worked our way to the same spots we worked the past few days.
It could have been the late start or the fact that we had a little more action than normal, but the morning seemed to go by pretty fast.
ET was the big winner of the morning hooking up and landing three salmon, one being a coho with spawn colors starting to come in.  His fish couldn't resist his pink streamer that resembled a popsicle fly but with a little less material.  It was a gorgeous fish and a great catch.

Tom was real proud of this catch and was the big fish of the weekend so far.  I think it came in at about 15lbs. but that is just a guess.  Another great catch for Tom and it looked like he was going to run away with the total on the weekend.  The Big Easy was not on the board yet with his first of the trip.

Finally, I see some slack in my line and set the hook. I feel weight pulling on the other end of my line.  This was weight that I have never felt on the other end of a fly rod before.  I quickly inform ET to make his way back toward me because I will need some help netting this fish.  The Big Easy gave his net to ET since mine was up on shore. This fish fought hard and long. I brought it close a few times and could see the white bugger clearly in his mouth.  After one more run that had the fish about 40 yards downstream, I was able to gain control of the fish again.  ET goes to put the net on the fish and all of a sudden SNAP!
My heart sank for a moment.  Here was the fish of my lifetime, caught on a fly that I tied myself and the line snaps.  ET lifts the net and there is a huge king salmon in it with the hook still in its mouth attached to the line.  It hits me, the line didn't snap, my fly rod did.  Never mind that right now, the fish of my lifetime is in the net.  We start walking to shore to get a few pictures and weight of the beast.  About four feet from shore, the fish is back in the water.  The fish ripped through the net, but luckily it barely had energy to swim away. 
The 17lb. female that destroyed my fly rod and the Big Easy's net.  The fish measured out at 34.5 inches and was my biggest fish.  After collecting my thoughts and few apologies to the BE, I rigged up my other rod and went back to work.  ET was able to hook up with three for the morning with me ending up with two including the monster.  A much needed rest was in order. 
That midday nap was just what the doctor ordered, and even though the three of us could have laid there all afternoon, our workday was not over.  We beat the after work rush and started with the main pool we have been working.  This is where the numbers get all bundled up so I will not be going into much detail about the next series of fish caught.  Just note that the next 36 hours of fishing was epic for me.  I was able to pick up six more salmon that night and six salmon the next morning to bring my total to 17 fish on the entire weekend.  The three of us were able to bring 31 fish to net (well until my net broke also) or hand. The Big Easy landed both his first king and coho on a fly rod.
The Big Easy getting in the action.
I still can not believe that three guys hooked and landed 31 fish when five guys had a total of three fish the year before.  As for that 17lber I caught that morning, I topped that with this 19lber.
This beast was 19lbs., 37.5 inches, and did not break my pole, although it did rip my net.  All in all this was a fantastic trip with two great friends.  We were missing a few guys from the party, but with numbers like this, we did not miss many fish.  I can only hope for numbers like this again in the future.

Here are a couple of more pictures of fish from the trip.

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