Triple darns but one more for the hatchery

Published on January 28th, 2009 by Chris

Fueled by the excitement of yesterday fishing trip, it did not take much urging to get back out there again today.

I wanted to get to the river right at daylight but when I got in the Leaf Mobile I saw the gas gauge needle at empty, darn forgot to fuel it up yesterday. This meant a detour for some petrol that made me 10 minutes late arriving at the river. Roll Eyes Was this a sign of what lay ahead for this forgetful angler.

As the”hot spot” came into view when I clambered down the river’s bank with daylight now 10 minutes old, horrors of all horrors, there was someone in my run. Shocked  Grin I could not believe my eyes. Huh Grin

Anyway that’s OK, I got my tube, if the angler hooked one that I felt he would, the tube would be ready. Actually I was so cocky that I had 2 tubes today, just waiting to have a wild steelhead put in them.

I decided to work a secondary run and leave the run to the lucky one but I kept an eagle eye on him to see if his pole would indeed bend.

I was just getting started at the head of the run when all of a sudden the angler in the “hot spot” was on the move. Huh I was excited to move down to the now vacant run but with no one in sight I might as well finish fishing the run I was at before I moved to it. After about 5 minutes I could wait no longer, I was on the move.

I trembled with excitement as I made my first cast thinking, “Are they here again today?”

I did not have long to have my question answered as near the tailout the Maple Leaf Drennan dipped, I was ready, I striked, there he was, one head shake, two head shakes, darn gone! My first loss of the year after landing the other three I have hooked to start the season. Little did I know things were going to get worse.

About 50 feet above the initial hookup the float dipped again, I striked nothing there, was it bottom as the run is fairly shallow, no I estimated that I was at least a foot above bottom. The next cast same spot down again, I striked, one head shake a bit of a boil then slack, double darn. What was going on? I check my hook, it was sharp.

Nothing more for a while so I moved up to the top of the run. On the first cast down went the MLD, the strike saw the Drennan flying out of the water onto the rocks. Luckily it did not shatter. On went another bait, I am ready now, as the MLD drifted into the zone down it went again, the hook set yielded a solid feeling, as before a single head shake, a boil, then the sickening feeling of slack line, triple damn.

What was going on here? A long time since this has happened to me, what a beak I thought to myself. Maybe the two tubes were the problem, way too confident in myself. Another 10 minutes of nothing so I moved down a tad to another run with a nice spill over. I put on an egg sac for a change of pace. On the second cast and for the 5th time of the morning the MLD is swimming below the surface, once again I striked only to come up empty, the egg sac was torn up some but good enough for another drift. Same spot down again, head shake once again but this time the steelhead is taking line, hooked. Grin Grin

It put up a good fight certainly better than the one yesterday, I was hoping for a wild of course. It took around 5 minutes before I saw the pleasant shape of an adipose, a steelhead on the upside or downside of 9 pounds, a very chrome doe.
It took another couple of minutes of back and forth action before I had her on her side and she easily slided into the holding tube. Well it was about time after so may chances. I phoned the hatchery to arrange the pickup.

I also checked in with “The Master” and told him of my good and bad luck, he had been blanked so far. “The fish that were in the location I am at must have moved into your area” he added.

I had tied the tubed fish up to part of a limb, I checked it a couple of times to make sure she is resting comfortably. Shortly after it was like bees being attracted to honey as anglers start to appear from all sides of me. Huh Two had moved into the run where I had all the action. I stayed near the tube. It did not take long until one of the anglers was into one. The angler was packing a tube too so I moved up to watch the action and helped tubing it if it was another wild, its a good sized buck, near 14. As it neared the shore we saw there was no adipose and one less steelhead in the river.

It was not long until George and Ron arrived for the pickup, they told me that they picked up another on the way down. It appeared after a slow start the wilds are now being caught.

As they were getting ready to leave they got word that another wild was in a tube a few hundred yards above us, a worth while trip for them this morning.

Shortly after they left the cell phone rang. It was The Master, I guess all the fish had not left his area as he told me that he had landed a good sized hatchery buck but he was not sure of the weight. I know it must be a good one as he would not have kept one that early in the day.

I joined up with Lew who had just come out, we tried some other runs but come up empty.

I decided to leave Lew at it while I went for lunch. Just as I left, Nick called again and said his fish was bigger than he thought, 18.91 pounds, which was good for first place in the Wally Hall Junior Memorial Derby. I look forward to see the photo of that monster.

After lunch I returned to the river and tried for another hour but I had run out of chances and headed for home with memories of 3 fish lost but pleased with another for the hatchery which was the most important thing.

Besides those lost maybe there will be more tomorrow for you or me, time will tell.

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