|.......When you bow to the King, salmon that is.|
This morning Jim and I got to Wards Landing in the dark but could already see seven boats at anchor with their lights on waiting for the migrating salmon to grab their Quikfish or spinners. We maneuvered through the boats and headed upstream to our first wall hoping to find a few of the large stripers we'd been hearing about. The river has dropped considerably and this often moves the fish's holding areas.
After only a couple of casts Jim hooks up to a nice schoolie as we drift downstream. We make another pass and I hook up next to a heavier fish that takes us out into mid-river. We need the net on this one and a 14 lbers comes to the boat. Some of the same spots are still holding fish though.
We decide to give this location a rest and move farther up to several of our other favorite spots. The routine is the same. We get above where we want to fish, kill the big motor, and then use the electric to control our drift as we pass our intended spot.
We pick up several more small stripers at each spot but not the Moe's we're hoping for. We decide to head downstream to another area that always seems to hold big fish but along the way we hit a few more good looking walls.
Just below Lovey's I get a soft grab that doesn't move. I set the hook several times and finally get that unmistakable head shake. " This is a heavier fish" I tell Jim, and in that short moment the fish shoots under the boat and goes airborne on the other side. "It's a salmon" Jim yells, and all I could do was bow. Bow to give the line some slack exactly like bowing to a tarpon, only this time I was bowing to a king salmon. Several of the jumps had to be five feet in the air and each time I'd bow again. I was standing on the bow of Jim's boat thinking this is just like a flats boats and it was just like having a hook up on a nice tarpon. The salmon ate the same fly we'd been using for the stripers and was planted well in his upper jaw. Jim moved to boat to midstream and away from the snags near the banks. Soon enough our salmon comes to the net, a bright 24 lber.
Still covered in scales and fresh from the ocean, this one's going home with us for the BBQ.
We eventually get farther down stream to our big fish water. By now though the sun is high and the fish have dropped deep. We do manage one more schoolie though before heading home.
Another good day on the river,
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