Monday, February 25, 2013
Gone Swimming-I mean fishing.
I have a year of catching up to do, I find it very difficult to sit down and write during the season. Way back in June I had my first clients of the year for salmon fishing. As part of the safety briefing the first day I explained how we would be fishing and the do's and don'ts that pertained. One of the don'ts happened to be a suggestion about the lock on the rod holder. I explained to them that it was unnecessary to lock the rod in and that it would only slow them down when a King Salmon took the lure. So with everything explained we headed up the Naknek River to one of my favorite runs.
We pulled in and set up the drift. I started with a fairly shallow line that I like when the fish haven't been disturbed for awhile. It was a very cool morning in th 40's, misty and all around gray. As we started into the drift I did my thing throwing out the fish guarantee. Having fished most spots on the river for hundreds of hours I can just about predict when we get the take most days. Even though I was thoroughly caffeinated I don't think I was really awake yet. I had just started to tell a story when the back left rod went down hard. I goosed the kicker full throttle for a couple seconds to set the hook. As I did I saw 350 dollars worth of rod catapult out the stern. The rod holder had collapsed and freed the G Loomis into a watery grave. I immediately started backing down on the rod, my eyes now wide awake and glued to a chunk of cork. Just as I got close enough to grab it, it sank. I slammed the kicker in neutral. As I was diving off the stern I saw the fish leap out of the water thirty yards to my right. I plunged head first into the cold water managing to stay attached to the boat by my knees. When I opened my eyes up under water there it was, the rod. My first grab for it I missed but caught the very end of the cork on the next swipe. To this day I'm not quite sure how I got back in the boat, but somehow I popped up with rod in hand. Rod in hand and fish still firmly attached. I handed it back to my 12 year old client who may have been a little in shock, I was right there with him. After a 15 minute fight we hooped the chrome bright King and welcomed her aboard. What a time to not be wearing a Go Pro. I definitely would of at least made the blooper real.
As for the not locking the rod in the rod holder well for the rest of that day we did, I wasn't ready to go swimming again.