Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fishing Adventure: Columbia River tributary fishing

"Turn it off! Turn it off! " my wife said as she shook me awake. This is how I commonly wake up during hunting season. You see, my wife is not exactly what we would call a morning person. In fact, I would venture to say that there is no sound that she hates more then the sound of my alarm clocks (yes ,more than one) going off at 4am. Once I am awake she goes back to sleep and I quietly make breakfast and head out the door for whatever adventure that day has in store.
On this particular day, I had planned on being in the woods by first light. I had seen some signs of deer in the area I was planning on hunting and I wanted to make sure I was overlooking this clear cut by the time the sun started coming up. I grabbed a can of Monster energy drink to get my blood pumping and headed out the door. I successfully made it to the edge of  the clear cut a half hour or so before first light and I quietly got out of the truck, put on my orange vest, loaded my rifle and ever so gently closed the truck door. I then slowly walked up the road, making sure I was down wind from the clear cut, and made my way to a higher point so I could glass the field.
That was the end of my excitement...I didn't hear anything, didn't see anything, and definitely didn't shoot anything. I sat there for about 3 hours,  then I walked up and down some game trails hoping to jump a buck or at least see some fresh scrapes. NOTHING....didn't see a thing. I continued to hunt the area until I became discouraged, then thought to myself , "Screw it, I'm going fishing," as I headed back to the truck. I was only about 20 minutes from a smaller river that is a tributary of the Columbia and I had fished it in the past a few times and usually did pretty well there. I had planned ahead for this situation and had made sure to take all my fishing gear along with me on this hunt.
I drove to the river and put on my waders, grabbed my rods, and then started to wade upriver. This particular river has a reputation for having a lot of snaggers and one thing I have noticed about people that intentionally snag fish is... they are usually pretty lazy. Most of them prefer to fish right alongside the road, or as close to their vehicle as possible. If they don't have to wade or hike anywhere they usually won't. So I hiked a quarter mile or so upriver from everyone else and found a nice seam where the fast water met some slow water and formed a back eddy behind a large boulder. "That's perfect bobber water," I thought as I got my float rod ready and secured some cured roe in the egg loop. I cast my presentation a few feet up from the hole so the river would float my presentation right in to the hole. The water was deeper then I thought so I reeled up and then adjusted my bobber stop so the eggs would be a couple feet deeper in the water on my next cast. I cast again and a few seconds later...BOBBER DOWN. I fought the fish for a few minutes and then reeled in a beautiful chrome bright Coho hen.
I continued to fish this spot for a couple hours. I ended up catching three more silvers, two hens, and one bright buck, all of them fishing bobber and eggs.
I even had time to go hunt a little bit in the evening as I headed home. I couldn't help but think how awesome it would be to go home with salmon and a deer but unfortunately no such luck. It was still an awesome day and it's always nice to have some fish to take home for the freezer.

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