For the last four years now, I have had my eye on a particular river in British Columbia which purportedly has good fishing for chum salmon, which is the last Pacific salmon species I need for my list. We now live only 20 minutes from the Canadian border since I started a new job in north-central Washington this summer. So early in October, I decided it was time to give it a try and arranged two full days of fishing. Surely that would be enough for just one chum.
I pulled one of my leave-after-work-sleep-in-my-car-fish-all-day stunts. I'm sure the scenery was amazing on the way there and back, but I missed it all since it was dark the whole time, so no pictures. You'll have to settle for some wildlife that joined me on the riverbank.
|I could have spit on this doe (don't worry... I didn't). For some reason she was much more interested in a dog 100 yards down the bank than my ugly mug 3 yards away.
|Pretty fancy stuff. I've "fly fished" with these for trout and steelhead, but hadn't used them for salmon before.
I set out anyway and I found a good looking run to fish and even had it all to myself. I could see some pretty big Chinook jumping in front of me so I knew I was on the right track to at least get the skunk off even if no chum were to be had. I fished up and down the run waiting anxiously for my bobber to disappear. And it did, several times. I brought in a few small whitefish and one beautifully spotted rainbow which was actually a new subspecies for me. It was my first coastal rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss irideus). The trip was a success! Not what I was expecting, but I'll take it.
|Pretty little feller.
|The whole river was beautiful, but this was my favorite view!
|Sometimes elephants eat peanuts! At 15 lbs, I'm not sure it's quite big enough to call it an elephant, but it definitely ate something small enough to call a peanut!
|The king of the salmon.
I took my hat off to have a good contemplative head-scratch and in the process, felt my thumb graze something on the underside of the bill of my hat.
|Never underestimate the sneakiness of a woman.
I probably looked pretty goofy standing there on the river bank staring at my hat while mentally weighing my options. Needless to say, my fondness for my lady won out over another day of mediocre salmon fishing. I declared the trip a success; I had after all caught a new subspecies of trout and a nice Chinook, the chum would just have to wait till next year. I packed up my gear and headed back to the United States to spend the rest of the weekend with my favorite girl and her two little ladies-in-training. Now to be fair, I can't say for certain that she intended to deprive me of my second day of fishing when she set her snare, but I'd say the evidence speaks for itself. In the future, you can be sure that I'll be on the lookout for more of those sneaky traps. She plays dirty and I love her for it!