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Saturday, September 3, 2011


I was supposed to Carp fish for three days the last full week of August with a good friend of mine. This has been a summer of changing plans and that trip fell victim to those changes.

This an odd number year so the Pinks (Humpies) are running. The run is late in coming or is not going to be as strong as predicted. On the morning of August 25, I had a chance to fish with Dale, one of the best, saltwater fly fishermen in the area.

We launched Dale's boat at a familiar, popular spot that I have fished many times. Fishing for Pinks, particularly in the salt, can be very hit or miss. When they are running in great numbers they are not difficult to catch. When there aren't many then they get difficult to catch. Typically, if you see them jumping and rolling then there are likely lots of lots of there friends right below them. We weren't seeing any fish jumping. In a couple hours of moving, anchoring, and casting, we didn't get a strike. Going back to the launch, taking out, driving to another spot, and motoring to a place to fish is usually not worth the trouble. We (Dale) decided to give it a try. I was hoping that that is what we (he) would decide particularly since I had never fished the spot he was thinking of.

There were way fewer boats and there were actually some Pinks around. Seeing a few fish jump stoked anticipation for both of us. A hookup came fairly quickly for me but that fish unbuttoned himself. Thirty minutes brought another take tor me from a fish that also self-released.

In the salt, Pinks are way more likely to bite when the change in the tide is "severe". We had a good serious tide change going on but we also had some serious wind. Fishing off a point, the tide rip made it like fishing a river; we cast upcurrent, mended, let the fly sink for a bit, and then started stripping. Pinks respond to a quickly stripped fly.

A female Pink was kind enough to take Dale's fly. I netted it for him; he took the net, and then bled the fish. I had never seen that done before. He cut the gills on each side and in a matter of seconds the fish was bled out. He explained that is what commercial fisherman due to preserve the taste of Salmon and that there are many local restaurants that won't buy Salmon that hasn't been bled when it was caught. Who knew?

Dale had a 90 quart cooler in the boat; the bled out fish was laid on ice. When I finally got one that didn't let itself go Dale netted it and asked to keep it to take it home to smoke. I like smoked Salmon and so does Katy but I don't own a smoker. Bled, and resting on ice, my fish was on his way to the smoker. We each brought another Salmon to the boat or I guess I should say we each brought another Salmon to the cooler to be taken home and smoked by Dale.

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