Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sweetness and Light

After a mean plate of eggs and black beans with some bitchin' corn tortillas, we gathered up Little Bro, fired up the redneck ride and made our way out of town, lookin' for some large love.

High tide saw us in a backbay of a nearby island, Little Bro armed with the meatstick and us with the 10wt. No finners, no big showy signs. Lots of little hints, though. We watched candlefish shoaling, we saw a few birds working bait concentrations, and we decided that this felt good enough to take a chance on.

After an hour of cast, retrieve, ponder, second-guess, and repeat, we done got hammered by a chrome buck in the mid 20's. All doubts out the window, full speed ahead, and game on. After a superb net job by Little Bro and the tender ministrations of the crescent wrench kept expressly for this sort of thing, we motored back to the head of the bay for another drift.

That's when we met the Bastard.

He circled the boat a few times while we yelled and cussed at him, but he was a pro. He figured he was on to us and a little noise wasn't gonna fool him, by dog. We were hoping he would go find some fish of his own, maybe a clam or two and leave us the hell alone, but no such luck was to be had.

Of course, that's when we hooked up. If you haven't ever fought a mid-twenties king salmon trying to get away from a 300lb seal, you really haven't fought a a king salmon. This fish did everything but jump in the boat to get away, but in the end, the Bastard got ahold of him.

Tryin' to reel in some seal-meat...

Not content to let the Bastard win, we fired up the jet and took off in hot pursuit. The trick is to keep on top of 'em...but sometimes they go awful fast.

After 10 minutes, some furious reeling, a few choice epithets, and some awfully tidy boat-driving (if we do say so ourselves), the Bastard gave up and let our fish go. Little Bro made haste with the net, and the 2nd king of the day was at hand.

Upon closer inspection, the fish proved to have survived the ordeal quite handily, with only a few sets of bite-marks to show for the whole experience. A quick application of crescent wrench to dispatch him, and we were back in business.

The Bastard gave up and left, but not before following us around, giving us the hairy eyeball, and muttering threats under his fishy breath.

The rest of the morning was spent in seal-free bliss. Little Bro had apparently used up all of his Jedi Powers on his sole hookup of the day, but the dirty, dirty fly was producing somethin' fierce and we rode the wave until the fish left, with 4 more fish hooked and 2 that we counted coup on and released. When it was obvious that the little inlet was now fishless, we fired up the jet and planed the redneck ride out of the bay, headed back towards town.

3 hours of mayhem, with a couple of fine fish to hand. A long ride back to the ramp, and some heavy lifting up the dock...

How sweet it is.


Anonymous said...

ultron badassness, fella.

there's envy down portland way.

andy said...

Life in Bristol Bay is life in Bristol Bay... I had an encounter with a bastard today, too.... Accept he was an insurance agent from some where "down south" (yes, he has the accent) and after several nice trout in the 25"-27" range declared that he would like to go after "something big now" I like the 300 lb. seal better. What a douchebag.