Well it’s true, some days are diamonds and some days are stones and every nice in a while stones turn into a diamonds. Shall I explain?
I spent the last three days with DJ, Bryan, Norm and Steven. Great guys which made a great crew. I will admit that I struggled to get these guys into fish. We drew a blank the first afternoon and then a complete blank the following day. That’s a hard thing to deal with when boats around you are boxing fish and your box remains empty. I take it personally, I shouldn’t, but I do. I so badly want people to experience the rush of fighting such amazing fish as the spring salmon we have here in Barkley Sound. When you spend 12 hours on a boat in the Pacific with nothing in the box, one trends to desperation. My crew, however saw it differently. They had a blast. That said, it made me want to try all the harder the next day. So we did.
We ran our gear at 33′ and 31′ at Kirby. I ran anchovies on one side and a Bon Chovey skinny g on the other. First pass through we hit a nice spring. Bryan was excellent on the rod as he brought the fish towards the boat. Finally we looked like we would have one in the box. But, yup there was a but, the fish ploughed the water on the surface as a seal lined it up for a breakfast snack. 30 minutes later we managed our gear back but the fish was gone. Of course all around us boats are netting fish, taking advantage of the morning bite. We hurried to get our gear back in the water and over the course of the morning we boated 3 decent springs. Much better than the day before but a bit short of what we had hoped. The day was still young though and we were determined to find fish.
We headed over to Gibraltar and Swale, where the afternoon bite at the tide change had been good to me. No such luck on this day. We marked tons of bait and lots of salmon but could not encourage a take. Getting late in the day we made a move to Whittlestone and here we took one last fish for the day. This one, however was special. Was it a tyee? No. A spectacular fight? Not really. But it was the fish of the summer for me, as it was caught and landed by Steven, who is blind. Steve was aboard my boat with Roxy his guide dog. Steve fought this fish by feel and he was spectacular. I was amazed, proud and stunned all at the same time. I’ve had double diget spring salmon days, I’ve caught Tyees, 40s and even two in the 50s, but Steve’s fish was better than them all. Not because he overcame his disability but because he came despite his disability. In the three days we spent together I realized that Steve was just Steve, special because he really is, not because he’s blind. I’ll never have a better fishing day. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, and sometimes stones turn into diamonds.
Thanks boys for a memorable trip.
Now, more about the fishing.
It’s good right now. Bait (though small bait is better), small spoons and glow white hootchies have been the best choices for spring salmon. 30′ to 40′ on your down riggers. All the usual spots are good. Just make sure you fish the early morning bite and through the tides. Whittlestone and Kirby have been solid, same with the Wall and just west of Aguilar Point. Coho still have not arrived in numbers, fingers are crossed they get here soon! There are a few around but not what it should be for this time of year.
Offshore is still spotty. Big Bank has been downright poor. Hali fishing has been ok but nothing like it was in July. Hopefully both will turn on one more time before the end of the season.
Please come see us at the lodge and store. Gas and diesel are at the docks along with bait and tackle in the shop. Aussie John will talk your ears off if you let him. It’s highly entertaining so go ahead, let him.
I’m back to Vancouver soon and back to my other life as Coach. School starts in a few days. I have two more groups and then I’m done for the season. Stay tuned for some reports as we close the year.
Till then, tight lines and full boxes…