This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
November 14th, 2005

Happy Mistake

Wednesday afternoon my husband JC, and I finally had an opportunity to go fishing. The best time on Wednesday was from about 10:00 am to noon, just before and at the high tide. However, just because we 'work for ourselves' it doesn't mean we can shuck off responsibility just because there are fish to be caught. We had FAOL business to do, and we didn't get out to the water until 2:00 pm. The car had been loaded up in advance, so it was just a matter of taking off for the creek.

A day or two before JC had laid out all the gear we needed, tied up a few Castwell's Chum flies and even tied up a couple long leaders. We had discussed which rods to take, and decided on a brand new 8 wt. custom rod he had received, and a rod (a Redington) which Marc Bale (Sage) had asked me to try. That rod was one he had taken up the Dean River for steelhead.

I was going to fish the new custom rod, and JC was set to fish the Redington. We would probably switch off at some point so we both knew what the rods could do. One of the reasons he was going to fish the Redington was that it is an 8wt., but 10 foot. A 10 foot rod is harder to stop than a shorter, even 9 foot, rod and since I've only fished one 10 foot rod some time ago, I was more comfortable with the idea of fishing the 9 footer too.

There are times when I just function out of habit, and to be honest once we were on the creek I just started casting in the direction of whatever fish we could spot. I don't believe I gave any particular thought to the rod, just that the leader seemed a bit long and didn't function quite as it should. But other than that, I was able to make nice long casts without much effort at all.

We don't always fish side-by-side, and in this case we weren't. But eventually we met up again and I mentioned the leader problem. He asked me to hand him the rod and he would fix the leader as he had already adjusted his. I did. Up until that point I really wasn't conscious of which rod I had, just that it cast very smoothly, was very well balanced and not much work at all.

As I was telling JC all this, he just smiled and said, "You know you've been fishing the Redington, don't you?"

Well, I didn't.

I must say I was - and am - rather pleased with myself. Here's an old bat throwing an 8 wt., 10 foot rod like there was nothing to it. And to be honest, it really was easy. Not necessarily a term I'd usually use to describe a rod, but it fits.

This is not a product review - but in case you are looking for a dandy 8 wt, 10 foot rod, it is the Redington CPS, 4 piece, retail price $279.00. And yes, it is outfitted for saltwater use. It indeed was a happy mistake.

I did get to fish the custom rod for a while, and gladly switched back to the Redington. No offense to the custom rod, I just got along better with the Redington.

There were not a lot of fish, but enough to catch some. I saw three fish caught while we were there, one by a fly fisher who had waded a long way out into the esturary, one by Don Brooks from Lacy who was up here fishing with his friend Rance, and the one I caught. Rance did have one on, but it came unbuttoned before he could land it. There were only 14 anglers there on Wednesday afternoon, and the greatest share were fly fishers. It was really nice to see that many fly fishers, and every one of them did a very nice job of casting. Lovely to see.

Here's a little record JC took of mine. It was a nice male, about 12 pounds, quickly landed and gently released to make more chum salmon.

I had a phone discussion with a couple of friends, and we may not have a big run this year. We call it the year of the Orca. In 1997 at the height of the Chum salmon run, a pod of Orca whales, (also called Killer Whales) followed the salmon into the bay, and almost came up to shore at the creek. As I recall there were about 20 whales in the pod, and they ate horrendous numbers of the salmon. As a result, there were far less salmon to spawn, in turn less salmon returning four years later. This years run is the result of the fish that successfully spawned from the very small group which were available four years ago.

We may have the best of what there is now. Being a fisherman, and an eternal optimist I hope our logic is totally wrong.

Regardless, we should have fish next week, and we plan on getting out to the creek again toward the beginning of the week. We'll check the tide charts, but by then the high tide should be mid-to late afternoon. The best of both worlds.

I will post a Fishing Report on the Bulletin Board to let anyone in the region know what's happening. ~ DLB

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