Washington was not my first visit to the northwest coast but was my
first fly fishing venture. This first week back at work has been kind
of pointless because my heart and head are still on the Puget Sound.
When Tom Wolf emailed a map to me with directions to the Tacoma Narrows
and the last sentence said "Hope this starts your first day in
Washington off right" I knew this was going to be a wonderful trip.
Within two hours of arriving at SeaTac airport I was in Tom's boat,
Washington fishing license in hand, and fly in the water. I learned
immediately that I was out of my league in this water. This wasn't the
20' wide knee deep trout stream I had learned to fish on. Needless to
say I couldn't cast the distance I needed to. Tom just rowed us to
where I could put the fly where it needed to go.
I was frustrated because I couldn't cast the distance I needed
to. Tom may very well have been as frustrated with my lack of
ability, but if he was, he never let on. He was patient and
consistent and determined we would land a fish. The fish were
there and he put us on them but did my inexperience in saltwater
ever shine through. I found myself thinking that I wanted him
to come fish my little trout streams so I could show
him I wasn't a total idiot with a fly rod.
Tom knows his stuff. He was constantly reading the water, not just for
fish but the currents too. They changed constantly! I couldn't keep
up. His expertise amazed me. His acknowledge of the water, fish, and
area was phenominal. (You can reach Tom at 253-538-4801.)
The wildlife we saw was awesome. Bald eagles, seals, crabs, you name
it, we saw it. The 4 pound, 20" silver I landed was the thrill of my
day. Tom hooked a 22" after that. What a difference 2" can make in
the size of a fish. These fish were very healthy.
There is a lot of water in Washington and I got my feet wet in the Sol
Duc River, the Hoh River, Lake Crescent, and a private lake my brother
lives on. We caught a few rainbows but I kept wishing for more of
I got the horse before the cart. If I'd just visited with JC and
Deanna before I went out with Tom I would have been idiot proof. Late
in the week a visit to Port Ludlow and casting instruction from Jim and
Deanna taught me how to get that distance I had needed on the Puget
Sound. Double hauling is like patting you head and rubbing your
stomach at the same time. Being a natural born klutz and
uncoordinated, it took JC quite some time to get me going (he called it
idiot proofing) then Deanna had to step in. Once again, I wanted them
to come to my little trout streams so I could show them I wasn't a
complete idiot. JC let me know I cast like a girl. Well, you can cast
like a girl on a trout stream.
Being the wonderful hosts that they are we ended the afternoon
with drinks and dinner. Deanna's chocolate cake was to die for
and I don't say that lightly. I know chocolate!!
Washington is a magnificent state. Playing in the snow on Hurricane
Ridge blew this southern girl's mind. I had left 90 degree heat and
90% humidity. Looking back over the entire week, the blue ribbon
moment was the silver on the first day, then finally, finally, finally
getting that "pull, cast, feed". ~ Susan Cox