Can’t Catch a Break
May 13, 2009
Norm & Alison were joining me today for another round of salmon fishing and this was to be Alison’s initiation into the fly rod technique. She had heard and seen all about Norm’s previous trips and wanted to experience it for herself. We met at around 7:00 A.M. and were on the water 30 minutes later. I really had high expectations when we hit the water and thought we were going to just crush them once again. Oh, how wrong I was! The weather looked great with sunshine and a forecasted high of almost 70 degrees, but there wasn’t any wind expected and that worried me a bit. There had been a lot of floating vegetation lately and this technique required no debris in the way to be effective. Even the water temps looked good, hovering around 49 degrees in the bays. Unfortunately in the first hour or so, we had only one reel fire and Alison landed a scrawny looking bass instead of a beautiful salmon. After another hour or so of washing flies, I decided that this area wasn’t going to produce and started venturing offshore and elsewhere. We trolled for what seemed like forever without any trout or salmon but did land plenty of active smallies while searching. Eventually, we switched up techniques and began casting jigs to the sandy drop offs as well as an occasional jerk bait, but no salmon came to the offerings. We had a few follows from squirrely lakers, but no salmon again. The smallies were even coming up from the deep water in a few places and just looking at the lures. I really didn’t know what to make of this, but continued perusing these silver bullets nonetheless. Eventually after landing only bass, perch and a couple of big pickerel, I thought we would go back to trolling with the flies and see if things had changed. Wouldn’t you know it, as I fired up the big engine and began to idle out to deeper water, a 5 pound niche busted a smelt right beside the boat and pissed me right off in the process. We couldn’t catch a break! The last hour or so of the day saw lots of bait up high and several nice hooks above them, but the gods weren’t on our side. Oh we did have a reel scream off in under 10 minutes, but the salmon came off when Norm transferred the rod to Alison. I guess it just wasn’t meant to be today and we left feeling wounded ourselves. This was the first day of the year that I wasn’t able to get into them and I wasn’t pleased. Between the previous cold front and heavy rains we had recently, I think the fish were just off. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! All in all, a nice relaxing day with plenty of fish, just not the ones we were after. The second day saw just Norm as Alison had to work and left last night after dinner. This was going to be equally as productive as the previous day, as the winds were gusting at over 20 knots when we woke up. They were also predicting heavier gusts later in the day with winds up to 40 & even 50 knots with some heavy rain thrown in just for good measure. I knew we would have to jump lakes and take our chances elsewhere if we were going to have any chance at all. I drove by one of the possible lakes and when I saw that it looked pretty calm, I opted for the other one in hopes of getting into some browns and salmon as well. What I wasn’t expecting was all the dirty water that we were faced with when we arrived. The water temps were between 47 degrees and in some places as high as 51, but visibility was only inches. Apparently, all the heavy rain they had a few days earlier muddied up the water and it just hadn’t cleared up yet. We trolled one high line and the other deep just to see what was happening and neither seemed to be working. We did however manage to catch 2 perch and a half dozen bass up to about 3.5 pounds before we decided to leave this place and jump to another lake instead. Imagine our surprise to arrive back at the first lake that was calm only to find a big howl going on now. Even the boat ramp had 3 footers crashing onto the shore! We tried one more lake only to find it even worse before we decided to abort this day and play safe. No fish is worth putting your life on the line for! This was another one of “Mother Nature’s” cruel tricks, but we will get even!!