anyone who has hunted the elusive White Tail Deer knows the term "Buck Fever". This fever is characterized by a pounding heart, sometimes, confusion, shaky gunsights, ill-timed shots, etc. Well, three days ago, I fell to the heart pounding experience of Salmon Fever.
My cousin and I were fishing from his boat, tied to the tail-water side of the Edison Sault Power Plant. The water was exiting the turbines and rushing into the St. Mary's river at about 5 mph. I was fishing from baot ster with my fly rod, using a streamer pattern that I created. When wet, this thing looks like a mistake of feathers and thread. But when wet, the long, flowing feathers trail back and blend to form something that actually looks like a minnow, with similar coloration to a smelt, and about the same length.
I was slowly working the fly back to the boat, zig-zagging it from side to side against the current. It was an experimental streamer pattern and I had high hopes for it. Just before I got it to me, not ten feet away, a huge salmon cmae up from nowhere and lunged for it. The fish broke the water as it slammed into my fly, but missed it. The fly bounced harmlessly off of the side of the fish's mouth. My heart was pumping like crazy and I let out a whoop.
Let me tell you, catching a 15 to 20 lb. king salmon on a numer 5 fly rod, using a leader rated for 10 lbs, with a 6 lb. rated tippet on the end would have been a fight indeed. It would have taken 15 minutes or better to land that fish.
My cousin, using a spiining rig with 6 lb test line took ten minutes to land his 17 pounder. Adn on Saturday, he went out to another area of the river and landed a 20 pounder that took him twenty minutes to bring in, using twenty pound test on a medium action ugly stick.
If my wife wasn't a couple days out of spinal surgery, I'd be on the river right now, with either fly rod or spinning rig in hand. But I'm a husband first. There's always next year. But my fish is there, awaiting my streamers. You can bet that I'll be tying some similar patterns, but in differing colors.
I gotta hit a trout stream soon with some of the dry-flies I've been tying, just to see if they work.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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