Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Woke up in Kodiak!

 
Dawn breaks at "Spruce Cape" Kodiak Island AK.  >:"":>

When you're asked to travel to Alaska for a year of work don't hesitate, especially when its Kodiak Island! In March of 2014 an offer came knocking on my door, run a construction project on a remote island in the Gulf of Alaska. Now I'm no stranger to the "land of plenty" up north, salmon, halibut, king crab and the largest grizzly bear in the world. Having commercial fished from Ketchikan to Nome, traveling much of the coastline from the Puget Sound to Norton Sound. All that being said, I would not be prepared for an entire sport fishing season on the rivers that are the "life blood" Kodiak.
A five hour flight, several fly-fishing magazines, a quick nap and I "Woke Up in Kodiak".  I stumbled off the jet and into a small quaint but friendly airport, there were old friends and a rugged construction truck waiting for me. On the way to the jobsite we crossed several rivers which would soon be the making of many wonderful stories and fish caught! To be continued.


 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"Springers on the Cowlitz  River"

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It was a rainy April day, I was gazing through the job shack window thinking of Spring Chinook
or "Springers".  I could imagine that just beyond the fog and drizzle ran the milky spring waters of the Cowlitz River, calling me to its edge. My mind keeps flashing visions of my favorite haunts, Barrier Dam, Blue Creek, Hog's Island and the well named Car Body Hole. A 15 pound brut busting the surface over and over again, my reel sings a fisherman's tune zees, zees, snap. The the phone rings and the dream is over. A voice on the other end sounds garbled and frantic; their running right now! You've to get down here tonight and bring more bait and beer. It was Marty who left yesterday for a Springer trip to the Cowlitz. He must have been reading my mind.
  Racing home I wondered if I even locked the job trailer and turned out the lights, who wants those old blueprints and stale coffee anyhow? Fly rod, gear rod, tackle boxes, flies what should I grab first? Ok Doug, calm down take a breath its only fishing, only the Cowlitz, only those darn Spring Chinook.  I drive up to the house, unlock the door and its game on. Now I'm flying, feet barely touching the living room floor. You see last year was still burning in my memory, 11 fish caught in four trips and the smallest chromer was 9 pounds. I caught them on purple crystal buggers flies, chrome blue hot shots, brass spoons and my Dad's home made 'Wally Spinners".
   The truck is loaded, hot coffee setting in the console and its I-5 and 125 miles to the camp at Hogs Island. I arrive just as the campfire has died down for the night and all you can hear is the river swirl and gurgle around a few old snags. Then a splash and another, oh their running alright. No sleep for me tonight. As I lay there the sounds of fish jumping and flopping echos threw my truck, next thing I know I'm tying flies by flashlight. I hear the first jet boat scream up the river piercing the darkness and signaling the start of the day.
  No one in camp has rolled out of bed yet so I think I'll wonder down to the tail out and toss a Pink Crystal Critter just for good luck. Third cast into the dark and my line goes completely slack, what the heck? I reel in my fly line as fast as possible when right at my feet the water explodes, scaring the crap out of me. Now I've fallen backwards and my waders are beginning to slowly fill with cold water but there's a Springer at my feet going nuts. Luckily I'm in 18" of water but the only things above water are my head, my rod and my feet. Some how the the fish stays on and begins to run for open water and I have a chance get up and some what compose myself.
   From behind me I can hear laughter and see flashlights waving back and forth. I must have made one loud commotion and woke up everyone in the camp. Marty was the first one down to the water, with net in hand. After ten minutes it was all over, a bright 12 pound female netted and lying on the beach. I could now enjoy the catch and collect thoughts realizing my waders were full of Cowlitz water and my clothes were soaked. In all my rush to get my gear together I had forgotten to pack clothes. Rods, reels, lures, flies and even Marty's beer and bait but no clothes.
  After borrowing a dry change of clothes I was able to fish the weekend and save some measure of pride. I managed two more Springers in the cooler neither as big nor as eventful. So next time you think of heading to the Cowlitz River  just do it and pack some clothing first and everything else second. You might consider an inflatable vest or collar type PFD when fishing on the water, after that trip I strongly suggest you do. Enjoy every minute of fishing you can, be safe and warm out there.


Doug Porter >:"":>
  




Monday, January 30, 2012

Ice Fishing for Northern Pike on the Pend Oreille!





Fish “TV”, The Pike Channel




Pike Enthusiasts,
  It’s Chuck bringing you a report and a meager ice fishing tip. I’m coming to you from the frigid and frozen waters of the Pend Oreille River. The fishing is pretty dead, pretty cold, pretty windy, and I’m getting bored.  So I drop the underwater camera down, to view the smelt, my bait of the day.  What seemed to be a cold and dead water world came alive.  There were perch swimming everywhere.  Three big bass come by....yuk.  Then a nice pike cruises by a mere 2 feet away.  No perch on screen for 10 minutes.  Surprised?  Nope! Then my picture on the screen began careening wildly......a jaw appears, an eye, white spots on a dark green background.  So close, you could count those spots.  The big olive devil bit my camera pod!  I should hang a hook on it!  Had a flag and 15 foot run; let him run....stops...starts again; missed him.   Repeat....same procedure; have him on for a few seconds and gone!
  Four other anglers entertain ourselves watching the fish come and go.  One guy said “I’d rather do this than fish”.  One hour before sunset the pike are moving steadily across the screen.  Watch one mouth the smelt and drop it.  They don’t attack, just nose it a little, taking it a foot and dropping it.  A big pike comes straight at the screen like he’s attacking the pod.  One fisherman yells, “look at that!  Wow!”  The big pike turns back to the smelt, gently puts it in his mouth, like a mother robin carrying her chick, and slowly swims off.  I look at the tip up 5 feet away and it pops up.  Cool.  This time none of that double stop stuff.  The shaft is moving, I immediately set the hook.  Oh…, it’s heavy.  He takes an uncharacteristic wintertime 4 runs away from the hole; finger tips acting like a drag.  Finally out she comes.  Everyone hollers, “Wow”.   At 9 1/2 lbs.  she’s a beautiful, healthy, fat gal.  Sorry I didn’t think to measure length.  The Minnesota in me, ya know.  Got some pics.  Yep, must be over 30 inches, so down the hole she goes.  The Kalispels would be proud!!!
As Babe Winkleman always says, “there ain’t nothing like big pike fishing, nothing like it!!”
AMEN




Thanks Chuck, for sharing with the those of us who are dealing with "cabin fever" and suffering from the "power of the pike"

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kamloops Trout





Lunker Kamloops Trout Landed
By: AJ’s Dad


In early May of 2009, my brother Bill and I set out for a day of fishing at Hayden Lake in North Idaho. Although I’m a resident of Washington, I live near the Idaho border and have spent a large portion of the last 20 years fishing in both states. My favorite species to target is the Northern Pike but on this day, smallmouth were on the menu.

I really wasn’t in the mood for fishing. It had been less than a year since my son had passed away and going out fishing didn’t really seem like the right thing to do. My son AJ had been my hunting and fishing partner for his entire short 19 year life. My brother Bill had convinced me that fishing would be good for me. He knew it was my passion and he suggested that it would be good for me to get out of the house for the day.

The day didn’t actually start out as we had planned. I had forgotten to plug in the trolling motor battery and luckily realized it before we left. I hooked up the charger and we came in for some coffee while it charged up a little. After a couple of hours we decided to just go give it a try.

As we were driving down the block, I heard a strange noise. We stopped and found that the wheel bearing on the drivers side was toast. We put the boat back in the driveway and headed to the local parts store. We had to sit there for a half hour and wait for them to open.

We got back home, changed the wheel bearing and headed for the lake. We got to the lake at about 10:30 am. And started down one of my favorite smallmouth stretches.


We had decided to give the fish a fighting chance that day and both pulled out the ultralights. There are a lot of smallies in Hayden but you have to weed out a lot of 1 and 2 pounders before you get to the 3 and 4’s. I grabbed AJ’s favorite ultralight rod, tied on a 2” pumpkinseed tube jig and started casting. My 5th cast of the day headed toward the shoreline corner of a dock. As I started working the bait, it got hung up. I leaned on the rod a little and it didn’t move. I thought my jig had gotten stuck on the docks anchoring cable, and I figured the day was going to continue as it had started, with more bad luck. I voiced my frustration to Bill and began applying more pressure to the line. By now you have probably guessed what was really going on. As I leaned on the rod, the rod leaned back, and started throbbing and line began to exit the spool. Bill and I both laughed as we finally decided this was no anchor line.

The fight with this fish was not what you would have imagined. The 6 pound test only got a workout for 2 or 3 minutes. The fish started out thinking he needed to go back under that dock. After a few tries at that, he ran toward the boat. Having seen the size of the fish, we had already said we might only get one chance at netting him.

Bill was standing there holding the net when the fish charged the boat. Fortunately for me, he made his charge at about a foot below the surface and right beside the boat. Bill simply put the net in front of him and he swam full speed, right into the net, and it was game over. The fish measured 32” and had a girth of  over 24”. My Cabelas scale said this beauty weighed in at a whopping 5 ½ pounds. Needless to say, that scale got returned to the store.

Once we got it unhooked, I had Bill reach for my Nikon camera. He said, “It’s not here”, Imagine that. A fish that size and no camera. Fortunately Bill and I are like all other Americans and can’t leave home without the trusty cell phone. Bills phone had a decent camera on it and he snapped the photo for me.

I posted the photo of this fish on a couple of different websites trying to find out just what kind of fish it was. The general consensus was that it was a spawning male Kamloops Trout.

I can’t help but think Bill wasn’t my only fishing partner that day. I know AJ had a hand in catching and landing that big fish on his favorite ultralight.

Thank you for sharing your personal story, “sometimes fishing heals the soul”. Doug >:"":>

Monday, January 2, 2012

Red sky in the morning.

A truly amazing dawn moment as the sun is rising over Bainbridge Island. The Puget Sound in late summer produces brilliant sunrises accompanied by strong Coho Salmon hitting your fly.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January Photo Contest. Winner!


 

 January
Winner "Sunrise on the Columbia"
Photo Contest Winner!       

The staff here at the blog have been receiving many wonderful photos from our faithful followers. We've decided to have a contest this month and encourage all photographers out there to send in your finest outdoor photo. It's Jan. 21st the contest has closed and a winning photo picked. It was difficult to pick the best as we had many great pictures to choose from. The winning photo will grace the blog cover for the month of Feb. The photo above is our winning photo. The shot was one early summer morning while just hitting the waters of the Columbia. It was the dawn of a day of Chinook fishing. Check out the new "Outdoor Photography" page to see some more of photos which have been sent in. If you would like to enter for the future covers send your photos to foreverfishingwast@gmail.com. The following are from the top "editors choices".
  



So have some fun and join us here at Forever Fishing Washington State in celebrating the beauty that surrounds us.                       













Thank you to all those whom sent in their entries and made our first photo contest a great success.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011




Rainbow trout in the winter.
 



“Rocky Ford Creek” winter trout in the desert.
  The days have grown much shorter now and the colorful skies of autumn are fading to shades of gray. Where in the world does one go to get their fishing fix now? You know, a place where you might land a 20-30” rainbow trout. Perhaps with a fly rod and one’s favorite drowned bug. My friend a spring feed desert stream awaits you and your warmest cap and boots. The sound of crunching snow beneath your feet and sage brush rustling in the breeze are broken only by slapping of “cat tail reeds”. The cat tails seemingly stand guard on the banks of “Rocky Ford Creek” protecting the fish as they navigate grass, basalt boulders and the frigid creek. Large, lazy rainbows graze the flats for olive scuds and the occasional mouse that ventures to close to water’s edge.
  It was two Novembers past when last I visited Rocky Ford in the snow. It stays fresh in my mind. First tracks in the wind-blown snow on the drive down Trout Lodge Road. Saturday morning when most folks are just sipping that first “cup of Joe” I was pulling up to an empty frozen parking lot. Crawling out of the warm truck’s cab into 25 degree snow and wind doesn’t really get one fired up to catch fish. But months of anticipation and a two and a half drive in the dark over the Pass and you’re primed for Rocky Rainbows. While this place is by no means a secret but it does seem like my own little hide away. Within ten minutes I was crossing the foot bridge and busy scanning the channel for shadows working the streams edge. Even in the winter months the stream is rich in feed and cover. The creek is blessed with many fine fish that live out their lives fearing only a not so gentle catch and release.
  I crouched behind the reeds, watching and waiting for just the right moment to toss a very small olive scud. The water explodes and silence is broken. One of those careless mice had slide out on some thin ice only to become breakfast for a fast and cleaver rainbow. Quickly I changed to a brown and white deer haired rodent pattern. I cast across to the opposite shore and waited for the current to gently pull my line and mouse downstream. I did not wait long, a 7lb beauty darted from 30 feet away to hammer it “game on”. Several runs of 40 to 50 feet and she came in for routine plucking of the fly and off she went fat and happy. It is truly amazing how serene and different the place looks dressed in her coat of white. One thing never changes from those great summer hatches and warm sunny afternoons till now, the unequalled quality of fishing and scenery. A half dozen fish later I realized 6 hours had passed, I had traveled a mile and a half upstream. Cold, hungry and tired I wander back to the truck where a hot cup of coffee and some smoked salmon await. Many a time I have fished Rocky Ford Creek and honestly I can say never have left disappointed.  

Summer afternoons at Rocky Ford.


Friday, November 11, 2011

"Taking your dog for a walk" Chum fishing in Western Washington.




For those whom dare to say "I love Chum Fish'n" this story is for you. First we have the mighty brut Chinook, known as "King" Salmon. Then those chrome bright torpedo's, Cohos called "Silvers". The tasty, somewhat rare Sockeye nicknamed "Reds". The distinctive humpys known as "Pinks"(Ok there is nothing pink about this fish, not even the flesh). At the bottom of the food chain, Chum aka "dog salmon" the ugly duckling of the salmon world. They come in from the ocean bright and shiny chrome. That first smell of fresh water and they transform into a mystical, oddly stripped fish. Colors of green, yellow, purple and little red. They are the tie dyed tee-shirt wearing  hippie of the salmonoid species. The males quickly grow hooked jaws adorned with long sharp teeth which poke out in no particular direction. The females are smaller and fight like crazy, they must only be attractive to a male chum. Males will fight each other to the death just to spawn with one and for his trouble he dies. (go figure, fish love). Most of the major rivers and many small creeks enjoy great Chum runs, so they are somewhat plentiful. Chum are not as hard to find as the elusive Kings, Silvers and Sockeye.
Here is Nate a happy fisherman, proud to display a male fresh from the Satsup River. This dog was just moments from his fateful return to water, chasing females and blessing us with more chums in four years. So why is it we fisherman choose to fish for the bottom rung of the salmon ladder? Because no matter what they look like, they fight like hell! Those whom choose to swing a well tied fly into boiling waters of chum will admit its a "kick in the pants". Hook em and hold on for dear life. For goodness sakes keep those precious fingers away from the knob on your reel (bloody knuckle syndrome). You've got to do that at least once a season just to maintain those scares of battle. Others like my good friend Nate drift corkies low hugging the pebbles, anxiously awaiting that jerk followed by a line peeling reel scream. Up the bank, down the bank across the river and back. Now folks that's what we here on the Kitsap Peninsula call "walking the dog". So when the maples turn from green to gold that little Chum alarm clock goes off in my head. It must time to grab a leash and take those darn dogs for a good long walk.


Chico Creek Chum on a Fish Creek Spinner
Check your local regulations and I'll bet you find some body of water near by where the Chum running right now!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Coho fishing on the Olympic Peninsula

The fall colors of Elwha river are starting to turn hues of yellow, orange and red as the vine maples add some flavor to the greens of firs and alders.
I fished the rivers edge wrapped in a blanket of gray masking the valley's moss covered trees which stand like guardians of the waters. While fall colors abound I came in search of the bright chrome of Fall Coho. The sounds of glacier feed river spilling over the rocks fills the air broken only by the occasional fog horn of passing ships feeling their way through the Straits to Seattle or maybe Japan. This is a river of many memories for me as my father before me fished the shores and his father before him fished here as well. Catching one or two chromers is strictly a bonus. Today I was blessed with plenty of action and landed several nice fish. In the coming weeks I will

migrate once again to the Elwha just as the salmon do, somehow it just seems like the natural thing to do.

Friday, September 30, 2011

50" Tiger Muskie Caught in Washington State!

Chris Gades of North Idaho releases a 50x25 Tiger Muskie during a recent tournament at Curlew Lake in Eastern Washington. It was only a matter of time before someone caught a Monster Muskie in Washington's growing Tiger Muskie fishery. I'm not surprised it was Chris whom turned the trick, he being a very dedicated esox chaser. Curlew Lake is known for its large but elusive Tigers. Chris hails from Chapter 60 of Muskies Inc. (Mountain Muskies)may have set a new state record but he is just happy to have caught a fish of life time. We tip our caps to Chris for one fine effort!

Monday, August 8, 2011

State Record Tiger Muskie, Washington State.

This a recap of an article done by NWSportsman Mag. back in 2009. I bring this up as I was out fishing recently with Norm and thought people should hear this story. I fished with Norm for two days on Mayfield Lake in the "Jack Tipping Classic" where I had a great time, saw many fish, even hooked a few. Norm is an Army Soldier stationed at Fort Lewis whom has servered his country well. We can all be proud as Americans that soldiers like Norm give of themselves to protect us here at home.

Monster Musky Stirs Debate About What A Record Is
By Andy Walgamott
Norm Dillon found himself in an interesting situation recently. He was holding what could have been a new state record tiger musky in his arms.
Not that Dillon would have kept it.
In fact, the Fort Lewis, Washington-based angler slipped the 481/2-inch-long hybrid back into the cool waters of Lake Merwin and later ran the creature’s measurements through several weight calculators.





NORM DILLON AND HIS VERY LARGE TIGER MUSKY. (DON HEMPLER)
With its 25-inch girth, “one has it at 35.5 lbs and the other at 37 lbs. Either way one big fish,” Dillon tells us today.
The current state record is a 31.25-pounder caught September 22, 2001 on Mayfield Lake by John V. Bays.
Not that Dillon could have kept it.
A new rule instituted last year says that muskies must be at least 50 inches long to keep in Washington.
However, the fish is stirring debate about the nature of what a state record can be.
Bruce Bolding, a warmwater fisheries biologist with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife who often gives talks before tiger tacklers, says there is a proposal to do away with weight records for the pike-musky cross and instead go with a length-only mark.
“I don’t agree with that, but in addition to a weight record, you could have a length record,” he says.
Don Wittenburger, a Shoreline attorney and dedicated musky angler is behind the rule change. He posted his proposal on Washingtonlakes.com. He writes it’s needed:
To encourage catch and release of trophy tiger muskies that exist in extremely limited numbers in Washington State. Under the Department’s general criteria and procedures for recognizing state fishing records, the fish must be killed to obtain a weighing on a certified scale and inspection by a Department biologist. By replacing the weight-based tiger musky record with a catch-and-release tiger musky record, this proposal eliminates incentives to kill record-sized tiger muskies, in order to further encourage live release of tiger muskies and promote conservation of the state’s population of trophy-sized tiger muskies, in order to maximize trophy fishing opportunities for this species. Verifying the size of a released fish is somewhat problematical, because the fish is not available for measuring or inspection by disinterested parties. This proposal incorporates the length measuring technique used by the State of Texas for their catch-and-release records program, which satisfies the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame’s requirements for recognizing catch-and-release records. Verifying fish measurements by means of witnesses and photographs is a common practice throughout the country.
While Bolding points out there are “huge margins of error with length and girth measurements,” when Dillon emailed us about his fish this morning, he actually mentioned the weight as a side note.
From Michigan, he says he’s a bit embarrassed to say he’s only caught 10 tigers in the three years he’s been in the Northwest. Since first getting bit — a 45-incher his first trip — he’s put “thousands and thousands (worth of fishing gear) on my boat,” much to his wife’s chagrin.
He caught the monster on May 18 while fishing with an Army buddy, Don Hempler.
“My partner and I had been throwing all day with little activity. I soon decided it was time for a change, so I reached into my box of tricks and pulled out a lure I had won at raffle some time back and within 30 minutes this fish slammed it. After a brief struggle she was in the net, measured, photographed, and released to fight another day,” Dillon says.
While tiger muskies are famously hard to catch — NW Tiger Pac members have caught all of 180 between May 2007 and May 2009, only two were caught at a recent tournament on an Eastern Washington lake, five at another — keeping the fish was the furthest thing from Dillon’s mind.
“It never even entered my mind to keep it, regardless,” he says. “They’re a completely sterile fish. We’ve got a good thing going here in the Northwest.”
According to Bolding, all seven of Washington’s musky lakes — Merwin, Mayfield, Tapps, Evergreen, Curlew, Silver and Newman — got their full allotment of “big, healthy-looking” 131/2-inch tigers this spring.
“That’s a first,” he says. A total of 6,600 were stocked.
They’ll be chowing down on pikeminnows and other soft-rayed fish as the waters really heat up. Dillon’s fish (which took a double-bladed bucktail by Beast Teaser) will be putting on even more weight and girth and length.
In the meanwhile, that tiger is expanding people’s minds.
“I’m hoping this fish will raise some eyebrows and get people thinking about this,” Dillon says.

In closing since this article was written Mike Floyd of Auburn WA. has caught and released a 49" Tiger but this just furthers the discussion of the record here in Washington.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cady "Fly Only"



   An overhanging Douglas Fir stands guard at the primitive boat launch, it displays an old sign that tells it all "Cady Fly Only". Let it be known to all novices of the art and skill of fly fishing, only brave and tested warriors paddle these waters. The eight species of trout having seen every conceivable combination of feather, yarn, hair, tensile and thread lashed to a hook. Floating line, sinking line, monofiliment, flourocarbon and the finest Chinese silk thread, they can see it a mile away.
    If you do happen to fool them you will be handsomely rewarded, the little ones are 3 pounds and the grand daddies are up to 15 pounds, yes that's right. Now you get it. The pristine forest of pines, fir and hemlock provide a back drop to the proving grounds by which "fling'rs of the fly" will gauge their prowess.
    I've been blessed by the good Lord to have fished Cady for 20 years now and I'm humbled often by fish with a brain the size of a pea. These storied waters will honor you one day and shame you the next. Some how I still get the same rush of anticipation as I travel the tree lined dirt road which leads to the waters edge. My hands quiver at the site of a five pounder skimming the surface for emergers. The visions of a size 22 Olive Dun disappearing into a swirling vortex generated by a rainbow sided submarine. The moments of silence broken by sounds of trout splashing just out of casting range.
   Once I mentioned these words to my old fishing partner Paul, "if one could choose the last waters that they would ever fish, indeed mine would be Cady Lake my friend".

                   This little guy was only 23" at six pounds.
                 Cady is a private lake with public access. If you venture to Cady leave a donation in the old lock box and say thank you to Larry the owner, a grand gentleman.
              

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Long Lake Lunker Largemouth Landed


  Long Lake in Kitsap Co. gives up 7lb, 6oz bass in the evening hours on Sunday the 17th. Local bass angler Pat Cherry of Poulsbo teased this beauty out of 4" of water as it lay in wait for some small unsuspecting bird. Tucked neatly under the branches of an over hanging tree the LMB hit a well placed snake imitation. The Kitsap Peninsula is not known for its large bass but those in the know happen across one or two a year. Cherry seems to catch and release more than his fare share but rarely provides pictures, location or what he uses, smart man. Thanks Pat for sharing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tiger Muskie Fishing in Washington State

42" From Merwin
After a long, cold, and rainy winter and spring the Tiger Muskie season is in full swing now. Reports are coming in from all over the state of good sized Tigers being caught and released. Newman Lake, Mayfield Lake, Silver and Merwin are all producing as the water levels drop and the temperatures rise. Tournament results show the definite increases in activity. I was out this last weekend (7/16,17/11) on Mayfield Lake for the "Jack Tipping Classic" (Muskies Inc. Chapter 57) where there were 16 fisherman battling for top honors. My partner and I saw +50 fish cruising the weed beds for unsuspecting pray. While neither of us landed a fish we had plenty of action. There were 8 fish caught four of which were over 30", largest being 45"(see picture on the side column). Newman Lake was the location of Chapter 60's tournament (7/16/11) where 5 fish over 30" were recorded. For those whom are familiar with Muskie fishing, those are decent numbers. Cascade Muskie Association has also been putting up very nice numbers in their events recently, all indications that it's heating up in more ways than one as summer comes to Washington.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sandy Shore Lake Produces

Muskie Maddy displays a pretty little rainbow she landed at Sandy Shore Lake on the Olympic Peninsula. Maddy was busy schooling her Dad on the fine art of fooling the fish. She was using a green garlic sparkle "mello" tipped with a tasty earthworm. Six fish made it into the creel and on to the freezer. The Fathers Day outing was very fun and full of great memories for daughter and dad.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Northern Pike Secrets Shared

  Here is a Kalispell native secret to bring on the hunger of the Pike. First: you need a handful of dried pine nuts, last fall's cones from Skookum Creek valley. Second: you'll need fresh mint leaves found on the rivers eastern shore. Third: and most important, shells of Osprey eggs from the trees at the mouth of Campbell Slough. Mix the nuts, leaves and shells into a paste, adding only water drawn from the Cusick Springs well. Now pack your favorite lures in the paste for two moons, no longer. Remove the lures and save the paste. Now before you start fishing at "One Cow Island" ball up the paste and toss it on the island chanting "Cee Cee Aw" "Pike Wa Ha Ha". Follow the chants by casting to the west six times and on the seventh you will be rewarded with a fine Pike to be released while chanting "Pike Wa Hee Hee". This will be followed by no less the 14 fish. This works only on the sacred waters of the Pend Oreille River. Please do not mention from where you heard the tale as it will bring me bad luck.

A little local fish humor: Ha Ha Hee Hee.
Dougie No Fish >:"":>

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pend Oreille Pike Issues Addressed

    The 2nd of two "Town Hall" meeting was held last night at Newport Washington. Washington Department of Fish an Wildlife and their partners of the Kalispell Tribe sponsored an open forum for fisherman and businessmen of the Pend Oreille River valley. After months of sometimes contentious rhetoric the parties met for the second time in three weeks to try once again to find common grounds on the future of the Northern Pike. I could not attend but after speaking with several of those in attendance here is a quick run down.
    The first public meeting at Newport last night went very well, we believe.  There were about 45 fisherman present, 4 members of the Mountain Muskies fishing club, and about 10 biologists from WDFW and Kalispell Tribe.  Of the 45 fisherman, none had been in attendance at the first meeting in Spokane Wa.  WDFW biologists presented the same power point presentation that was given in Spokane , then they took questions.  It was well organized and regulated fairly, giving all a chance to present questions. Then the meeting went to formal comments. The biologists wrote down and reviewed the comments to make sure it accurately said what the fishermen intended. 
The passion local fishermen have for the northern pike and the importance of it to the local economy were strong points that were received and understood.  The comment portion of the program seemed genuinely directed towards getting our input and no rebuttal or discussion from the other biologists was permitted at that time. All the questions and concerns we’ve heard and covered in many forums over the past months were brought up. There were some new ideas that were enlightening too, for instance “if you want the pike population controlled by anglers as well, why not let us fish in the tribal sloughs that have been closed to non-natives.
Montana has an example of something that could work here on the Pend Oreille River. The Noxon reservoir, which is a mirror image of the Box Canyon Reservoir, for 20+ years has enjoyed a balanced, thriving multi-fish resource. The pike being caught are averaging over 10 lbs” and all the while they are still enjoying a fine trout fishery. The best comment of the evening came from the biologists “our preferred method of population control would be for the fishermen to do it, it costs us nothing and you buy a license from us to do it.” In a perfect world, were all the talk to come true, I would call it a success for everyone. Of course that’s idealism, but at least the right things were being said as opposed to the language that got this all started.
The wild card will be the Kalispell Tribe. Will they or are they able to abide by any final “agreements” arrived at by the fishing community? Will the front men of any operation “WDFW biologists” maintain a reasonably good fish population level using fisherman harvest and supplemental means? If nothing else the door is open to a working relationship. A door which seemed tightly shut just a few short months ago.
I would like to express my thanks to all those whom attended from WDFW and the Kalispell Tribe. It meant a lot to the public, their voices were heard. >:"":>        >:"":>
                                                                          >:"":>

Monday, April 18, 2011

The saga continues: Pike, People and the Pend Oreille River.

I'll bet some of you have wondered where I've been lately. I've been deeply invloved in what is now a political battle over the Northern Pike fishery in the beautiful Pend Oreille River of Eastern Washington. The complexity of the issue would take me a novel to explain. The story would begin with the building of two dams which created the Box Canyon Reservoir on the Pend Oreille River. It flooded a portion of the Kalispell Indian Reservation and cut off native fish runs from returning to the area. It also turned what was a cool fast flowing river into a slow warm water fishery. This severely damaged the habitat for the native Bull Trout and Westslope Cutthroat Trout, they are now endangered. Along came the Northern Pike which migrated from Montana through Idaho and found the perfect home in the sloughs and weed beds of the river. If unchecked the pike could continue to travel into salmon waters in the Columbia River. Can they be managed and contained at Box Canyon Res., this would be the plot. The main characters of the book would be the Kalispell Tribe, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fishing Clubs, Guides, Sport fisherman and the businesses whom benefit from the fisherman's dollars. Other chapters in the book would be dedicated to those whom control the flow and use of the river and its bounty. Bonneville Power Association, Avista Power, Pondery Paper and the Army Corp of Engineers.  They may have hundreds of millions of dollars tied in some way to the on going fight. As fisherman ready for another "Open Meeting" with the WDFW there is an air of compromise. However, the heat is being turned up behind the scenes and pressure is bearing down on those whom support a Pike Management Program. Those who want the Pike gone are also feeling the pressure from legislators and the voting public. Gill netting of the Pike has begun as reputations and careers are being strained, friendships and fishing clubs are damaged and divided. Unfortunately I'm right in the middle, trying to figure out how we got here and how we can save some kind of a fishery. Power to the Pike! >:"":>

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mel wins top honors for Pike Prowess

Melodie Dowdy displayed her fine angler talents in last weekends Pike on the Pend Oreille Tournament. She bested 38 other fisherman to win biggest fish and greatest length. The weather was in her favor as it warmed to near 50 and the sun blessed the river valley. Surrounded by still snow capped peeks and ice cover back bays and sloughs Mel tossed shinny spoons to the unsuspecting Pike. The night before she was talk'n trash with me and river faithfuls, " I'll show you all how its done, I'm winning this one". Sure enough she was right. Indeed she has many talents as her cooking has certainly spoiled us all on our visits to the Dowdy's. We dined on Deer Lasagna (to die for), melt in your mouth Elk Roast, and there is always her famous pie's known through out Eastern Washington. Her husband Craig a fine fisherman and guide of the area has his work cut out for him trying to out fish Mel, but I'm sure he never goes hungry. How did I do in the event? Well I have a new nickname "Dougie No Fish". Much thanks to the Dowdy's for their fine hospitality and friendship.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not just a fish, a way of life.

The following is an impassioned letter to fellow fisherman of the Pend Oreille River whom are very concerned over planned gill netting of the Northern Pike. Washington Department of Fish and Game needs to reduce the population but the conflict arises over how, when and why.
I think what were all forgetting is that Washington State doesn’t want Pike and their plans don’t involve making our fishery on the PO River a trophy fishery. They are only worried about protecting the other bodies of waters from the Pike and the other species in the river. They will not implement regulations on them as you have to keep the small ones since they can’t enforce that. I have been told by more than one person from the state that this whole thing isn’t about making this a better Pike fishery. It’s all about the Cutthroat trout and Bull trout and other natives to the river and them getting into other bodies of water. What fish in the river are actually native to this area?  Bass, perch, sunfish, crappie, no they were introduced. We can speculate all we want about what they should do or will do. However, from what I have been told this whole thing is about reducing numbers and finding the best way to reduce them to keep numbers in check. Their reports show the numbers need to be reduced by 55 % just for a start to keep the numbers in check. The problem is the state doesn’t have the money nor man power to do this and the Tribe only has 3 people to try and accomplish this. After talking to 4 different people on this, whom are directly involved, I don’t see them being able to do a large scale gill netting. Time will tell on that I guess. I am totally against them targeting the bigger fish and totally agree that a summer time gill netting to remove small fish would be the best thing if they have to gill net at all. I keep asking if the state agrees that they can’t totally remove the fish at what point do you manage them to make it a profitable fishery for Pend Oreille County and the rest of us that depend on the river for our lively hoods. I think its time they embrace change. The change is these fish are here to stay so lets all get together and find the best way to keep numbers in check and the best regulations that can be enforced. I want to thank everyone on here for their comments and concerns about the PO River. We all need to come to the meeting on the 22nd and get all your friends to go to show we do support the fishery and we are all concerned about what is proposed. We all need to remember the Salmon and Trout fisheries run this state and Pike are not the fish of choice unfortunately. We do need to keep contacting our local legislators to tell them we do not want the Pike listed as “evasive species” or to be removed by gill netting them. I for one know by contacting these people they are listening to our concerns, and many of them are on our side because they to fish for the Pike on the river. Keep making the calls and signing the petitions to save the Pike....I will never give up the fight for the protection of the Pike on the river their in my blood and they are my livelihood.....Craig

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Management of the Pike on the Pend Oreille River.

The Pend Oreille River has an unbelievable population of Northern Pike that is expanding faster than is healthy for the ecosystem. The management of the fishery is being monitored, researched and implemented by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in conjunction with the Kalispell Tribe. Many studies have been done or are on going to estimate the growing population of Pike and their effect on the other species whom share the waters. Many sports fisherman are like wise watching the process and enjoying the great fishing. The Northern Pike are not native to Washington State and present huge challenges for those whom manage our resources. Resent articles have been written in the local newspapers which have fisherman up in arms over proposed methods of controlling the growing population. Fisherman are directly or indirectly funding the management through purchase of their fishing licenses or other forms of taxation. They want their voices heard and opinions known, as well they should. I strongly urge all those whom wish to be heard, contact your representatives right now and speak your mind. In order to be effective and persuasive, research the facts and form your educated opinion.

For more discussion on this hot topic open the comments and go to the attached link.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Northern Pike on the Pend Oreille River

90% Luck and the rest is all skill!


 Our trip to Eastern Washington starts with a trek over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90. Our first hint of what was to be unfolded as we crested the pass. Fall colors of gold, orange and red were giving way to the white flakes winter. Late October in Washington is a time of migration, salmon to their rivers of birth, Canadian Geese journey south,  and anxious anglers beating feet for the Pike of the Pend Oreille River. Three of us, Nate, his 8 year old son Hunter and I recanted tales of Wisconsin’s Northern Pike and a summers worth of my Tiger Muskie memories. We were off to another competition.                                                 
 The Pend Oreille is located north of Spokane about 50 miles as you enter the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. City gives way to pastures and pine trees as we near the river valley. Our eyes soon rested on a riverfront resort where a warm cabin awaited us. Near midnight, we stumbled to our beds and fell fast asleep. Dreams of warm sunny fall afternoons in our shirt sleeves were just that, dreams. Wake up call was 4:40am; reality of late fall in the Rockies was just outside the frosty cabin window.           
 When leaving our cabin at the Blue Slide Resort it had warmed to 33 degrees with fog. That was as nice as it would get. The “Pike on the Pend Oreille” tournament was to start at 6:30am. By the time we arrived at the Cusick boat launch it was 40 degrees, raining, and wind blowing 10-15 mph. Wind chill at 35. The water temperature tested out at 51, so the fish were warmer then us, ouch! We were prepared with warm some clothes just not enough for these conditions. Boats of every shape and size lined up at the dock, but one stood out from the rest. A classic wood 50’s era staple of fishing, complete with spokes on the trailer wheels. The vessel features a multi-functional live well which doubled as its bilge. The classic, owned by Doug W., earned the nickname “USS Pend Oreille”.                                                                   
  Nate, Hunter and I would buck the trend and head north where I had my best fishing earlier in the year. There would be plenty of Pike and the action was very good, but hook ups were hard to come by. The fish were not hitting hard at all. Hunter proved to be trooper as he endured the cold and rain much better than we did. He will grow to be a fine fisherman and follow the family tradition. Nate displayed his years of experience and true love of the “Power of the Pike”. You would never know he’d not fished the river before as he consistently turned fish. Nate felt bad that he was out fishing me, badly. He graciously offered me his red hot lure and being polite I accepted. One cast and it disappeared in to the wind and rain never to return, oops! Maybe some new line was in order.                                                                                   
  I went on to see the largest Pike I've ever seen. A 42-44" brut followed my “Cudaman Bucktail” right to the boat, my knees were shaking and not from the cold. It was close enough for Hunter and I to see the WDFW red tag on its back. I do believe I saw it "flip me the fin" as it slowly swam back into the comfort of a weed bed. When we finished Nate had landed 8 and I caught 5 beautiful Pike all between 22” to 30”.  We returned to the launch, stiff and cold, but happy.  Considering the conditions it was a successful tourney 35 fish in all were taken by 12 hearty contestants.  The Gades of Colville proved there is no substitute for experience as they took top honors. Chuck Gades put it in a nut shell, fishing is "90% luck and the rest is all skill". My hats off to Hunter and Nate they are true blue fisherman, literally this day.
 >:””:>

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Carly's First Steelhead


My phone rang and at the other end was Carly my good friend whom I worked with for several years. “Do you know where I can buy a fishing license” she asked. I didn’t even know you fished, I exclaimed. “I’m headed to the Sol Duc to go steelheading”. Wow, now I’m jealous. The Sol Duc has been enjoying a very healthy winter steelhead run this year. I knew she would be heading into some storied waters which were in their prime. She and Rocky were booked for a guided trip with Larry of Westside Guide Service. Rocky is an experienced steelheader and Larry had guided him on many successful trips over the years. So I knew Carly had an excellent shot at catching her first “Metal Head”. Now poor Carly has endured many hours of my endless fishing stories and even pretended to be interested. Bless her. So I was happy to see she was getting a chance to create some fish tales of her own.
                In the early morning hours of February 19th the chill and damp of this coastal river greeted Carly like a cold cup of coffee. No one is ever quite prepared for the rigors of winter steelheading , temperatures  just above freezing and wind that cuts through the best of raingear. The smells of damp moss covered fir trees and the sounds of hungry bald eagles let you know you’re on the river now. As they piled into the drift boat, I’m sure Carly must have wondered to herself why people get so excited about this. I could still be warm in my bed, sound asleep. Carly had spent many years growing up in Alaska so I’m sure she was used to the cold. However this environment can have a challenge all its own.  Larry prepared the rods and probably gave the “how to behave in a drift boat speech” that most first timers get. So off into the morning fog and swirling current they went.
                I walked through the snow to my mailbox and gazed to the west at the snow covered Olympic Mountains. I knew Carly and Rocky were fishing the Sol Duc that flows off those peaks to the ocean. The fishing must be great. All the conditions are right, clear water, recent rains and reports of many fish in the river. They must be side drifting salmon eggs down some of those great stretches of the lower river. Indeed they were. Rocky was catching the first of his two fish, a handsome buck. He is skilled in the subtle difference between bouncing over the rocks and the bite of a hungry steely. Carly was just trying to maintain some feelings in her fingers and her legs. One would guess she had several bites but couldn’t quite feel them. Rocky would later lend her some warmer pants that I’m sure were welcomed with a smile.
                After a great lunch and rest Carly was warmed, revived and ready for a fish she could call her own. Soon, at the end of her rod she would feel the signature tap, tap, and tap. Then that increase in heart rate which follows. With a yank and a tug she set the hook and the fight was on.  Now it was time to get some instructions on how to land the darn thing. “Let it take line, no reel in, keep your rod up, reel-reel-reel”.  Her heart must have been racing and any thoughts of cold most certainly melted away. They netted a beautiful hen and it was off to the beach for a victory photo with Carly, guide and her first steelhead. “Let’s go get another one”, she eagerly said.
Carly my friend and that is why people endure those conditions and most of us long for it. There is the feel of that thump on the end of your rod, that unforgettable sound of line peeling off the reel, that first view of chrome. You’re hooked now!

By: Doug Porter, (sparky1doug) >:"":>

Carly's First Steelhead


My phone rang and at the other end was Carly my good friend whom I worked with for several years. “Do you know where I can buy a fishing license” she asked. I didn’t even know you fished, I exclaimed. “I’m headed to the Sol Duc to go steelheading”. Wow, now I’m jealous. The Sol Duc has been enjoying a very healthy winter steelhead run this year. I knew she would be heading into some storied waters which were in their prime. She and Rocky were booked for a guided trip with Larry of Westside Guide Service. Rocky is an experienced steelheader and Larry had guided him on many successful trips over the years. So I knew Carly had an excellent shot at catching her first “Metal Head”. Now poor Carly has endured many hours of my endless fishing stories and even pretended to be interested. Bless her. So I was happy to see she was getting a chance to create some fish tales of her own.
                In the early morning hours of February 19th the chill and damp of this coastal river greeted Carly like a cold cup of coffee. No one is ever quite prepared for the rigors of winter steelheading , temperatures  just above freezing and wind that cuts through the best of raingear. The smells of damp moss covered fir trees and the sounds of hungry bald eagles let you know you’re on the river now. As they piled into the drift boat, I’m sure Carly must have wondered to herself why people get so excited about this. I could still be warm in my bed, sound asleep. Carly had spent many years growing up in Alaska so I’m sure she was used to the cold. However this environment can have a challenge all its own.  Larry prepared the rods and probably gave the “how to behave in a drift boat speech” that most first timers get. So off into the morning fog and swirling current they went.
                I walked through the snow to my mailbox and gazed to the west at the snow covered Olympic Mountains. I knew Carly and Rocky were fishing the Sol Duc that flows off those peaks to the ocean. The fishing must be great. All the conditions are right, clear water, recent rains and reports of many fish in the river. They must be side drifting salmon eggs down some of those great stretches of the lower river. Indeed they were. Rocky was catching the first of his two fish, a handsome buck. He is skilled in the subtle difference between bouncing over the rocks and the bite of a hungry steely. Carly was just trying to maintain some feelings in her fingers and her legs. One would guess she had several bites but couldn’t quite feel them. Rocky would later lend her some warmer pants that I’m sure were welcomed with a smile.
                After a great lunch and rest Carly was warmed, revived and ready for a fish she could call her own. Soon, at the end of her rod she would feel the signature tap, tap, and tap. Then that increase in heart rate which follows. With a yank and a tug she set the hook and the fight was on.  Now it was time to get some instructions on how to land the darn thing. “Let it take line, no reel in, keep your rod up, reel-reel-reel”.  Her heart must have been racing and any thoughts of cold most certainly melted away. They netted a beautiful hen and it was off to the beach for a victory photo with Carly, guide and her first steelhead. “Let’s go get another one”, she eagerly said.
Carly my friend and that is why people endure those conditions and most of us long for it. There is the feel of that thump on the end of your rod, that unforgettable sound of line peeling off the reel, that first view of chrome. You’re hooked now!

By: Doug Porter, (sparky1doug) >:"":>

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lunker of Liberty Lake




This is a true story that happened to me about 18 years ago now. I was fishing for bass at Liberty Lake in Eastern Washington; it was early morning Sept. 30th the last day of the fishing season. I was fishing out of my homemade bass boat, a 2 man rubber raft that I decked with a piece of plywood and mounted a seat on top of it. The plywood had a hole cut in the middle for my legs and feet and was cut inside the oar locks so I could still row. It makes for a great way to fish places you can't launch a big boat. Anyway, it was a cold foggy morning and I had a blanket covering my legs to stay warm. I was hoping the sun would burn the fog off so it would get a little warmer, but by 11 O'clock it was still socked in.
  I was fishing the south side of the lake, in a large lily pad field that covered that entire end of the lake.
I was casting a white spinner bait and picking up a small fish here and there, but it was pretty slow. While fishing this bunch of pads I heard a big splash somewhere off in the distance, but I didn't know where from.
About 10 min. later I heard it again, only this time is was just a little bit louder. I wasn't sure what it was making the noise, but figured it was somebody on a boat throwing something in the water.
  I finally hook a nice fish maybe 2 pounds and as I was fighting it I heard the water behind me crash again. I look around but saw nothing in the still heavy fog. The fish I was fighting got wrapped around a bunch of pads so I tightened my drag up to pull him out of the heavy cover. I managed to do that finally and got the fish to the boat, where I gave him a little kiss and sent him on his way I was not sure of that was making all the commotion and was more then a little concerned. I thought it might be a moose in the water as there were a few in the hills around this lake, and they can be pretty darn ornery if you get to close to them in the water. I being in my little rubber boat I didn't want to get anywhere near a moose in the water. Then just as I cast my spinner bait into the pads, the water right behind the boat exploded in a huge crrrrr-splush. My head snapped around and I saw the wake of where a huge fish had jumped. I had no idea what kind of fish I just knew it was monstrous!!! So I cast my white spinner bait over the spot the fish had jumped and started reeling it back in.
  To my shock and dismay the largest Rainbow Trout I had ever seen followed my spinner bait back toward my boat. It followed till it got about 20 ft from the boat and just sank out of sight. I knew that this huge trout would not hit a bass spinner bait so I quickly tied on a large silver and blue, Blue Fox spoon.
I started casting in every direction all around the boat, but never saw the fish chase the spoon. I must have made about 30 casts in every direction, and figured that the huge fish was long gone. I put my pole down and started to dig though my tackle box from something to tie back on to catch some bass. I happened to look over the side some and saw what my eyes could not believe. This monster fish was 2 feet under my boat, using me for cover.
  On the left side of the boat I could see it's tail and part of the body. On the right side and to the front of the boat I could see it's head.
Now my little 2 man rubber boat and it is about 40" wide and about 6' long.
This fish was at least as long as my boat was wide or bigger and it's girth was huge. Here the fish of a lifetime was treading water just 2 feet below me. Without really thinking I dropped the spoon on the side that the fishes head was on and started jigging it up and down. On the 3rd jig the water exploded!!! I had the biggest trout I had ever seen on about 5 ft of 10 lb. test line with a drag that was set to tight.
  The fish came straight up out of the water about 5 feet in the air and pirouetted over my boat. I could have reached out and touched it. As it went sailing by, it snapped the line and drowned me in about 10 gal. of water. Afterward I rowed back to the shore still stunned at what had just happened. My fish of a lifetime was gone and it had left me soaking wet, freezing, and totally frustrated.
I'm not sure just how big this fish was , but I have caught some very nice steelhead in my day, some that were close to 20 lbs. and this fish would have dwarfed them. I'm very sure it would have totally smashed the state record for rainbow trout that was 23 lbs, and 6 oz. at that time. My best guess as to just how much it weighed, I would say it was over 30 pounds!!! But I will never know as I fished that lake for many years after that, but I never again saw this fish of a lifetime. 

Rick the “Fish n Fool”.

Thanks Rick for your great “one that got away tale".

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tiger Muskie Fishing at Lake Merwin

“Muskie Mayhem at Merwin”
5 boats + 10 fisherman = 20 Tigers

The headlights glanced from fir tree to fir tree. A parade of “coffee fueled” Muskie hunters traveled the winding
Lewis River Road
to Lake Merwin. Darkness still hung on. One by one, boats and trailers clanking, the Chapter 57 hopefuls pulled into an empty boat launch parking lot. The (rarely ever seen) Western Washington sun peeked over the mountain as mist rose off Speelyai Bay. Five boats slithered their way into the waters. Typical fisherman bull was already flying and previously caught Tigers were growing larger with every story.
    Silver Lake, one fish caught. Pend Oreille River had its challenges. Mayfield Reservoir, one fish caught. It’s been a skinny year so far. But something seemed different this day. There was no confusion at sign up, everyone had their banners, boats were in the water and ready to go at six straight up.  As the day unfolded we would realize that the “Great Muskie Gods” like the sun, would shine brightly on us. The “perfect storm” of conditions had broken our way as the barometric pressure was dropping and the moon phase was just right, Tigers were hungry!
    Mike and John were off to some secret spot where only the weathered and wise dare tread. Perry, by himself, chooses a familiar bay to toss his favorite lures and enjoy the peaceful waters of Lake Merwin. Bob and I took off across the lake. We settled on a far bank where several stupid fish were known to be lurking. Miles and “Jump’n” Jon headed west to several bays and banks that were sure to produce some action. Mike and Dan, we’re not really sure where they hid out but there was fish there.
   Like a “Montana Forest Fire” stories of big fish spread up the Lake. Spinners, swim-baits and “Cuda Man Specials” were tearing up the weed beds, logs and sunken stumps. Eager Muskies were hitting everyone’s lures and those memories of being skunked melted away. Deep water, shallow beaches or sparse weed beds it didn’t seem to matter much, we were getting thumped at every turn. When it was all said and done 20 fish made it to the boats. Eight fat fish over 40”. Wow! They were measured with care and posed for a ceremonial picture with the proud fisherman before returning to their watery home.
   As the victorious hunters returned to the docks there was a bit of sadness as this great day had come to an end. We gathered in the parking lot, stories of just how many Tigers were caught, lost and fought were relived. I overheard one member of many years exclaim “I’ve never seen anything like this before, maybe never again”.  The lasting story was on everyone’s faces, sun tans, smiles and pure satisfaction.

Doug Porter, Muskie Novice.