What I did on my autumn vacation

I swore to stay away for at least 6 months while I meditated on the thin line that separates an autocrat from a bully, but all that pondering got too boring. Then I thought I'd poke around in another forum for entertainment - I'm a talkative kind of a guy - and that was definitely not fun. Not in the least bit fun. Over here, I only have to contend with one person, over there, they're all pretending to be one pea short of a full pod.

I tore my waders. Shredded them, in fact. Someone I trusted sent me on a chase for fine fishing at a pool I'd seen from afar, but it always looked like too far to walk. I'm trying to fish, not go orienteering. I was scouting what looked like a shorter way to reach the pool and thought I'd try to follow the bank up to this mysterious new pool because that would mean less than a third the hike then if I walked in along other trails.

A third of the distance didn't mean a third as hard. It meant more like 10 times harder. Around brambles, through gorse, over rocks, and tip-toeing through fast water.

I nearly made it before my feet slipped in the mud and I slid down towards the river - kind of like that slide that Micheal Douglas and Kathleen Turner made in "Romancing the Stone" but I was accelerating through gorse and over mean rocks and stabby limbs.

I missed the river and didn't break anything and got off without too many bruises or significant loss of blood. But I lost the waders. It isn't the holes that got poked into them so much as it is the shredding up around my posterior. I've got places that look like the waders were caught in a paper shredder and others where they look like I pushed them into a garbage disposal.

And my slide was nowhere near as much fun as Douglas and Turner's slide. I didn't giggle at all on the way down. I believe I might have been squeeling like a preschooler - louder, but I'm sure at exactly the same pitch and timbre.

I saw a salmon caught. I wish it had been me catching it, but it was the first time I've seen someone hook and land a salmon, rather than just heard the rumors. It was a guy in a guide boat that had parked in the middle of the pool I was trying to fish and I found myself somewhat disappointed at how the fish represented the rest of the species. The guy set the hook, began reeling, and there was the fish. Like reeling in a log (or the boots off my waders).

I've spent all that money on salmon fishing gear and they just roll over and say "Land me!"? Hmm... In my earliest days in OFF, I got into an argument about salmon and bass, and - while I myself have not yet hooked a salmon - I'm going to apologize to bass fishers everywhere, right here and now: Sorry, sorry, sorry.

At least salmon tastes better than bass. I'm not back-tracking on that one, by golly.

I hooked what I believe to have been a Genuine Steelhead anywhere in this State Sunday morning. Occasionally I get daring (overconfident The Boss says) and I take light tackle out to fish for salmon. I don't mean light, light, I mean a soft medium weight rod. It still has 40-pound braid on the reel, but it's not a stiff and heavy rod. When I do that, I tie on a small Flatfish and go fishing just to see the sideways suspicious glances other anglers give me. If I can't catch a fish because of all the boats, I can at least have some fun.

And I can cast that Flatfish a mile with that rod, which also freaks out the guys in their boats. Tons of fun.

Something took the little Flatfish and wouldn't let go. It never came to the surface, but I could see that something all flashy, bright and shiny - and not so stout - had the lure, and could feel that it was an enthusiastic fish intent on swimming until I was the one who surrendered.

But I lost it. I like to fish with the anti-reverse set to off. It makes it easier to position the line when I go to cast. I had it off when I hooked the fish and I got a solid enough hook set. What I hadn't counted on was playing the fish and decided my ego had tried to cash a check I couldn't cover, so I was fumbling around trying to turn anti-reverse on when I lost the fish. Would have gone at least 24 inches, probably a few more, but I like to estimate low becasue it's Even More Fun when it turns out to be bigger than I'd estimated.

A Genuine Steelhead. But I lost it. I prefer to say that I practiced Early Catch and Release and I ignore The Boss when she says if was Premature Release. The Boss has a filthy mind.

I went fishing off some rocks to see what deeper sea water had to offer. Didn't get a nibble, but it was a pretty day. My fishing partner caught a small lingcod, he says, but it happened before I arrived, so there's room for doubt.

Not really. He's one of the better fishermen I've met in decades - outfishes me five to one - so I'm leaning towards believing he might have caught a small fish before I got there. But if I didn't know and like the guy, I'd have called it bull.

Have been keeping the freezer full of surf perch. Okay, not full, I've space reserved for a boring salmon, but I've been eating fish, nonetheless, and keeping it stocked. It's a hard time of year to fish around Port Orford. Changing winds and big breakers - and no waders, dammit - but there's always fish in the sea. Not a lot, but as long as I can kep the sand and salt spray out of my eyes, I can catch them.

I've contracted with a guide. Jamisonace has bragged on this guy, John Gross, so much that I called him and set up a guided trip for salmon. If we ever get rain enough to float the boat, I mean. Not John's fault - he's a heck of a nice guy on shore and I have no doubts he'll be better, still, if we get a chance to fish.

There are other guides running the rivers right now, but all they're putting their clients onto are old, dark, nasty looking fish. John and I are waiting for the water to bring up some fresh fish and I like that he's willing to wait it out just as much as I am.

The Boss will be going with us. In fact, she insisted that I look into working with a guide.

I like to fish. Catching something improves my mood, but I like to fish nonetheless. Never have had a bad day with a rod in my hand. The Boss, on the other hand, is a carnivore. She won't go fishing with me unless I know where the fish are, what they're biting, and exactly where she should stand to catch them. If I'm going prospecting, The Boss is staying home.

She announced that she was tired of tagging along with me and not catching salmon so I must get a guide to show us what we should be doing.

I'm happy she'll come along with John. Someone else can carry the pressure for a while.

So I'm looking for new waders. This time I think I'll get stockingfoot waders. They look better, even on me.

And I'm still looking for my first ever salmon.

And I'm hoping one of the moderators has switched over to decaffeinated while I was away...

Tinker, welcome back. You say your experience on other forums; recently, were not so enjoyable... OFF from it's creation has always been much friendlier than it's "competition". If one runs into problems here, it might well warrant a deeper reflection of ones personal conduct.

Sorry to hear about your waders. When bushwhacking wearing clothing over breathable waders goes a long way towards extending their lifespan. Not to mention the looks you get wading frigid waters in what appears to be regular clothing...

Catching salmon and steelhead can take years to achieve. It comes with investing time and gaining the nessary experience to consistantly be on the fish season after season. The best advice I can offer is pick 3-4 specific holes or drifts and learn them completely. Understand the currents and how it affects where fish hold. That's how you become skilled enough to get into fish more consistantly.

Although authored for flyfishers the book " The Curtis Creek manifesto" is well worth checking out. It's a great primer towards the knowledge of understand where fish lay and how to target them.

On a final note, if you still have issues with our moderation style, after sampling other sites; perhaps you could start your own fishing forum, as you need to be aware our team is fully caffeinated.

With a due respect extended, again welcome back to our community.
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Wecome back. Looks like you still have the fish itch.

Good luck with the guide trip, Hope we get some more of the wet stuff soon.

Clothes on top of the waders? Brilliant! Wouldn't have worked - these were old boot-foot waders - but I'll definitely keep that in mind when I find new waders. I like simple solutions - especially if it makes other people roll their eyes.
Welcome back. You could just do like me and refrain from wading. Stick to 6" deep water and all you need is a pair of boots.
You don't wade? You have so many nice fish and you don't wade? Amazing.
Glad your back Tinker.
Thank you. I may keep to the shallow water. I have these disreputable old mud boots that I wear almost exclusively, for everything from surf fishing to standing on rocks, and always, when I'm fishing. The first time I've worn the waders in a year and see what happens? I wasn't even fishing that morning, just scouting. It's an omen, for sure.

Aren't those surf perch you're showing in your avatar? Nice job there, Chris.

Thank you, Todd. After I got bored meditating, I grew a pair. It's good to be back.
Welcome back tinker. I hope we can go forward and not live in the past. :hi:
FishFinger said:
On a final note, if you still have issues with our moderation style, after sampling other sites; perhaps you could start your own fishing forum, as you need to be aware our team is fully caffeinated.
Yeppers! I start drinking coffee at around 2:00 in the morning...:D
eugene1 said:
Wecome back. Looks like you still have the fish itch.

Good luck with the guide trip, Hope we get some more of the wet stuff soon.

The fish itch never goes way and I spent a lot of happy hours not catching big fish while on retreat. Lost the urge to keep posting to OFF for a while, but I've talked to The Boss so much that her ears are bleeding, so you folk get to suffer while she heals.

The water is low but someone is catching a lot (a LOT) of chinook. Just not me. There are carcasses and sea gulls all over the banks so the fishing must be good, but challenging. Heck, even C_Run came South to go carpetbagging in my favorite river and nailed a couple - they weren't keepers, but still...

The rain has to get here sometime. If the rain stays away all Winter - and I don't find a salmon - then comes and blows out the rivers all Summer so I can't catch trout, I'm not paying my taxes. No service, no payment. It works that way, doesn't it?
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