Annual salmon fishing trip in September 2013

As always in September the WDFW opens Coho (silver) salmon for wild and hatchery fish. So a bunch of us head out for 4 days of fishing. Which some days are nice and some are raining, but it is a great day to hang with friends and load up on the salmon.

Craig and I drive out on Thursday morning while Ryan and a few others headed out on Wednesday night. They saved us a spot for the camper. This fishery has a lot of folks fishing and the town fills up. Hotels booked up, boat moorage fills up and camping places become very tight. We arrive about noon and launch the boat and get it tied up on dock. Get our name on the waiting list to tie up for the 3 days we will be there and get our stickers for the camping. While doing this, we run into Ryan and he and his buddy are limited out (fish fillet and heading back to camp). We are now setting up the camper. While setting it up Craig noticed that we had a loose vent on the roof. This would not have been a problem but we live in western Washington….It rains and it was suppose to all weekend. We borrow a tarp and get it covered up.

While getting things ready, Ryan’s friend made mention he had lost his key to his truck (just the truck key, not any other). So he was tearing everything apart. If you know Ryan, he likes to play practical jokes on everybody. I know that a few of us believed he had them. But more on that later on.

We round up Ryan to take Craig and I out for our chance to get us a limit of silvers or at least try to. We run out to where the depth was at 700 ft. We drop our downriggers down, mine went to 60 ft. because of the angle of the wire I figured it would have been about 55ft. Bam, fish on!! I reel in a nice silver on the Ace Hi Fly (UV). Drop back down to the 60 ft mark. At this point Craig has had a hook up and fish has been netted. Then bam, Fish on!! My rod bounced off the downrigger, popped up and then slammed back down with the fish bobbing at the end. Fish netted. We caught a few Chinook but had to let them go. I think it took us an hour to catch our limit. It was tough reeling in fish with the rough water. I think I might have fallen a couple of times and Craig didn’t take any chances.He went straight to the seat and sat down to reel his fish in. Back into Docks and fish being filleted. While this was going on Craig got us a spot on the dock.

1277650_3497884341366_378727857_o Back at camp, the keys still have not been found. Phone calls made to bring the spare set out. Luckily he had a buddy coming out. As we sat around and chit chatted, someone walked up and ask if anybody lost a truck key. It happens to be the one he was looking for. He still believes Ryan took his key and asked the guy to bring to him, saying he found it in the parking lot. If Ryan did do this, it was a good planned joke and I think I will hold on to my keys for sure next year.

Morning couldn’t come fast enough and sleep was minimal at best. Up and heading to boat, I realize I left my Katch Kooler and went back to get it. It had my knives in it also. I have to add in here that he had a friend coming out, between Craig and I we weren’t sure of the day. So we figured he would be here Friday night. Well guess who I found when I was going back to get my stuff, yep. He was here, I hurried him up and heading to boat. On the water and downriggers set about 35 ft of water. One rod he had lead line, dodge and a green spattered back hoochie. It took us longer to get our limits this morning but we did limit. We lost a few fish and some gear (my purple haze flasher), a few take downs but no hook sets and released a few Chinook. We got a nice 10 pounder. Fish cleaned and in cooler back at camp.

Now some camp clean up, food and we even fixed up a couple of boat trailers. I guess this would be the time since the boats are in the water. Checked our tarp on the camper to make sure it is working. This is where it becomes a good but bad thing…catch our fish early and then a lot of sitting around. As one of us would say… It’s Time for Foxhole improvement.


A little more sleep this night, but not much more. At least that is how I feel. We are on the way to the boat. I believe it is Saturday morning. Quick check to my phone, yep Saturday morning. It has been raining off and on all night. Heading to the fishing grounds and again my Ace Hi Fly is still running strong. It has been set down to 35 ft again this morning. Also had the lead line rod out with a spoon and the other downrigger with a green hoochie. It took us some time to find the schools but we did get our limits. It took us a bit and later found out we should have headed into the 550 ft depth. I did manage to hook a 12 pounder at 60 ft on the downrigger. This was about the same as the day before. But I adjusted the hooks on mine and Craig’s rigs, had to move them back with a couple of beads. This seem to help with our hook ups and losing fish.

Back at camp, Craig and I had to figure out what to do about the vent on camper. It was going to rain all the way home. How are we going to close the vent off? If you know anything about these vents it was the escape vent. So it is pretty big. Duct tape, trash bad and a plastic cutting board. It worked!!!

We had some time so I went out with Ryan and a friend to catch some sea bass. It rains on us till we hit our spot. The sun was out and I had to take my coat off. To make this short we caught about 30 sea bass and kept 20 of them. On our trip back, you could see the storm where we need to go and it rained on us hard. Fish filleted and back to camp, while doing this we heard that the winds were going to hit 30 knots

559805_520612098020305_744857499_nout there. So we decided to yank the boat out tonight, it would also solve the problem of waiting in line to get the boat which is the longest part of leaving. Bummer, it turned out to be a great morning and we should have been out fishing. Couple of good things about yanking the boat 1) no fish to fillet and 2) home early.

This is an awesome trip and I have doing this for about 4 or 5 years off and on. I will be out here again1276761_3497884061359_720294344_o

next year and ready for what it will bring. Good trip with good friends and memories that will be talked about for a while. Couple more things to add is that we had a guy in camp try to cut his foot off (dropped my fillet knife on it, I keep them sharp and the shorts and flip flops didn’t help) and the same day I help an older guy with diabetic shock. These trips always have great stories that cannot be expressed like they should, this doesn’t do the justice to the trip but I hope that one day my kids will be able to read it and know in their mind what truly happen and see in their mind yep that is dad. Share your trips and memories. Till the next one, good luck in your adventures.

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