Monday, January 16, 2012

WATER!!! The Crucial Ingredient...

Yes, we had it
Yes it left us
Yes we need it
Yes it's coming
Or so they say...

All of the rain-filled reservoirs and aquifers and the uber-snow-packed mountains which had us oh-so-assured that the drought was over... have since drawn down, way down... and here we are again, parched and prayin' for some Pacific precipitous pounding...

The fishing has devolved from great to good to fair to f#@$ed up or something like that...

It's everywhere too!

The valley, the coast, the Pacific Northwest, even the Cabela's oprator in Nebraska said it was unusually warm and dry for this time of year...

So what does a fella' do in the absence of rain?  and low/clear water conditions?

FISH ON!! of course.

I went out today expecting not much at all.

My expectations were easily met.

Ted blanked, as did the Russian guy with the shopping cart, the duct-taped rod and squeaky reel and the 12 ft leader with tiny, red beads, suspended above his also-red, anchor-sized hook... A family of 5 who dropped in from who knows where with every color, curvature, shape and size lure imaginable to humankind... also scratched their heads in disbelief...

At some point, I got a phone call from a certain game warden who had been peering down upon his dominion and wondering what a canoe was doing under the bridge...

Fast Forward to a swift evac, a cup of Peet's coffee and another departure...

Said warden went north to keep the hunters legal and the geese safe.  Ted went home and I went to the south side of Sailor Bar.

I bottom bounced with an egg-sucking leech, roe, and bumper eggs for nada.

Mark, Ole man Bruno and Joe T were out there with a couple of strangers sprinkled in for good measure.

I was watching Mark's indicator (a thingamabob, methinks...) float down and fall about 5 feet short of a bunch of holed-up fish.

I contemplated rigging up a float rig but when I looked closer at the fish and saw mostly spawn-colored males, I re-neg'ed and kept bouncing bottom and occasionally throwing long for the 'Hail-Mary' which as for Aaron Rodgers... never quite transpired.

Minutes later, I caught a glimpse of a silver flash out of the corner of my eye.

OK, gotta do it.  No one including me is hooking and no one including me is using a float and getting that perfect dead drift either alas~

I rigged up the gay-ass, stealthy lil pinner piece of plastic known as the Drennan Loafer and spread my shot out evenly and threw out just upriver.  Quick mend on the line to get it behind the float and off the water and then followed it down with my challenged eyes.  I saw a tick!  I think... Did I?

I reel up and see a slightly droopy skein and sagging eggs but it still looks good enough hanging on a #8 bronze single egg hook.

Second pass down the same lane and at 11-o-clock, my bobber plunges.  It stays down and when I lift up, I'm expecting a snag and not because it wasn't a perfect drift; it was! and not because there weren't fish there; there were! and not because my bait was dragging bottom; it wasn't! and I know it wasn't because I had the float set to run my leader at a depth of 1ft and the water was at least 2.5ft deep along the path of my drift.

My cynicism lay in the fact that I'm just not confident with the float... and that's mostly because I get frustrated having to watch it, CARE-fully cast it, untangle it, and pay constant attention to it...

The rock I snagged slightly moved when I raised my rod tip.  When I set the hook, said rock swam and violently shook its rock head.  When it saw me and came up, she bolted and got all snake-like, twisting and turning constantly as she darted back and forth.

In the end, she succumbed as the very small hook was deeply embedded in her lower lip.

Many onlookers came and tried to duplicate what they had witnessed but to no avail save one young man who caught a smaller but brighter fish on a big piece of red yarn.

The forthcoming storm should bring some fresh and willing steelies into the river later this week.  Time to find my raincoat~;)

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