Monday, October 12, 2009

Another Fishing Story

I only fished one day in British Columbia this past weekend. The fishing was fabulous. Why only one day? Well, it was a lot colder than the original forecast and cloudy on Friday so I went to a hot springs and soaked for a long time. Very nice. Then I hung around Kaslo. The people were very friendly. At night I went to see a very cute concert. It was a pleasant day.

But on Saturday, I was raring to go. I got out early. It was 23 degrees at the first lake. My hands were freezing. The wind was blowing about 10 mph. It was cloudy and damp. After 20 minutes, I said this is no fun. Time to hit another hot springs, I thought. Life is tough I know.

Anyhow, by noon the temperature was a balmy 33 F. It was now or never for the day. I went up to Summit Lake and found a sweet little spot on top of some rocks with a drop off a few feet from the shore. The wind was non-existent. The water was so clear I could see the fish hitting my lure. I caught a few 8 to 10 inch rainbow trout and kept throwing them back. I wanted just one fish for dinner, something substantial. I was being picky.

The wind kicked up. The fish stopped biting for about an hour. Then the wind died back down. Fifteen minutes later, I saw this huge trout hit my lure. The fish hit hard. I haven't had a fish hit like that in a long time.

He was heavy, so heavy that as I pulled him onto the rocks my pole snapped (I kept my broken tip as a souvenir). I haven't had that happen since I was eight years old. I looked at the fish, about 22 inches long and about 7 pounds. I've never caught a trout that big before. I didn't even know rainbow trout in fairly small lakes grew this big.

What was I going to do with a seven pound fish? I thought about getting it smoked and bringing it home, but then I remembered that this was Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and the chance of me finding someone to do this was tiny. The fish was flopping around. I had brought a couple of little plastic bags for my fish, the kind you get in the produce section of the grocery. This one wasn't going to fit.

He'd taken the hook fairly deep. If I pulled it out, it was going to be a mess. I cut the lure and line with my pliers, leaving a little bit of the hook in. I gripped him. He wasn't moving that much otherwise he would have slipped out of my hands. I walked down to the edge of the rocks and put him back in the water as gently as I could.

I no longer had a working rod. I decided that nothing could top what had happened, plus damn if I caught another one like that I'd have to throw it back anyway. It was getting late. If I went to a store and bought a new rod it'd be close to sunset before I got back to fishing. I walked along the lake back to my car and decided I'd do a little hiking the next day instead of fishing.

And that's the honest truth!

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