6.30 the alarm goes off, I peek outside and the sky is still dark. I quickly pack my gear and head downstairs. Our friend V and R are waiting, in anticipation.
Today marks the final salmon outing for the season as the weather has began to turn. We had 2 locations marked out as our destination, our first stop -inch creek. Followed by a new location we had never fished – Morris lake.
After a rough 1.5 hour drive, we arrived at inch creek around 8am. The parking lot was already packed by the time we arrived, we parked and quickly scoped the area. We peered over the bridge and saw that there were still a fair number of cohos sitting in the crystal clear water. Their black silhouette – that of a torpedo facing up river made us jump with excitement. We quickly walked through the brisk fall air, finally finding ourselves a spot underneath the train bridge. We began casting straight away.
We had an arsenal of gear, from roe to jigs, from spoons to flies. We were ready to catch fish today. After 30 minutes of casting, we realized that although it was packed full of fish, they just were not in the biting mood. As the fog lifted from the river, we decided to move on, and relocate. A friend of mine had briefly mentioned to me that further up the path was a great location, so I pulled out my phone and located the pin point on my map. We arrived in this area and had the pool all to ourselves.
This was a much deeper pool, which was previously dug out for river gravel harvesting. We began casting, within the 3rd cast I felt a heavy tug followed by slack line. I thought to myself “A FISH HIT THE JIG!!!”… I was thrilled at this thought because since it was late season, therefore hooking a fish is a much rarer occasion.
For some reason I froze up when the fish bit, so I did not set the hook properly. My heart was broken, as I told V and R what had happened, they looked over as if in non-belief.
I quickly gathered my thoughts, and contemplated what had gone wrong. I quickly re-casted into the same area of this deep pool. I worked my jig slower this time, making sure I had my line tight. I closed my eyes and felt every little current pass through the feathers of my jig.. I was engaged and one with the water, I was fully concentrated on the moment.. Just as the jig entered the territory where the first bite happened, I felt a heavy weight pull the tip of the rod and my GLoomis rod keeled over as I grasped the handle. This time I was ready, I set the hook as if pulling the earth’s core out of the ground. THE FISH WAS ON!
Heart racing, hands shaking, I held on to my spin caster as if my life depended on it. My reel screamed as if it were being skinned alive with the line peeling off the spool. I saw a flash in the pool and saw that it was a beautiful coho. It jumped and performed a couple airborne acrobatic maneuvers to try and unlatch itself from my grip. This coho would not give me any room for retrieving, I was at its mercy as it ran in between the deep pool and shallow tail outs.
After about 10 minutes of battle, the coho finally came in and R helped land the fish. We decided to let this fish go and hopefully return in the next couple years to be able to have the opportunity to fight its offsprings.