Spey Pages banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Looking back at 2020 there wasn't too much good to remember, but getting back on the riverbank I think was one of them.

Do you have a favorite or stand out take or fishing moment from last season?

Here's a compilation of some of my favorite salmon takes, hope you enjoy on a cold dark January night, and roll on 2021!

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I didn't have an exceptional fishing year myself but I got to see my brother catch two OP steelhead on the swing.

Also took a buddy to fish the surf who has never fished before in his life. Set him up with a spinning rod for perch, but he landed a 20 pound BEAST of a striped bass.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I didn't have an exceptional fishing year myself but I got to see my brother catch two OP steelhead on the swing.

Also took a buddy to fish the surf who has never fished before in his life. Set him up with a spinning rod for perch, but he landed a 20 pound BEAST of a striped bass.
Great when a plan comes together Bert 😄🎣👏👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
First steelhead down on the N. Umpqua in July! Awesome moment for me on a quiet Monday morning after a 45 minute hike to the spot I scouted the day before from the road. A moment I'll never forget.

Also had a rise to a skated fly on the Deschutes on a Friday night after driving in on a "what the hell I have 15 minutes before it is completely dark" camp swing.

A couple of other encounters but those are the ones that stick out with some time behind me. Even with all the trips that did not happen because of the pandemic and the downsides to living in 2020, had a great year out on the water!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,356 Posts
One of the biggest of 2020’s lemons for my wife and I was the cancellation of travel plans. We have always been travelers. We bought a tent and some used camping gear before we even rented our first apartment together, and our honeymoon was a week in the Four Corners area of the Southwest. We were camping our way across the Canadian Maritimes with both kids long before they were out of diapers. There’s no other way we’d rather see the world than by car and with tent. Over the past 30-plus years, we have camped in some truly magical places, but the northeast corner of Yellowstone Park and Cape Breton Island have always been at the very top of our favorites list. I could do each of those two a hundred times over again and never get bored or lose an ounce of the awe and inspiration they deliver in spades. COVID put both out of reach and forced us to stay closer to home this summer. Of course, Maine has no shortage of really great places to camp, but when you already live here, they don’t seem quite so exciting or exotic. Familiarity breeding a bit of contempt and all that.

Still, a night in the tent is always better than a night at home, so we started poking around in the DeLorme Atlas and Google Earth. We wanted a reasonably remote site where we wouldn’t have to deal with loud and boozy late-night neighbors and we could also let the dogs run off leash. We both wanted to paddle, and I wanted to fish. Thankfully, various land trusts and conservation groups have provided access to a few such places here and there around the state. They’re just not necessarily easy to find, which I suppose is part of what will help keep them worth finding. I had some vague idea of where there might be one from a fishing trip I had taken with my dad a few years ago, or maybe several, or many - I don’t recall specifically now, but he and I had been bouncing around on a maze of logging roads somewhere between Bangor and Calais and he was driving, so I wasn’t sure I could figure out how to get back in there by memory. In Maine, old logging roads grow over pretty damn fast, and new ones get cut all the time, so that map that was published three years ago may not do you all that much good way back in the woods. A bit of serendipitous luck, however, put one in my hands in June that clearly marked a few promising candidates.

A month later, we turned off the pavement three hours from home and onto a series of dirt roads that led to still other dirt roads. We were 12 plus miles from the tarmac and more than 20 from anything you’d even call a hamlet when right there where the map said it would be was the perfect site. Better than I imagined. A single clearing on a gentle rise overlooking a head water lake. A little beach with afternoon sun, one strategically located fire ring, and a brandy new, clean(!) and well stocked pit toilet a short walk away. There was one small, private cottage on the far side of the lake, and that was it. Nobody else around. I mean, if I could have given specs to a contractor to plan and build it, I couldn’t have done any better.

But that was only the half of it. As we built up the first night’s campfire and got dinner started, the loon chorus kicked in with two different pairs calling back and forth like they were old friends who hadn;t seen each other in years. I’m not a bird guy by any means, but I love loons. I could watch and listen to them for hours, and these obliged like they were being paid. We also got treated to something I had never seen before in more than 45 years of tramping around outdoors in Maine: kestrels. Or at least I think they were kestrels. Marvelous, graceful, speedy, incredibly acrobatic birds that were smaller than peregrines (which we have seen in the wild) but bigger than sparrow hawks. I had only seen a live one once before, a captive bird at a nature center in the Adirondacks. But right there by our perfect little campsite in Maine, a pair of them dipped and dove and swirled over the lake one evening for maybe twenty minutes before they headed south over the horizon. Magic.

The next few days brought a series of similar, exquisite little pleasures like pearls laid out on a string: morning and evening paddles on a mirrored lake surface, gorging on four or five chapters of a good book at a single sitting, watching a shy little whitetail tentatively peek out of the woods and come down to the shore for a drink, and some of the steadiest wading-based fishing I’ve had in ages. This particular lake drains into a coastal river which has been dam free for 20 years. Consequently, it’s prime seasonal habitat for alewives, an anadromous baitfish that swims inland from the Gulf of Maine every spring in simply mind boggling numbers. Smallmouths love to eat them, and those that do get big and fat and are just boat loads of fun to catch on a five weight. Here, I could slip into swim trunks and cast to them within sight of the tent. There were a few “tiddlers” about, little guys of 10 or 12 inches, but a good percentage of the fish were deep bodied, broad shouldered bruisers in the 17 to 20 inch category. They would absolutely smash my little waker, try to pull the rod out of my hand, and then be good for two and sometimes three jumps, all of which seemed impossibly high when you were looking at them from waist deep in the lake. If I wanted to catch more fish, I just had to walk a little further down the shoreline in either direction from camp. Outside of one time on Slough Creek, I’d never been able to do that before.

It was more than I deserved.

374946
374947
374948
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
My first Halibut to hand on light Lingcod gear(not Fly) about 75#
20200726_203900.jpg


First Albacor Tuna, was an absolute chaotic day and plugged the boat with 38 fish for 4 fly anglers, 2 on poppers. A first in Washington that anyone knows. we out fished some of the bait boats! Multiple quadruples, doubles and triples. It was an all out blitz of non stop action.
_DSC8302-01.jpeg


_DSC8109-01 (1).jpeg


also my 1st Blue shark on same trip.
_DSC8266-01.jpeg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
54 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
My first Halibut to hand on light Lingcod gear(not Fly) about 75# View attachment 374985

First Albacor Tuna, was an absolute chaotic day and plugged the boat with 38 fish for 4 fly anglers, 2 on poppers. A first in Washington that anyone knows. we out fished some of the bait boats! Multiple quadruples, doubles and triples. It was an all out blitz of non stop action. View attachment 374987

View attachment 374988

also my 1st Blue shark on same trip. View attachment 374989
Great trip and was going to say I don’t think you got those on a riffled hitch 👌👏😄🎣👍👍
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
Nice footage, looks like fun! I didn't land a single steelhead in 2020, other than that it was great....

Todd

I did not land a steelhead either, but I did hook the largest summer run I've seen in mid June!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
156 Posts
2020 was a strange one, but with all that was going on in the spring It gave me the courage to chase some bucket list fish with a two hander. I quit a steady job and took a short 6 month gig to run a job site on Vancouver Island B.C.
I caught 4/5 species of salmon and finally got my first Steelhead on a fly, a skated dry no less!
That 6 month gig has resulted in a pretty good looking job offer to stay out here and keep chasing dream fish. Not a bad thing for a divorced guy looking at 50 in a couple years.
I'm grateful and humbled to get so damn lucky and I hope it rubs off on everybody in 21!
375039
375041
375045
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top