We’ve got another guest post today from Josh Mills on the hilarity that can ensue when you’re fishing with friends and somebody hooks up.
Josh has a great blog about Fly Fishing, Bird Hunting and General Life Craziness. We love Josh’s stuff and think you should check it out.
One quick note before we get to Josh’s post – we love running guest posts from other folks, and if you’d like to write for us you should drop us a line.
Anyhow, thanks Josh!
The Modern Day Gong Show
Nothing creates a modern day gong show faster than two words –
Picture yourself on the steelhead river of your choice, or salmon river for that matter. Most of the day is spent in the languid tranquility of cast, mend, swing, step and repeat. Your brain is on autopilot as the process repeats time and time again.
It’s as if you’re enveloped in your surroundings. Your boots are as connected with the river as the stones you’re standing on.
And with that all hell breaks loose.
No matter who you’re with, these words create the ultimate 5 alarm fire amongst the people you’re fishing with. Snap your head around in time to see your buddy connected with a silver ghost and you know you have to get your ass out of the pool and direct traffic. In other words, create more confusion.
Reel up as fast as you can and assemble next to the lucky guy and begin barking instructions. No matter how good the fisherman is, it always seems like you have some nugget of info that is going to “help” them bring the fish to the bank.
No, side pressure. Flip the side. Don’t let it get into the fast water. So on and so forth. It’s a maddening scene for sure, especially for the guy who has to listen to all the instructions.
Amongst the bank crew, there’s that time in the battle where you look at each other to determine who’s going to draw the short straw to see who’s going to tail the fish.
Want to get the silent treatment for the rest of your fishing day? Mess up tailing a big fish. Don’t even try to make peace because you have been shunned.
It brings me back to the fish that will haunt my dreams for eternity.
Fishing the famous waters of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State with my father, I hooked into the biggest winter steelhead in my life. After hooking up, I knew that this was going to be in the 15-20 pound class. In an instant, the gigantic hen was off to the races pulling me downstream at an alarming rate. And next to my shoulder, my dad was rattling off a constant stream of “wisdom”.
Don’t let it get into the rapids – you’ll lose it.
Noooo, don’t do that.
Take your time.
Oh, thanks for those nuggets of wisdom Dad.
Somehow, I fought that fish to a stalemate that was akin to two boxers taking the best punches the other could give. As I gained the upper hand and brought it into the shallows for the endgame, the fly pulled out.
My dad and I both looked at each other as if we were kicked in the nuts at the same time.
Think about it, you spend all day trying to get a connection and when you do you come tight it’s an all out assault on your ability to control the situation.
From the depths the fish is kicking your ass and next to you your buddies are cheering you on. Or on the other hand, criticizing the hell out of you.
Seems like it’s a miracle that you even land the fish, right?
Given the choice, I’ll take the gong show. There’s something special about the camaraderie when everyone descends on the lucky angler. Whether you’re the guy who’s battling the fish or you’re part of the peanut gallery, you’re an integral part of what makes fishing for steelhead and salmon special.