9-16-05 - Fat Fest, Day 3
Waters Fished: Garden River
Fish Caught: 2
Outing Date: 9-16-05
Air Temp: lows in upper 30's, highs in mid 70's
Water Temp: 58 F
Water Level: low
Water Color: clear
Fish Species: Pink Salmon
Pattern Fished: Glo Bugs, Tucker
Pattern Color: Hot Orange, Chartreuse, Hot Pink, Purple, Black
Fishing Quality: Fair
Another cold morning kicked off our final day on
the Garden River. Things took a definite turn for the worse. More
and more anglers were showing up on Friday, yet fish numbers were
at best staying the same, if not dwindling.
John, Gerry, Rich, Chief, Dutton, Matt and Mitch
all piled into the vehicles to go check out PINKTOPIA! Granted,
for the last 2 days we haven't found a fish there yet. What I failed
to mention in yesterdays report was that I DID sight ONE empty redd,
and of course we had fish upstream, so the fish definitely have
to pass through the area. Maybe today would be different, as the
water temps have dropped almost 10 degrees since we first arrived.
I wasn't in any hurry to get on the water, so most
of the morning was spent sitting around the campfire. Ari and Sean
started tying flies. I waited for the sun to hit the water.
Finally, probably around 11:00 AM, I suited up
and hit it. Ari hooked up upstream, the first action I was able
to capture this morning. Jim worked the deep pool and seam. The
FAT tribe returned and Dutton blazed by us, content to fish for
"minnows" in the flats above the riffle. I guess he got
After last nights slamfest, I was on a mission.
Tucker tucker tucker...yeah the guys had given me a bit of grief.
Rich arguably dishes it out the best..."We got a walleye, in
the last 18 days we've caught fish in 32 states and 2 countries,
all with the Tucker." Well, as far as I remember the Tucker
hasn't touched a Pink Salmon...
Of course I got a Pink on the Tucker Nypmh, and
of course I know I'm just gonna get more grief for saying this,
but it was the BIGGEST PINK I've landed; a huge, humpbacked male
with hardly a mark on him. John snapped a couple shots and for the
rest of our trip, every once in a while he'd mutter "Man, that
was a big pink...". OK, it's now official, the Tucker has landed
fish in TWO countries! It's just the Fat Tribe shakin' in their
boots...defeated in the last 2 Pet Fly Smackdowns by the Tucker
(and, to be fair, the Tucker ripoff known as the Jubb Jubb ;)
After landing my fish for the day, I headed back
to camp. Looks like everyone's up for a bit of fly tying...gosh
we turned the mess haul into a regular old fly factory. I didn't
tie; I purposely left my tying gear at home as a way to keep myself
ON the water, even if things were slow.
I hung out, had a few Mountain Dews, and as the
afternoon wore on I got back on the water to take pictures, give
some casting instruction to John (who also got a huge helping hand
from Sean). John finally got on my camera with a Pink (although
he'd really rather I used him and the Male he has a picture with...but
that's still locked up in his camera). Bruce patiently worked a
small pod with Jim, who at least got some bent rod pics taken.
So yeah, it was a slow evening. As dinner was getting
prepared, and most everyone was back at camp salivating, out came
the Scotch and Whiskey. After being fully over-served, the buzz
got to my head and I got to thinking - I've NEVER fished with a
Dinner was coming, but I got the itch to fish.
I gotta say, I now understand why so many fisherman go out with
a flask - FLY CASTING DRUNK IS VERY ENJOYABLE! Seriously, when you're
not catchin', having a little buzz takes the edge off and you really
could care less about the fish!
OK, so I'm NOT writing this to ADVOCATE fly fishin'
drunk, but hey, it was a new experience ;) Of course, the moment
the fish popped up out of nowhere the buzz was gone and I was IN
THE ZONE! At first, most only females were around. It was getting
really dark, the light was fading, and the LAST thing I wanted to
land was another hen. So, out of the 10 or so I hooked, I didn't
take a picture and did my best to simply put some slack in the line
to get them off.
As the very last bit of light was disappearing,
the MALES showed up. I had been fishing DARK egg patterns (black
with orange dot, purple with black dot) but the bucks were shying
away from these. So I switched it up to Red and Chartreuse and in
just a few casts I nailed my first buck who promptly headshook free.
I could barely see anything when I connected again.
YES, that was all I was looking for! Another big pink from the Garden.
It was arguably the best 2 fish day I've had in a while.
Back up around the campfire, I skipped out on Bacon-Wrapped
Turkey Steaks; the Irish Coffees had pretty well filled me up. But
who am I to argue when Apple Peach Cherry Vanilla cobbler is put
on a plate in front of me! My report is simple and concise. "You
guys need to get your asses on the water. I tied into 12 down there
since I left". The advice was taken to heart by Rich, Matt
and Mitch, who stayed out until 2:30 AM nightfishin. It definitely
paid off, the trio scored 14 pinks!