Consistent with our fishing pattern of late, we started slowly today, but caught fire by 10:30 with hookups coming fast and furious for Dave and his two fine sons, Ross and Ryan. It became so crazy I literally had to call “Time Out!” for lunch, lest the smoking grill would run out of gas as we fought fish or we would accidentally burn ourselves! Unfortunately, though, our “We’ve got ’em now” plan to slay the kings post-lunch went awry when some kayakers did some “tee-hee” whirlygigs over our fish only to have Consumers then release a slug of water, which scattered the fish in the high, off-color water. No matter, sore arms and lots of laughs were the order of the day as once again my maxim of “Father/son(s) trips are the best” held true. How satisfying it must be for dads like Dave to share a memorable day on the river with two sons about whom you are most proud. And well Dave should be. Gentlemen, both, the young bucks attacked the fish with vengence and came away amazed at the speed and power of the kings. I wish I could report that we landed all that we hooked, but like most days, hooking didn’t always equate to landing. Nonetheless, it was a most enjoyable day for all.

Today, too, marked the beginning of the salmon looking for love in all the right places. That’s right, around midday the fish gods threw the spawning switch and onto the gravel came our first hens. Not vast numbers, to be be sure, but enough so that fishing pressure can now move out the holes alone and into slicks, runs, and glides behind gravel. Our best fly today hands-down was Steelhead Candy.

Good as the fishing is, though, it’s the people who make the days special. Thanks Dave, Ross, and Ryan for a great time. You listened and learned well and made it a joy for me to be your guide.

Tom Kuieck