We Love the Cold and Rain
Day One of my fall king salmon fishing opened late. It was a bit after four by the time I got on the water. I could see fish crashing about up the full length of the riffle, and I knew it was going to be a good evening. The sky was leaden, and the wind had picked up, but as yet no rain fell onto the glare-roofed water. I picked a pod of fish and dropped the tractor-trailer, Silver Leech and 8 mm, Tangerine Otter’s egg combo in front of the first fish. I got the usual response—complete indifference. But only a few casts later, and I was fast to a big hen..
Kings fight in what is known as the wallow and thrash style. They just use their weight and enormous strength to battle it out with you. This one was no different. My plan for the fight was a bit different than theirs. I just kept and deep bend in the 10-weight, and held it parallel to the water’s surface. Soon enough, the big fish lay in the net, and I grabbed a couple of quick shots of its head, egg fly firmly in place in it jaw.
As I released this first king of the evening, the rain crept in quietly. At first, it was just a moist whisper on the wind, but as I inched the zipper on my Simms jacket a bit higher, the drops became larger and more frequent. As the second king ate the egg fly, the rain was pelting down in earnest. It would be a wet evening, but the fish gave the cold and rain not a second thought. They took the fly with zeal and fought with equal zest, forcing me many times to hold the fighting butt against my waist as I leaned hard on the rod to hold them as close and tight as I could. They wrestled with great skill, but the unyielding flex of the rod ground them to submission.
The evening ended with six beautiful kings landed and released. They loved the cold and rain—and so did I.