Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fruitless fishing

Last Friday was a perfect example of why I love this job. To do a story on a fishing guide, he gladly allowed me to tag along on one of his guided boats, and we went to the Umpqua River, which flows half an hour north of the Bay Area.

It was foggy. It was early. Like, 6 a.m. early. We couldn't see the other side of the river, and we launched almost silently, save for his boat's motor.

Here's Rick and his dog, Molly, who was trying to get the bubbles coming from the motor. She was adorable — couldn't wait to get a fish.

U.S. Highway 101 bridge, behind the fog.

Got to watch the sun rise and burn off the fog — incredible feeling.

And by the end of the morning, it looked like this. I got some sun (mostly on my ears and hands, since they were basically the only parts exposed). What we didn't get was fish. Not a bite. Not a nibble. Nothing.

Rick couldn't believe it. The conditions were right. The bait was nice. He's done this his whole life, so he certainly wasn't mistaken. Sometimes the fish just aren't hungry, I suppose.

His boat caught 10 fish the next day. And he nabbed a 40-pound salmon on Monday. The luck of the outdoors writer — perhaps their fishy friends warned them about all the spawning (and necessary killing) I'd done at the hatcheries. Oh well, it still wasn't a bad way to work for six hours on the clock.

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