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Since Ive been out once this year (boxing day, to no avail) Ive been getting the shakes and need to feel some steel.
So most of friday night Im glued to the river level site hopin for a bit of fishability and to say it wasnt looking good for saturday on the Island was an understatment. One purticular river I was eyeing up was Harris creek, very fast drainage. I went through the last few wet seasons of info on the river level site and noticed that if it peaks it rather instantly drops back to 2 metres no matter from what hight and 1.5m is the summer time low. By 12 am the rising water had begun to level off around 2.5m and the rain had stopped 8) , I phone my bud and say we'll make the final call in the morn. The alarm goes of at 4 and I hurry to the computer and see that the river is almost back at 2m allready and figure that there is a good chance that we will be fishing in some pretty good conditions despite all the rain the day before. I give my bud (fresh from New Mexico, who allready has a major steely bug) the 4:10 wake up call to say looks good lets go, Im on my way.
Off starts a mission. Driving out to Sooke theres Bilston creek, right upto the road, every ditch ready to blow, Im starting wonder about the river level site ???. Drive over the Sooke river bridge and notice the river has covered the whole campsite at the flats, pick up my bud, Tugwell creek.......same story..huge.
Driving out to Renfrew ya could tell it was going to be a beautiful mornin, clear skies, a little chilli (31-37 all day) but still a little windy. Well then we go over the Loss creek bridge....looks freaking perfect! 8) By this time we are getting a little excited with anticipation. We cross the San juan bridge and shes a mud slide (but figured so all the way up that it would be) Then the real fun starts...........Time now is 6 am
A couple hundred yards passed the bridge..... tree down :'( now im talkin 30 plus inches of fir :eek:, Ive tackled some serious trees with the axe but this one was nuts. We turn around and give my buddy the Port Renfrew tour and show him many many luxurious ammenties....lmao, then return to the tree for the wait for somebody with a big enough chainsaw. 8am the cars start appearing....waiting stratching our heads wondering. A few short minutes later the Renfrew tow guy shows up with a forty inch bar takes it off the deck, walks to the tree, turns around, says Im gunna need help ??? Well we look passed the tree only to see about a 12 of these giant firs were across the road ( was to dark to see them earlier) We figure well wait a bit longer and if anything well help the locals clean up this mess. 8:30 arrives and with that so does the tow guy and 3 3/4 ton 4x4's and a whole bunch of loggers and serious chainsaws and 3 inch tow ropes. With lines down trees everywhere off to work. With bout 10 guys we had a lane cleared through the mess by 10 and they all kinda laughed a good luck at us and thx for the help. On our way again, and not too optomistic about reaching destination.....but it was clear ;D
Finally got to the river and saw that it was perfect, not really hight at all with about 3ft vis which cleared to about 6ft during the day(despite the rain/snow mix) we started fishing. We fished till about 2 without a touch through the whole top of the river but did see a couple steel flip and a couple old coho jump, we returned to the truck and figure that we have done some nuts hiking an are pretty pooped by this time, but....... we still have a couple hours left, down river we go. We pull over to one of the spots that I have frequently seen fish holding and well fish there till dark. Im bottom bouncing a corky through the (as all the spots before) very fishy looking water........Wham all the sudden a member of the Green/chrome squadron get airborn, extremely fresh, not too much I could do to tame that one 8) so the day wasnt a loss. Move to the next pool down and rip the pin rod through with a gooey bob for a few casts...nuthin. back to the bottom bouncing w/corky......wham same thing another prestine steel that spent more time outta the water than in, needless to say an at the feet no hands release. Then another, then my bud just giiglin happy to see the air antics steps to the plate with a couple on of his own. These fish where such a pleasant suprise to find and allthough we didnt touch any of them we were just as happy to have hooked them (and came so close to land on all of them) as we would have been gettin a little slime on the hands. 6-12lbs unmarked, no pink what so ever, those were the fish stories are written about, setting the hook was like pulling the start cord and off they went.
Soaking wet, grinnin from ear to ear we head home in the dark, typical west coast day 8)
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