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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A few years back my father, who was suffering from late stage prostate cancer, really wanted to go fishing and had saved up enough to rent a boat out of Pedder Bay. So I managed to weasel a day off.

Knowing that he would insist upon the "standard 40' or 80' on the down rigger" and the pinks and sockeye were running out at the second tide line, I acquiesced and packed my fly rod with a sink tip. I made certain that he had his insulin and that we packed his breakthrough morphine and some sandwiches and chocolate bars just in case he had another low blood sugar incident. Like the last time we went trolling off East Sooke Park.

The weather was magnificent and the tide was right.

Right off the bat he got into several little jacks we released doing the 40 to 80 foot routine as I did the gilly work as usual.

At the first tide line the much vaunted and sought after "huge chinooks" were no where to be found. So I suggested because the weather was great and the chances were that it would not blow up, we should try out at the second tide line for a change. Fortunately my father had eaten after his morning insulin this time and he was not in too much pain from the boat bouncing around so I pulled up the gear and carefully blasted out to where the fish were.

When we got there the fish were fining on the surface and chasing the herring and needle fish. So I rigged my dad for his mandatory 40 to 80 foot drag and put up my fly rod but ran the boat with a bucket sea anchor to slow it down to nothing.

By this time my dad was starting to feel the pain in his lower spine so he took a fairly stiff shot of his morphine. Which made him a little dopey and therefore a little easier to deal with if things did not seem to be going all to plan. You see he had "expert advice" from a friend who fished trolling these waters for killer chinook and always gave my dad a nice fresh salmon steak or two. Most likely from Safeway but it was better that my dad believed that it was fresh from the salt chuck instead.

As my dads attention waned I pulled up the down rigger and popped the clip on his line. I had already boated two pinks and my dad was getting interested in how I was managing to hook fish. So I put on a little slip sinker and a small flasher and a pink sockeye hoochi before he realized what was going on.

I was using little Mr Twisters on a large fly hook tied on with a small amount of thread and fly casting as I managed the boat.

Within seconds we were into double headers as we lucked into a school of sockeye!

The look on my fathers face I will never forget, to see him wince with pain then smile as he reeled in a nice 6 lb fish.

The tide was starting to pick up and controlling the boat was becoming difficult as we began to reach our limit. So I said to my dad. I think it might be a good idea to stop now and try a little power mooching down deep if you really want a chance for a chinook.

This brought the usual growl and scorn as he repeated his 40 to 80 foot mantra and insisted on his tried and true setup with the down rigger.

What was I to do, he was the boss? So knowing that the inevitable skunk was about to happen I hood-winked him into slow power mooching with his "big stick that could handle a 40 lb chinook"

Much to my surprise my small cut plug hooked him into a very large sockeye, this time he was certain that he had a chinook on and played the fish for all it was worth. While I limited out with one last really beautiful pink.

It was getting almost impossible to control the boat as the tide swirled and turned. My dad was impatient to land his fish so he tried to stand. This was the worst thing he could have done and he almost toppled over so I managed to ease him back down into the seat and slash away at the spinning fish with the net. The fish took another little dive and run and was too far out, but I tried anyway and lost the net overboard.

Fortunately the fish was hooked well and I managed to grab it.

My father who still had two fish to catch said "might as well keep that one it is a beauty!" Sure enough it was at least 8 lbs and feisty as all get out for a sockeye.

My dad looked at me and said "lets try in close to the park down at 40 feet where big fish are" The chinook fever was something he never managed to overcome, much to my brothers and my chagrin, though later on in life he presented very little actual threat to them.

Having limited out and being nothing more than the gilly I didn't mind.

We got to the first tide line and I finally convinced my dad that power mooching would be the best option because the tide was really running and trolling was almost a write off. So I rigged him up with a cut plug and an 10 oz mooching sinker on the old hardy moocher and started drift mooching. He got into a good fish the size and species of which we will never know because he did not have the strength left to play it and lost the fish after it almost pulled him out of his seat with a screaming run.

As he fished he was starting to get into too much pain and I knew it, so I told him to take a little more morphine as his resistance was starting to get up there and I knew at worst it would only make him sleep. As my dad was taking a cap full a pod of Orcas came along, so the fishing was done for the time being.

As I waited to allow my dad to relax and the pain to ease the alpha male came right up along side the little 14 footer we were in. It paused and looked straight at me from not more than 8 feet away, it stayed there looking at me and with a sense of peace and fulfillment that one rarely feels in life I realized my dad had caught his last fish. The Orca seemed to nod in agreement and then, with what looked to me to be a tip of the fin and nod of head, it dove slowly and went on its way.

The spurious links added to this story (if visible} are not rational and were not applied by the original author, use them at you own risk to your wallet and sanity.
 

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Thanks for sharing Reeman, it sure brought back lots of memories of the last time my Dad and I went fishing before cancer took him way too young.
 

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Absolutely great story Reeman. I fish with my dad a lot and we always look forward to getting out after those beautiful salmon. I'm not sure if I have saw my dad catch his last salmon or not. It's a fact of life that all of us will one day catch our last fish too, so enjoy every moment we have just being able to experience being out on the water. Especially when we are sharing it with those people that are so close to us.
 

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Geeze, thanks. Wish I could fish with dad just once more....gone since 1986, he died in my arms, I felt his last breath and then his spirit shot off like a lightning bolt...love you Dad.
 

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What a great story after reading it several times the impression I got was that the both of you fished a lot together thank you for sharing this with us:cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
What a great story after reading it several times the impression I got was that the both of you fished a lot together thank you for sharing this with us:cheers:
Not really at least on the West Coast, unfortunately, however my fondest childhood memories are fishing together on the larger creeks and beaver ponds for brookies, rainbows and on Superior from shore for white fish. Quite often fishing and grouse hunting could help feed the family somewhat when we had little else other than potatoes and the like. Hard times but wonderful non the less. He passed in '98 and is much missed.
He was heavily effected by his service in WW11. Little of which is known for certain.
 
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