By: Joel Anderson
If the title of this little essay has you thinking fondly about some obscure parlor game using tiles with Chinese symbols that your grandmother made you play as a child, you might be on the wrong website. Try http://www.mahjong.com. If you’re a fisherman like me, who couldn’t possibly care less about parlor games (or duck hunting!), read on.
A light south wind is what I hope for every night on the way home from work. Not too strong, because that can stir up the bottom sediment and push leaves along the shoreline, making fishing almost impossible. I find myself checking http://www.weather.com details several times throughout the day, hoping for a wind out of the south wind between 5 and 10 mph.
Landlocked salmon fishermen call it a “salmon chop”, and without it, fishing can be dismal. Any salmon fisherman worth his salt will tell you that flat-ass calm conditions and bright sun are the kiss of death. You might as well stay home. I fished last Saturday during flat calm conditions and never saw a sign in life in 4 hours of casting.
Well, as a drove to my fishing spot tonight, I almost squealed with delight. The light south wind was pushing up against the shoreline where I typically fish and the chop was perfect.
The first few casts with my trusty Barnes Special move fish without any strikes. A few of the fish rolled three and four times at my streamer on the same retrieve without actually ever touching it. Very Frustrating!
After breaking off a half dozen big fish this fall on 2X tippet, I finally relented and was now fishing 1X (8 lb) so I didn’t have to worry about over striking.
“One of ‘em will make a mistake!” I said to myself as I made another cast out into the lake.
Well, long story short, in about a half hour of fishing, five salmon did, resulting in four solid hookups, two of which were actually brought to hand, and one of which is pictured below. Besides that, there was almost a constant barrage of swirling fish at my streamer, which certainly held my attention. All things considered, it was an excellent evening of salmon fishing. Interestingly, as soon the sun touched down on the trees, the fishing died. I’ve seen that same phenomenon happen several times this fall.
Given the fact that the cork grip on the cane rod is 6.5”, I used my junior high school algebra to calculate this bad boy at 23.5 inches (and fat!) and, believe it or not, he might have been on the small side compared to the some of others I have been fortunate to hook this fall.
Man, it’s been a fantastic fall, perhaps my best ever. Sure hate to see it end…