Saturday, July 21, 2007
We fished on the Russian River on the Kenai Peninsula in AK. It is a snow melt river that runs fast and clear; the bottom is comprised of rocks, rocks, rocks; water and air temps were about 40 degrees. (The referenced photo is about 1/2 mile downstream from our location - we were in mid-thigh depth water.)
The salmon were running erratically. This was my fist time fishing. All those films of fish pulling out lines, flopping all over after landed, tugging against you when pulling them in are true. Couple the hooked fish activity with walking backwards over rocks you cannot see to get to dry land, well, let's say it gets real iffy at times. Despite good clothing, I had a hard time backing up to land my fish so when I got one on the line, I'd yell for my friend Mike to steady me.
I'd hooked a good 9-pounder. Mike and I were backing up to the sandbar when I lost my footing and plummeted into the river, taking Mike with me. He's yelling at me, "Hold the rod, hold the rod!" Sad to say, the fish jerked rod, reel and itself out of my hands. I was soaked from top to bottom and the pole was gone. Mike went downstream asking fishermen if they'd seen it but to no avail.
I'm on land, admittedly feeling sorry for myself, moping, etc. I'd caught one fish earlier and was debating to leave. About 20 minutes later, I hear this guy yell, "Anyone lose a rod?" He was fishing about 25' from where I'd been dunked, now holding two fishing rods.
"Hey, that's my rod! Can I have it back?"
"No problem," he says and hands me the rod. I go to pull in the line and the fish is STILL ON THE HOOK! I landed it - it's now in our freezer!