I’m invited to join Tim on his annual salmon fishing trip, this time with Mike and his son Owen Cleary. We all convene in Anderson Sunday night at the Gaia Hotel & Spa. Have a great dinner at the Woodside Grill. After dinner, we reminisce about our epic trip to Ireland with my old photo album.
The next morning we’re off to Corning to fish with Steve, a guide that works with Dave Jacobs. Owen lands the first salmon of the day and his first. I’m handed Steve’s rod after he gets a fish on and I land my first Striped Bass. Mike is next hooking up a big salmon. He fights it all the way to the boat and as it slowly emerges at the surface it somehow loses the hook and is gone. Some discussion follows that perhaps Steve should have netted that one. Am glad it didn’t happen to me. These guys are great fishermen and when they lose one it’s a tough break. If I lose one, well it’s pretty clear I screwed it up.
Day two is with Mike Bogue, Tim’s usual go-to guide. We meet Mike early in the shopping center lot across the freeway and follow him to put the boat in. We’re on the river by 6:30 am and off to the usual spot called the Barge Hole. There are already about 10 boats there. As usual, Mike gets us set up and it’s not long before Owen lands the first Salmon of day two. I think fish two is boated by Mike Cleary, another nice salmon. Soon Tim lands the largest so far.
We try a few other places. I commit my usual rookie mistakes. I forget to keep my thumb on the line, I get tangled with Owen’s line, I somehow get my line around the boat prop. (not sure how I keep getting invited back to these but am grateful for everyone’s patience). At one point I have a fish on and am fighting it to the boat but lose it before we ever see it. I ask Mike what I should have done differently. He pauses thoughtfully and replies “Hook it better”. I don’t think I even set the hook, just all of the sudden noticed I had a fish on and started reeling. DOH!
Towards the end of the day, Mike snaps his rod back and hands it to me. I proceed to reel in a really nice salmon to make it one for each of us. Mike takes the boat to a shady spot where he ties up and fillets our catch for us.
This was another amazing trip organized by Tim and a wonderful reunion with the Clearys. So much fun, I don’t think I’ve laughed that much in a long time!