King Salmon Opener

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The kids and me with a small keeper king last Wednesday. Still cleaning up gear from our annual multi-family camping trip to open the king salmon season. The fleet had an epic morning on opening day (while I was still packing and loading gear at home), and then, as it often does, the numbers of fish plummeted. Tough fishing and chilly, windy weather made for a challenging four days, but we managed to scratch out a few fish and enjoy the company of great friends we don’t see often enough.

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Weston in a calm moment, enjoys the fleeting flat water. For the most part, it was blowing just enough to put a little chop on the water and keep us from relaxing too much. 180 degrees from last year, when it was flat calm the whole time and we stacked so many kings we had to send someone to the store for more ice chests. This year, well, it was different. Thursday night Skyla and I went out for a quick evening fish. Water looked okay from the ramp. But by the time we got out on the fishing grounds, it was blowing 30 kts with bigger gusts and we had 3-foot wind waves with white on top. In our little boat, I was a little afraid to turn the boat to run back. Figured it might be best to stay put and see if the wind would fall out, so we put one rod in the water and kept the bow pointed into it. Sure enough…fish on! I fought it on my knees, steering with one hand, and Skyla crawled on hands and knees to get the net. We put it in the box, high fived and realized the tide was turning to run against the wind, which was rising. Yikes! So we “ran” for the beach at a full 3 mph, climbing each wave looking at the sky then pounding into the troughs. What’s normally a 7 minute run took us almost an hour, but we made some memories, that’s for sure. No pix, though…hands full just trying to keep everything under control. Back at camp, as we tried to cook dinner, it ramped up to about 40 kts and the metal supports on our canopy snapped, launching the whole thing like a hang glider.

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This is what it’s really all about, though. Kicking back around the campfire, hanging out with great friends, and…S’MORES! Glen, Can, Sweeney, Mia, Maren, Laine…we love you. Here’s to more kings showing up soon and a great season.

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