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A Rough Year for Finding Waldo

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We have been fishing the same area for a few days now and yesterday were gifted with some fantastic weather conditions ranging from warm sun to a rather furious storm. I managed to travel ahead of the storms save for a tremendous blow on the big river. When facing sustained and gusting a head wind that whipped the river into 1.5 - 2 foot chop I was able to run back branches with plenty of trees lining the banks and so able to dodge most of the bad stuff. As we made a run for cover I had to guide boats fall in behind my wake who both were carrying 4 passengers. They followed us into the back branches where we stopped to chat. Their boats were true flat bottom with square bows and they were being both beaten by the waves and lifted by the wind. When you run a flat bottom boat into a headwind at speed the wind could and in some cases has lifted the front of the boats from the water causing a real bad situation for the operator or occupants. With 4 passengers they had enough weight to keep the bows down but were glad for the shelter from the wind.

I had to learn every back channel on the big rivers I run during the years that our boat was powered by a honda 35 jet. With little power I had to know where I could stay out of the current and the wind leastwise I could make little headway. All that sneaking around the rivers paid off well because after all that I know where to be and when to be there now. With the new 90 HP Honda I can skim along at 30 mph but must be careful not to get stuck on any sandbars. The old motor weighed 260 pounds and in a pinch I could dead lift the back of the boat to break the suction. This new motor weighs 364 pounds and I'm older.............. I rely on speed to skim me over the skinny water now

While fishing here's a look river up;

This was the river down view;

The fish were showing all around us and I tried to get a picture of one cartwheeling through the air but timing was a problem. This shot shows one just re-entering the water after a leap.

We caught some salmon but nothing huge and the fish were released. On the way home I stopped on an island to make coffee because it's a long drive on the river and we also had some dinner ala Mountain House beef stroganoff. As we finished the meal it became obvious that we better take the coffee to go........... I was sitting on the sand leaning against a huge cottonwood tree that had been left there by flooding and couldn't help but to think that this was a rather nice view.

After dodging the brunt of the wind we caught a calm on the way up the Su but the sky ahead warned that we had better hurry.

Here's a fish being turned back, there are big ones and I had one come loose on Saturday after a long running battle when he was just a few feet from shore. That was a heart breaker because we had him figured at maybe 30 and could see it was a male

This is another fish from a different river. It too was small, maybe 10 - 13 pounds and was also left go.

Nancy has the only keeper so far this season with this beauty.

I can't complain because I'm getting a bunch of these.

I'm fishing with that 1981 Hardy Spey I bough recently, it's a wonderful rod and will handle much larger fish if I'm fortunate enough to find them.

Tomorrow's another day and I'll keep looking for the big guys. I figured all the fish Monday at around 8 - 9.5 pounds. These are not Jack fish but although mature they are a small strain of king not the kind you want to take. You are allowed only 5 fish per year and if you use up your card on these little fellas you won't have much meat to show for the work.



  1. milt spawn's Avatar
    Culling 10-15 pound fish, love it! Looks like you're off to a good start. Thanks!
  2. jpbfly's Avatar
    Hey Ard,beautiful pics here!Thanks for making me dream...older? what do you mean? Fysh&You have to be in good shape when Nancy& Pam will be on the water together
  3. littledavid123's Avatar
    Excellent post Ard, just reading your story one could tell the strain of winter has passed and all is right within your realm.

  4. fyshstykr's Avatar
    You live in a beautiful part of the world Ard, we're very much looking forward to our time with you coming soon.