Monday, August 11, 2014

Fish Bum

We catch fish, we try to catch fish, we talk fish, we reminisce about fish...we're fish bums. I once told Ernie in Mazatlán that there's a world full of people who fish but there ain't many that fish like us. So meet Jim Stacy, an amazing young man. Have you ever released a hundred pink salmon in a day? Well thanks to Jim and Blaine Rowe I did just a couple days back still hurts.
When I hand the rod to a person in the morning I can tell just by the way they hold it if they fish a lot. Well Jim grabbed that Lamiglass rod like a Three Musketeer would hold his sword...and he worked it with the same results. He cast and retrieved a vibrax spinner for 7 straight hours and then bank fished for several hours after we were done. Jim is a 15 year old waterman from Connecticut. He owns a small bay boat with a 50 horse Yamaha and his dad allows him a range of four miles which he chases Blue fish, Stripers, flounders and anything that swims in. I was impressed....especially in that he was traveling with his grandmother who you could tell shared a special relationship with.
Jim wanted to fish so he released several silvers but guys like him know the rules and his ethics made him keep a bleeding fish to finish off his limit one day so we talked story as we waited for his grandma to catch her last fish. We sat down in the boat and with fishing line had a knot clinic where I showed him an Albright and he showed me several including a seaman hitch and well....he knows outboards, lures, lines and characteristics of them...unbelievable. When we parted I told Jim to enjoy, he's going to having a wonderful life of fair chase and the mystery of sport fishing.  And Jim, welcome to the fraternal organization of Fish Bums, you're one of us.

I have to give a shout out to Blaine and his wife Liz. I didn't get the usual dead fish pic with them because they released everything. I meet a lot of good sports people but these two were true to that deal for sure, they enjoyed the chase and let the fish swim free. One morning Liz caught a silver on her first cast and after letting it go caught another within 5 minutes...that's how you build fishing karma I'd say. Here's a pic of one we released.
I'm known as being a bit frugal. I even looked that word up in the dictionary once and the first word they had for it was 'miserly'. Well I don't think I'm that bad but when it comes to fishing, it's no holds barred. So at  $1600.00 an ounce you don't see this anymore. I just wish we hadn't chucked one just like it into the woods and it's gone forever. Hey Liz....if ya want silver ya gotta use gold eh?

One thing all us fish bums know is this....never try to out fish a 12 year old.  It seems the fish gods know what the world needs and what the world needs is more young people excited about nature and the pursuit of an outdoor lifestyle. So it was no surprise to me that Conner Smaggala there out fished everyone for the three days they spent on the Kenai. I really enjoyed those guys. Jim Smagalla has a certain wisdom that perks to the surface easily. He looks you in the eye and chuckles...a gem of a man and when we parted we promised to do it again in 20 years and he told me something that he knows to be true...." anything's possible".  Thanks for coming and bringing the family Jim.
Me, Bill Burris and his buddy Jose sat through the proverbial toad strangler the other day. I guess it was the tail end of the storm that dropped 3 inches of rain at the headwaters of this ol river and put her 'out' as we say. We'd caught a few silvers and made the tactical mistake of cruising to tidewater and leave the relative comfort of our slough. Well....holy moly, we got down river and it was blowing 20 to 30 and the rain was stinging your face and...we didn't last long so Bill congrats on those silvers, you earned those babies.
Like I say on the header for this blog, the Kenai is as fickle as a teen age girl. It rained big time, here's a pic of the graph. They actually published and then canceled a flood advisory and as you can see from this graph it looks to be cresting in Cooper Landing already.
Yesterday we went fishing in the muddy water I was pleasantly surprised. We caught quite a few pinks and managed a silver and as fickle as the Kenai is she'll give up a gift  every so often like this gorgeous Rainbow that my new friend Willy Burgher caught. Can you tell we were having fun?
And the release wasn't exactly textbook but it worked just fine, kind of amazing just how that guy could jump out of the rubber net. Ol slimey there swam right off no worse for the wear. We figure he was 7 pounds.
My buddy Nate is coming down this week with cousin Henry from Maine. I really think the water is going to be OK, not ideal but we can work with matter what you know we'll have all our ducks in a row.


  1. You released a hundred pink salmon in a day? Wow! You really mean it when you said there aren’t many that fishes the way you and your friends do. Your fishing “bum” upholds a certain principle that’s remarkably incredible. Cheers!

    Kathleen Gardner @ Bid2Fish

  2. I really admire those who are very passionate about fishing, just like you guys. Your practices are really decent, and not to mention quite jaunty. Anyway, everyone seemed to have had a grand time. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us, Jeff. Have a great day!

    Getawayaway Outdoors