with the winter soon approaching, i always tend to drift back to the summer months of chasing fish in the ocean. for me, it's rare to remember individual fish (even the exceptional ones) but i surely remember the great visuals one sees on the ocean. for me, i have to pick three great images for 2003.
the first happened in mid-july while mooching for kings. some blue water had moved north and the salmon didn't seem to mind being in the 58-59 degree water. the water color gave one great visibility. i had thrown some kings in my fish hold to bleed (bad mistake) and this attracted the blue sharks. weren't having any problems with the sharks chasing fish until we were getting ready to land a 5-6 lb hatchery silver. not 5 ft. from the boat with the coho planing on the surface, a 5-6 ft. long blue came up and ate it right in front of us (i believe i was cheering
). it was incredible watching an upper level predator go nuts in crystal clear water next to the boat.
the second visual for me was sitting 10-15 miles offshore with large numbers of coho's and humpies feeding on the surface. i was sitting on top of the pilothouse watching the larger coho mill 3-10 ft. beneath the surface on the leading edge of the surface pods. it was amazing to just sit and watch their reactions to flies and also to see their reaction to line flash and casting motions (it was a bright, sunny day). just thinking about those sleek torpedos swimming around the boat gets me pumped for future augusts. i think we gave this perspective to a fisheries enforcement boat too. the huge enforcement boat pulled up to check us (the huge white one that can do 33 knots... my dream boat.) as they backed away with officers on the front deck we tossed flies at their boat and they got quite animated as they saw salmon jump on our flies right under their noses.
the last day of the season saw us running 48 miles sw of cape flattery looking for blue sharks. we finally hit 60 degree water, but instead of that beautiful blue water so good for spotting approaching fish, the water had about 2-4 ft. of visibility and was so full of algae that you could see lines of it on the surface. the shark fishing was good, but i'll remember that green water plus the huge flocks of phalaropes (sp) more than the fishing.
just thought i'd share some of my favorite memories of 2003... and yeh, the fishing was pretty dang good too (although i won't miss the pinks next year
would enjoy hearing about your favorite 2003 memories (might get me jazzed enough to be more motivated to not procrastinate in my tying) and have attached one image.