As a small group of boats leaves the dock at first light the day is full of anticipation. Two days ago a 78 pound Chinook was caught and released and we all know that those big fish are here. It’s that time of year where every time that rip tip bumps it could be a hog. As we roll out through the mouth of the harbour an orange hue covers the horizon and the low lying clouds as the sun rises. The waters of Virago Sound are flat calm and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing on end in anticipation for what the day might bring. The anticipation of the first bite, a big fish, or just that fishy feeling, it all builds up.
As two boats stop at Cape Naden the water is slowing down and it’s full of bait, millions of little jack herring. The boat in front of us hooks up almost as soon as they have a rod in the water and now the anticipation continues to build. When will it be our turn? Bob and John are first time salmon anglers and yesterday John landed his first Tyee – a beautiful 31.5 pounder and now Bob is looking for one.
After a few passes and only one small Chinook hooked, we’re eagerly looking for that next bite. As we tuck in behind a big rock deep in the west bay we get a hit, Bob jumps for the rod and as soon as he goes to pop it off the release clip the line pulls tight as a very heavy fish starts to run. Unfortunately there is nothing that can be done, it’s too late, the hook is set as the fish turns and the leader snaps, but Bob knows as he turns and says, “that one had shoulders.”
After a long day of waiting and watching many other boats around us hook fish we are now growing sick with speculation of when that next fish will strike. It’s an addicting feeling that keeps us staying out late and coming back for more. As we decide on one last pass at Klash at the end of the day it all comes together; Bob’s rod fires and it’s a screamer! After a series of long hard runs, deep sounds and even a big jump we finally get the fish to hand and it tapes out to a beautiful 33.3-pound release fish. Two brothers, Bob and John, join the Tyee Club and it’s a great way to end the day! But I’m left in anticipation for what tomorrow might bring.