Jimmy guides me to an anchor point in the shallows, where we can cast into the channel. Several boats troll through the channel in front of us. We wait. Jim says, “go ahead and give it a cast or two before I cast my spinner.”
I have yet to hook a spring Chinook on a fly. Two seasons of serious effort. I‘ve been among the fish. I’ve cast to rolling kings, seen the wakes coming across tide flats toward me, only to come up empty every day. I’m still optimistic, though, and make a long cast into the channel.
My fly swings below me and I give it a little strip-retrieve after letting it sink a little.
The springer must have turned across the current to take the fly, a classic, steelhead-like, going away, corner of the mouth pull that tries to claim your rod. Anglers in four or five boats trolling the channel around us see the grab and I can hear them. “Hey, look at that!” “He’s got one on a FLY!” Bill Monroe, Oregonian writer, is fishing with a guide in one of the boats. This fish makes the paper, and, statewide, people think I do this all the time. Ha ha.