Nearly unbelievable that Frank and I just met in person, although it seems like we have been friends for years; decades even. Our rapport was immediate and genuine, the sort of thing you can just feel. Better late than …… or so I hear.
Frank joined me on a smoky Sunday morning, unusual for the coast, and we fished with Capt. John Harrell of Pacific City Fly Fishing. The ocean was a little rough (ha ha) but manageable. Johnny found a patch of relatively calmer water with a big school of bass under the dory, spread as shallow as the feet to as deep as fifty feet. We fished Clousers featured in Sea Flies, and yes, the catching was quite entertaining, with many doubles to keep us jockeying for position.
After two hours of fast paced black rockfish action, we pulled crab pots, headed to shore, hitting the beach by 9.
Frank treated me to scones and coffee from the Grateful Bread, we enjoyed our treats on the deck at my family cabin in Woods, and we talked like we had been fishing together our whole lives. Jack Harrell called and told me the fish were filleted and bagged, the crab cooked and cleaned, all on ice in our coolers. So we headed over there to load up and then made the arduous five minute return drive to the cabin where Frank interviewed me about my book publishing binge. There was plenty to laugh about, future collaborations to ponder, and great plans made involving fishing, writing, and publishing.
Frank headed home about noon, and I took a walk down to the estuary. Hummm, a salmon rolled. Back to the cabin I walked, hooked up my boat, and grabbed three salmon rods. Four hours later, on a modest incoming tide, I got grabbed as I lifted my fly to re-cast. I was sure I had a thirty pounder on, that salmon flashed so brightly and pulled so hard. I called Jack and he drove over to share in the action. Small town that’s for sure. Jack – Ive got a big one on. How big? Big. Unless it is only twelve. You know me, Jack, my fish are always bigger in the water.
Jack arrived just as I netted the sub-20 pound king, shaking with the adrenaline rush.
Met on shore by three vets with the Healing Waters Project, I offered a dozen flies for them to fish and the salmon for their dinner, part of the traditional Pacific City hospitality. Their plan was to fish the following day in an event sponsored by Royal Treatment Fly Fishing and friend Joel Lafollette.
What a day. Time for a quick coffee and hit the road for home and family.
My best to everyone who reads this – Jay Nicholas, August 26, 2015