I am happy to report that I have squashed the river curse finally! My last river attempt ended poorly, unless you like skunks. Other fishermen all around us were catching plenty, but we caught zippo. Eventually the high winds forced us to leave. Two days later I headed to Thomas Eddie, only to find the parking lot and all outside parking taken. Seriously depressing. I went home acknowledging that the river curse had full control over my life. But I am no quitter. I hit the online videos about catching pinks, twitching jigs, and I rigged up a couple of setups. On Thursday I returned. This time, I made sure to arrive close to first light to ensure parking and a place at the river. 5th car in the parking lot. Not bad. I raced down the trail nearly side by side with another fisherman toward the fishing slots at the river. I could have taken him if needed. I used to be a track sprinter. Fortunately, he was seeking a different spot.
I arrived early and was alone at my bank of choice. I like to start out by floating a jig to test current flow, and who knows maybe a steelhead is in the vicinity and ready to bite. A few casts, but nothing. I went to a $1.99 corky and yarn special that I found at long beach, WA. 3/8 oz weight and about 2" leader. 2nd cast, Wamm, fish on!
I recalled to teachings of Ryan Hung of Reel Priorities, and double set the hook to be sure. I kept my rod way up and expended with plenty of arc as Ryan had drummed into me. I played the fish and he played me. No jumping, just a little downstream running and heavy weight. After a few minutes, I claimed my pink prize. Bonk, and on the stringer. A few more casts, Fish On! This time, a lot more downstream travel. I let him run, but kept my rod extended and bent. This was a significantly bigger fish. He was on for at least 2 minutes, then immediate slack and gone. Huh? That was unexpected. Spit the hook as they say. No worries. Had a few more hookups - 3 now on the stringer. #4 hooked up and I hardly played her, and landed in the net. She looked tired and was motionless, playing dead. Never trust a hen. The second I removed the hook, she jumped abruptly and wiggled out of the net to safety! All I could do was laugh out loud and compliment her on her foolery. I switched to a 1/2 oz weight instead and certainly could cast farther, hit the bottom more, but had to clean off the hook nearly every time and my retrieval had to be faster. A few more hookups, then #4 was secured. Photos to prove it, then off to work. Great fishing, once I found the lane where they were at and kept near the bottom. Happy fishing!