So My friend Dirk, a 7th grade teacher at Toksook Bay (across the water on the coast) came over this weekend to fish the mighty Mekoryuk River. I had told him tales of the majestically STUPID Dolly Varden Trout we had here and he wanted to see it for himself. He arrived on Friday and after some good good good veggie-table stir-fry compliments of the organic farm in Bethel and my mentor teacher Sally, we watched some TV and got some rest for the big day.
Early the next morning the weather was cloudy but on the verge of improvement. We traveled by bumpy and swampy 4-wheeler trail up to the trout pond for about an hour. Here is Dirk smiling as we arrived at what Dirk said was the perfect trout pond. Dirk is a fly fisherman, and a serious one at that, so I could tell how excited he was to be there.
We pretty much immediately started catching trout. Dirk was losing some as they kept throwing hooks. I imagine it must be much harder to flyfish. I felt bad sitting there with my big lunky rod throwing spinners and catching a ton of fish while Dirk artfully swept his flies across the water, working his ass of to catch fish. He waded across the river and tried his luck over there and I work my way back down the other side.
Even though the largest trout I caught was my first one I was still catching some good size 15-18 inch trout with good frequency. Then as I was fishing the far end of the pond where it breaks up into rocks I hooked into something much bigger than a trout. Next thing I new I was fighting a silver salmon from shore. I was out on a bunch of rocks that I had leaped out to and had to leap back while holding the rod with fish on, drag spinning wildly, I worked the fish upriver and finally got to a place where I could land it. What a beauty, all silver, no red, must have just arrived.
Later I caught 3 more silver salmon! Two were very red and another one was a beautiful silver. I caught 4 silvers from shore, I couldn't believe it, two on a pink beaded pixy spinner and two on a Mepps Long spinner with an orange hook tipper (a very small trout spinner to my surprise).
Later on a local named TomTom showed up and asked if instead of throwing back my trout I would give them to him to give to his mother. I was pumped because now I had a purpose to fish...feeding TomTom's mother, it was late in the day even though I had thrown back over 30 fish already I still caught TomTom about 7 more.
The only downside of the day was that one of the nice silver salmon that I caught was infested with some weird calcified parasitic white nodules. I found them when I was cleaning all my fish in the river and collecting salmon eggs out of them for ice fishing bait this winter. TomTom said that a couple of years ago they started catching fish like that and that they just throw them away because nobody know what they are, they just look unhealthy.
Dirk and I didn't want to stop fishing but it was cold all day, our hands were numb, we had a long ride back and there was college football to be watched (The Cougs won finally agains a very wimpy D-II Portland State).
I took Dirk to the airport for the evening Grant Aviation flight and that was that. I really appreciate the friendship and comradery that Dirk provided this weekend, thanks for the memories buddy!