Sitting on my couch last Monday watching some mindless TV program I get a text from a buddy in Grass Valley telling me that a guide he was friends with just had a cancellation on his boat for the King Salmon opener on the Sacramento River for that Wednesday and wanted to see if me and a few of the WTLGT crew could make it.
Immediately the thoughts of landing a King on the river and having some fresh caught smoked salmon were racing through my head, forcing out any realizations that I have to work during the week and need to pick up my daughter from daycare…fishing can do that to you.
In a whirlwind of texts, emails and calls into work and friends, 12 hours later we were set. 3 of us were going to be able to make the trip down to Chico for a guide trip with Captain Scott Feist of Feisty Fish Guide Service.
Tuesday evening we got off work, packed the fishing wagon and headed off to Chico to crash for a few hours in our hotel before getting on the water Wednesday morning.
The drive down was nice. There are some beautiful spots between Reno and Chico and the conversation in the car was all about fishing as you can imagine. Between talking about the day ahead and planning our numerous “bucket list” fishing trips the 3 hour drive went by in a flash and before we knew it we were at our hotel and ready to grab a bite to eat and get some sleep.
Dinner was interesting to say the least. The hotel chain we stayed at was nice, but the Denny’s in the adjacent parking lot was…well…being nice, it was more like an outpatient mental health clinic then a place to order breakfast for dinner.
After some people watching and my posh dinner of moons over my hammy we headed back to room, past the Tuesday night salsa dancing party going on in the lobby and laid our heads down for a few hours of shut eye before our 3:00 am wake up call rolled around.
And boy did 3:00 am come fast! But while wiping the sleep from our eyes we piled into the car and set off the boat launch for our 4:00 am tight line appointment.
Once at the launch we met up with our friends and charter crew. Scott and Josh of the Feisty Fish we both super pumped up and they made the sleepiness fade very quick and got us all fired up for the day ahead. After we loaded onto the boat and got settled we took off into the darkness of the Sacramento River to post up on one of Scott’s favorite holes before anyone else could stake their claim on it.
As the sun came up we started fishing, and fishing hard. We jumped from spot to spot either bouncing/dragging roe or trolling plugs. Scott’s boat is world class and could get in into many places that other boats wouldn’t be able to. We were marking some fish but not in the numbers we were hoping to see.
In the afternoon we were dragging some roe on a nice drift when we saw what at the time we could only tell was some type of cat walking down the river back. It was too far away to tell what kind of cat it was but it was leisurely walking in our direction. As it came closer we all realized it was a Bobcat. Our new friend Bob didn’t seem to care much about us as he walked over and found a nice shady spot to take a load off, I was able to get a couple nice shots of him. He hung out for about 10 minutes then took off in the brush. It was a cool opportunity to get to see a Bobcat in the wild like that and a rare one as well.
As the day progressed we had that feeling that it just wasn’t our day for salmon. They hadn’t really pushed into the rivers yet. But it wasn’t due to lack of trying. The hard work put in by our Captain Scott and Deckhand Josh was second to none.
So we decided on one last rally of dragging roe before calling it a day. But in the end it was Salmon 1, Anglers 0. Well that’s not entirely true; our buddy Chuck landed a nice Steelhead that had this crazy hump on its head. But the fish was camera shy and jumped ship before we were able to get a good picture of him.
I will say that I don’t think I’ve ever had a guide crew work as hard to get us on fish then Scott and Josh did. They were absolutely world class and I will be back to fish with them again and again. Check out their page at Feisty Fish Guide Service and book a trip!
In the end it was an awesome day on the water. We were surrounded with good friends, beautiful scenery, great conversations and most importantly we were all out doing something we love and not just sitting around talking about doing it. So like the title of this post says, Sometimes fishing isn’t the about the fish at all.
Thanks again for the Monday night text and invite Chuck and don’t worry, we’ll be out again real soon with the Feisty Fish crew for round 2 of this never ending boxing match called fishing.
Until next time get out there and enjoy a little bit of Mother Nature.