It’d been a few years of heartbreak chasing the estuary King with the long rod. I remember thinking while riding my bike in waders 6 miles to the river in the pouring rain, that my efforts might have some weird, karmic reward. I casted a thousand times before I realized what the fish would do with the changing tide – then it clicked and I hooked up to slack on 6 fish. I was even more sick than when I started so I returned to get even, finally landing my first 2 kings in the salt with my little meaty fly. I almost threw the first one back in question of its size when a new friend said “You caught that fish fair & square on the swing, that’s your fish brother” He then held out a 5$ bill and said, “This 5$ bill is 6 inches long, do you think there is 6 5$ bills on this fish?” I replied with a swift and respectful net handle to the predator head and found myself kneeling in pool of blood, thinking about dinner.
That next day, same tide I guided a new fly fisherman and said “You see those fish over there? The second that tide switches they’ll come right behind the rock” Like clockwork it happened and a guy who had fly fished once in his life, caught 2 King Salmon. He said to me “Why aren’t you fishing?” I replied “Well, cuz I’m guiding you” -He told me to pick up the rod, which so happened to be a piece of junk 8 wt shop rod and on my first swing, picked up a 35# 14″ tall slab of gunmetal chinook – then after nearly 40 minutes of fear ended with my client netting it.