Had a pretty eventful morning that I thought I'd share since I haven't been around to post much lately. After a fun 4th at my parents place I woke up at the crack of stupid to get back out on the beach. This was my 3rd outing since the opener. I wasn't super confident about my chances, given the super weak tide that I was going to be fish, but I find that when I can start my day off with a sunrise on the beach I am soooo much happier, so I drug myself out of bed, made an English muffin, and headed down to the beach. My first cast came at 4:38 am, with the sky just starting to lighten up, about an hour before low slack. I began working a chartreuse over cerise, (Big shocker there), Clouser along the beach as I made my way down towards a point. There was very little water movement, but there was baitfish dimpling all over the place so I was semi encouraged. For the first hour there was very little going on. I saw a beautiful sunrise, and was enjoying being the only soul on the beach. Roughly an hour after low slack, the water started setting up nicely just on the inside of the point I was working. Two current seams had pushed in close, there were baitfish dimpling and jumping everywhere to the point that it looked like it was raining on the glass still water, and it just looked fishy as hell. I was right in mid daydream when I had a solid take, and amazingly enough considering I've been fishing for ling cod all spring, I got a good strip set. The fish surged a bit, then turned and ran towards me. I was trying to get my line free, and couldn't tell how big the fish was. Initially it felt pretty small. It then ran towards me, then like a bat out of hell turned and ran to my right. The fish was running to my right very quickly, and then jumped what seemed to be about 5' in the air. That was the first time I saw the fish, and knew I wanted to land him and eat him for lunch! Now the fish managed to pull a pretty slick maneuver on me... When he went airborne, its momentum was taking it to my right and it was facing that direction... But somehow while in the air it managed to turn itself, and slow its momentum to the point that as soon as it hit the water it was on a collision course with where I was standing. This move happened ultra fast, and I was quite impressed with the technique from the young fish! It really got me kinda turned around, and I had to react fast as the fish was now coming right at me.... Well at this point I take several steps back towards the beach, and am stripping like mad, and the fish is hauling ass right into me.... and thats when I notice the small seal hot on its heels! In the span of about a second and a half, I was backing up, stripping line, trying to stay tight on the fish, noticed the seal... and then the fish was at me and swam right through my legs then turned towards the beach and somehow got my line wrapped around my left leg.... Well the kicker here is, the damn seal didn't turn! It basically slammed right into me, and as my left leg was all tangled with the line and the fish, I kinda stuck my right leg out and booted the seal as best I could, which wasn't much. Apparently the seal decided that it didn't like being that close to me after all, and swam about 20' away and just sat there staring at me. The fish was all sorts of tangled in my left leg, so I managed to grab the line and basically just step and drag the fish/line/leader/leg combo right up the beach. It was an epic Herring Dan Drag if there ever was one! First silver of 2014, and what a memorable fish it is! The seal was pretty small, else I'm sure it would have knocked me over. After it swam a bit away it sat there and sulked and stared at me for probably 30 minutes. It was clearly sad over losing what it thought was going to be an easy meal. Didn't realize I had been reading threads about how tough steelhead guides can be in this state, so I was in the proper state of mind to do battle with this creature. After things calmed down, (I had to go sit on a log for a spell to let my heart calm), I continued to fish until about 8:30 or so. At that point the nice water really died down, though the bait never went away, and I packed up and headed for the barn. I was going to save this fish for the smoker, but after the battle we shared I have decided that my son and I will be dining on him for lunch today! One things for sure, after a spring spent chasing lings and various bottomfish, it was nice to fillet a fish that didn't have any spines or pokers or anything! It looks like its going to be one hell of a summer out there. I really look forward to running into the usual faces out on the beach, and hopefully getting to fish with some new folks as well!