Opening day, 1982

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Chris Scoones, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Chris Scoones

    Chris Scoones Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    North Bend, WA
    I grew up in Issaquah when it was still a nice town. We'd ride our bikes up to Pine Lake and fish from my Uncles dock or take one of the boats out. On the way we'd stop by Saddler's to pick up some bait or if money was an issue, wait until we got there to dig up my Aunt's yard.

    The highlight to my year was opening day. There were usually 30 people at at my Aunt's party by day break and the boys were always on the pole's before the parents were finished with their hello's. From the dock, without fail, you were flanked on either side by some old guys who yanked out fresh trout plants and a few carry overs one after the other till limit. I don't recall any of the kids every actually talking to those guys, but we were always watching, counting the catch and trying to beat them to limit. We never won.

    From a young age every time my Father and I would go fishing it would be on the rivers with fly rods. Getting to put the pole down for the '69 glass Fenwick rod was the rival to opening day. The Snoq Forks were our usual haunt but when camping there was at least some plan to get a fly on the available local water. I could count on Dad for coming through on the outings when requested and as I grew older the requests became frequent.

    When I was 13 and opening day came around I brought the Fenwick. I was a bit nervous as I'd never fished a lake with a fly before. It was very rare to see anyone with a rod on the lake at all and you just wouldn't see it on the opening day bumper boat festival. Of course the two old guys were out there as well taking drags on their smokes and staring at their lines.

    The first few minutes of tossing my fly out with the rod the old guys seamed unimpressed but also a little curious. It wasn't long before I noticed a bow cruising the shore, and as luck would have it the fish looked to be a carry over. I made 20 or 30 false casts to ensure my adams was dry :) and, in retrospect, to announce to the old guys that I was going to in fact use the rod. I put it in front and to the side of the trout and after twitching the fly a couple times it came right over and took it. I now had their attention as I brought a nice carry over to hand, and released it.

    While walking off the dock I noticed Dad was up on the deck smiling.

    It wasn't until last year that I put another worm on a hook. This time it was for my 2 year old daughter at the lake my Uncle now lives at. I'm very much looking forward to when we can start tossing flies together on the rivers.
  2. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Mar 31, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.
    Thanks for a fine story, Chris. I too, was fly fishing, or just about to quit on that opening day. I was in my 3rd year of college, and more into wine, women and song than fly fishing. But opening day was often a treat to fly fish either Cottage Lake or Pine Lake, while all the on-lookers were looking in shocked disbelief.

    We caught alot of little trout back then, and we had alot of fun. This was the era when you had to pay at Norm's Resort to launch your boat on Cottage Lake. Last year, I must have been one out of 20 fly fishers on Cottage Lake, but I think I was the only one fly fishing out of a canoe.

    But that also brings back find memories, of fishing the summer run on the NF Stilly, back before the Deer Creek slide when the water ran clear in the Elbow Hole. It was there, that I caught my first fly caught steelie on a skunk, no, not a green butt either.

    Its sad not to have those days of fishing still around, but now we have to look harder for that quaility, although I still seem to find it, a little farther up the road.

  3. ray helaers

    ray helaers Active Member

    Dec 31, 1969
    Likes Received:
    It is a sweet little piece of work, Chris. Yes it is pretty to think back to when it was simpler, cleaner, better. It certainly can seem like the world is conspiring to make it more and more difficult to find those sweet moments, but your story makes me have to admit that part of it's my own perceptions.

    The little perch or sunfish I used to catch off my grandpa's dock when I was ten, or the sandbass on a frozen anchovy off the back of dad's boat at 13, or even the largemouth on a texas-rigged nightcrawler when I was just out of highschool: it's funny how they seemed to make me happier back then, before fish became so important to me, before I started catching more fish, bigger fish, in more "rewarding" ways. My wife says sometimes I look more like I'm working than fishing (of course sometimes the problem is I am on the clock-- be careful what you wish for I suppose).

    So your little tale reminds me that I'm working on that. And Yyu're right; the kid's help. Helping my 5-year-old bait up, watching him fling that bobber out there, and seeing him light up over a 4-incher brings back the old feelings better than a 20-fish day on the Yak (though I'm still hunting for those, and hoping the world doesn't conspire to keep me from sharing that with him!).