The scene played out like one of those from the National Geographic channel. You know the ones where the Lions, Hyenas and Vultures all pace nervously close to one another. Waiting for something, anything to happen so that they can attack a herd of Wildebeests. Normally sworn enemies, these animals all circle within feet of one another without, other than the odd outburst, any kind of major melee erupting. Only this time the Lions are Bulltrout, the Hyenas are Rainbows, the Vultures are Whitefish and the Wildebeests are represented by Sockeye Salmon. It's a scene that has played itself out for me over a dozen times in the last decade. Our family was anchored off to the side of a creek mouth on Quesnel lake. We gazed into the vodka clear waters as the bright red salmon waited, at the drop off into the lake, staring up into the creek. They paced nervously back and forth waiting for some instinctual force to draw them into the small waterway where they would spawn and then die. The other fish stuck close, waiting patiently for an easy meal of salmon eggs and flesh. Sarah and I quietly explained the scene to the kids as we prepared their gear. Spinning rods with a float and single egg fly patterns for the girls. A switch rod with an egg pattern for me and another switch with a large, white egg sucking leech for her. Olivia went first, casting her fly into the water. We watched as fish of all types took a good look. The float twitched a couple times but she wasn't fast enough to hook up. On the 3rd pass, though, there was no need to strike. Her float disappeared under the water with a loud pop and line began to tear off her zebco reel. A fish cartwheeled 40 feet out and there was a collective gasp. Sarah and I coached her and after a few tense minutes the best rainbow of the trip was in the net. Emma was next, landing two beautifully colored rainbows in quick succession. Olivia nailed her second before the rainbows started to get wise to the game. The fishing slowed and the girls attention span waned. It was time for us to get our turns. I passed Sarah the rod with the big streamer and pointed out the big bull, the alpha fish of the creekmouth. She made a perfect cast upstream and as the fly approached the drop off where he sat, she began the slow Bulltrout strip. The white tipped fins flared and her target began to follow the fly. It only took a pause and another good strip to entice a strike and the game was on. This fish was big. The 6 weight switch rod bent deeply and line peeled off of the reel. It took us a good few minutes before we could get it close enough for a good look. "I better get the big net." I said after failing to get the entire fish into my wooden trout net. I measured the fish at 31 inches in the net. I'm sure it would have gone another inch if we had held it straight. Almost the size of the 14 pounder we landed at a spot near by a few years back. The biggest fish of the weekend. My turn yielded another bull, though quite a bit smaller. By now the fish as a group had seen enough of us and lockjaw had set in. We headed back to "camp" for some tubing, swimming, fireworks and the hot tub. Family vacations are rough. We fished a little more in the following days but were more intent on playing in the new boat and exploring some new areas. It was still early for the sockeye run so we didn't find any other places with enough of a concentration of fish to get consistent action. If the chance arises in the coming weeks, we'll make the long trek back to one of our favourite places for some more serious fishing.