Weird Things on the River

Griz, sit your butt down in the driftboat. Right there in the front. Lex and I and Burke have been waiting for ya. Now that we're all back on the river and happy and boat is drifting again, how about something weird from the Griz! Coach
PS That beaver story from the big fella had me crying. Coach:D

PSS --- Has anyone ever run across any moonshine stills up around the Sauk, Suiattle, or Whitechuck? Bobbytrapped stills?


While it's not on the river I have seen some odd things fishing the salt. Out at Neah Bay I saw a shad in the carcass bin of the cleaning station. I've never heard of anyone catching a shad in the salt, I know they're out there, but it's a big ocean.

At the same cleaning station I saw some tool who didn't know how to drive his boat basically put his boat in full throttle and run right over a smaller boat, the smaller boat was pushed down under water while the larger boat with the tool at the helm slid right over the top of it. There was a man in the smaller boat who was lucky enough to duck down to avoid getting decapitated. No one was injured and the boat damage was minimal. To top that off About 5 minutes after that accident another idiot boater was not paying attention and he ran right into the cleaning station dock doing about 10mph, again, no serios damage, but still odd to see 2 marina-wrecks at nearly the same time.

On a seperate trip while launching we saw the boat in the picture below being cleaned up by divers. The story we heard was 5 fishermen out of Tofino were all on 1 side of the boat looking at a fish that was being landed when a wave overtook them and swamped the boat. They all survived and the boat was later recovered off Capa Alava on the Washington coast then towed back to Neah Bay to be salvaged.

another salt story, we were beach fishing if florida, and my dad hooks a pretty good size fish. hes fighting it, and all of a sudden the rod nearly doubles over and the line snaps. The fish didnt seem that big. The next day we were walking the same beach, and a fish carcass with the lure my dad was using was in his mouth! what must have happend is a shark or something huge nailed it while he was reeling it in.


Well-Known Member

Yeah, came across an abandoned still once, and due to a momentary case of old timer's disease, I can't recall where it was. It should come back to me; that's not the sort of thing that's easy to forget.

David Loy

Senior Moment
More salt.
Commercial fishing, Icy Strait, SE Ak, 1972. Skiffman on a seiner. Early morning set. Pea soup fog. 100' viz max, total grey beyond. Hammer down, bouncing the bow on a rock, holding the beach. Redheaded mermaid swims by, easily 6' long. WTF?
Took a while to deduce an octopus. Maybe.

Several decent bear/eagle/etc. encounters while mapping Katmai but none of them were weird.
There is a herd of white/patchwork deer along the Sky. I told my ex I saw a herd of brown and white deer and she said "that is called a cow, dear." She thought it was so funny she told her farrier. It turns out he bowhunts and that a white fallow buck escaped from a breeder and that yes, they do exist. That is the only time she ever got to admit I might be right about something, which is pretty weird in itself.

When I fished commercially, not a day went by that something weird didn't happen. I was pulling lobster traps once in 30' of water and saw a 30' shadow go under the boat. Like the Everready bunny, it just kept going and going and going.
Kinda weird and creepy. Took the day off yesterday to hunt matsudake mushrooms with my uncle just over the pass. We check all the secret spots, but nada. No big surprise since it's been a dry year, but it's nice to be out with my 85-year-old uncle, who's still pretty spry and wants to pass on mushroom lore to the next generation. On one of the backroads, I see a sign to a lake that I've heard about on occasion. I haven't fished lakes much, but want to check it out anyway since I've heard good things about this alpine lake. My uncle and I get there after a bumpy ride and I immediately see that there's a prolific hatch and fish rising everywhere. I park well before the shore because I judge the way down to the lake shore better suited to offroad vehicles and don't want to bash my rocker panels to s**t. I used to do alot of offroad driving but sold my rig after I couldn't justify the damage to the environment and my rig's ridiculously high fuel consumption. I walk down to the lake shore and hear foreign voices. I run into a couple of Russian / Eastern European fellows with what look to be carp rigs like the ones used on Green Lake. Also, they drove a very low clearance Hyundai sedan down to the lake! Didn't see any damage, but those guys have some cojones or know a good body shop man. I eye the rods and the lake and ask what they're fishing for. Trout they reply. I ask how big the trout are. Two or three feet they say. Well, I'm thinking I've been wasting my time fishing for steelies when there are 2-3' trout in this small alpine lake. These guys were the chattiest fellows around and quickly took off and started chucking out some big tackle into the lake. I must say that the trout I saw were many and decent sized (12" range give or take). Pretty decent I thought. On the walk out, I saw what looked to be a lynching rope tied to a tree branch. Funny way to rig a food cache, or maybe it's there to deal with the dispair after missing a few of those 2-3' trout.
I was on Rattlesnake lake last week fishing in my tube. I was in the process of changing flies and see a fairly nice trout swim right by my foot. I'm watching it swim under my tube and around when something hits the water, drenching me. I sitting there going wtf when an osprey emreges out of the splash and flaps off with the trout. Needless to say I kept looking behind the rest of the day.

Two or three weeks ago I'm up on the Sky fishing when I hear a funny noise and turn around to see a buck crossing the river about 10 feet above me. He waded on out of the river staggering like a drunk and wanders off into the brush. Not more than 30 seconds after the deer disappears and I turn back to my fishing when a black bear steps out of the woods where the deer must have come out. It walked back and forth, looked across the river, looked at me, turns and ambles off up river before going back into the woods.

I once caught a seagull casting anchovies off a pier. Damn thing grabbed the bait at the top of the cast and before I could hank it away swallows it. "BIRD ON" What a mess that was. Friggin' bird is flying away with my line and I'm cranking the drag down thinking how I'm going to explain how I got my line stripped by a seagull. I finally got enough drag cranked on to start gaining ground on the bird. When I had it about 20 feet away from me I cut the line. Stupid bird goes over and lands on the rail of the pier and managed to get the end hanging out of its mouth hung up on the railing. It took off, flew a feet, hit the end of the line and did a backflip crashing back down onto the pier. It got up and took off again. Same deal. Did this several times before I could get over and cut it loose. Just one of the reasons I hate air rats.

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
Mark Ritari said:
another salt story, we were beach fishing if florida, and my dad hooks a pretty good size fish. hes fighting it, and all of a sudden the rod nearly doubles over and the line snaps. The fish didnt seem that big. The next day we were walking the same beach, and a fish carcass with the lure my dad was using was in his mouth! what must have happend is a shark or something huge nailed it while he was reeling it in.
Speaking of weird co-incidences... While fishing on the Yakima and tossing my fly tight to the bank, I ended up snagging what I though was a branch. After a bit of wrangling, the small twig holding onto my fly snapped off. After bringing it in and inspecting the twig, I found out I hadn't caught the twig, but rather my fly ended up passing *through the eye* of another fly that had been lost on that same twig. I considered that to be a banner day as it just illustrated my skillz at tossing flies :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
Coachduff said:
PSS --- Has anyone ever run across any moonshine stills up around the Sauk, Suiattle, or Whitechuck? Bobbytrapped stills?

I was walking along on the NF of the Sky about 10 years ago. I was on the northside of the river, so no roads or easy access to this spot. I was bushwacking around a high bank area, when I came upon a vegetable farm. There were buckets to catch rainwater, plants all over the place. I was afraid I might have stumbled into some guys hemp farm. I carefully looked where my feet were going, so as to avoid any tripwires, and got the hell out of there. All I saw were veggies, tomatos, onions, etc, no wacky tabacky.

Another solo trip on the NF of the Sky I was walking upstream to the next hole when I noticed a woman walking toward me. As we got closer, I noticed she was wearing a camo tank top, and carrying something. Soon it became apparent she was holding a 12 gauge shotgun and she had an ammo belt, full of ammo, across her chest. I am thinking 'this ain't good'. She yells out to me and asks me if I had seen any bears. Whew, I don't have to worry about some psyco woman, just a pissed off bruin. As we got closer she told me a sow and two cubs had just come down the river bank. I never saw the bears, but I was talking and singing pretty loud as I walked down the trail to my car.



tryin' not to get too comfortable
I was fishing/backpacking in the N. Idaho Selkirks in late Fall about 10 years ago, and it was COLD. So cold, the big lakes had started to freeze around the edges, and the small lakes were near frozen-over. I hiked past a little tarn (a small mountain lake or pool, esp. one in a cirque), maybe 60 feet across, and noticed it hadn't frozen over, so for want of a body of water to cast into, I threw a loop, even though I doubted it held fish. As soon as my fly hit the water, the water started to freeze, starting at my fly, and line, and spreading outward. In about thirty seconds, the whole thing was covered in a thin glaze of ice.

It was riveting, amazing, and a little spooky.

I later found out very pure water can be cooled below it's freezing point without freezing, but if you add a nucleation event (dust, wind, a fly), it kicks off a chain reaction of ordered molecular freezing that can happen in seconds.

It was one of the craziest things I've ever seen.
I was up in canada for a few days to go camping with some friends, I didnt bring my fly rod because i didnt want to have to buy a canadian fishing license. So one evening while i was camping their i decided to skip rocks on top of the water, After about 10 minutes of just being bored and slinging rocks into the water i saw this HUGE fish/eel thing jump out of the water it was a good 4-5 feet long and scared the crap out of me. i ran back up the trail to my campsite as fast as i could and told my buddys about it, but they just laughed at me.

Another time while fishing at lake oasious (sp? its a lake on the USA, Canadain border) we were trolling around when we spotted a what appeard to be stone crypt about 10 feet under the water, i dont know if we imagined it or not, but after about 15 secounds of looking at the thing we decided to head to the other side of the lake.

Another time during the winter me and my friend headed to Beaver lake, it was still frozen over near the boat launch so we decided to break threw the ice with our plastic oars so we could get to the unfrozen side of the lake, after about making it threw 35 feet of ice with only about 10 more feet of ice left to break threw my paddle snapped in half and my friends had a large crack threw the center, We decided to head back after breaking my paddle not wanting to get stuck in the middle of the frozen lake.

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