Sunday, October 22, 2017

Guess Who Won?

Back in July, I had an incredibly memorable afternoon of fishing with my old buddy Gary Crawford. Gary and I go way back and I really enjoy our time on the water. A companionship of a like minded friend if you will. Anyway, Gary is unique guy too and what I mean by unique is that he is the only person that I fish that brings his own rod. It's not just any old rod mind you, this is a mooching rod. and it's caught a ton of of fish on the Kenai River. If you don't believe me, all you have to do is look at the wear and tear on the cork handle in the photo above.

So, back to the memorable day in July. When Gary gets in the boat the rod he brought was rigged for using a kwikfish lure. I told him the bite all week has been on eggs and I'd gladly rerig his rod for him. He said he's always done well with a kwikfish lure and wanted to fish that way. Fine. I'm always big on hunches and if that's what he wanted to fish I'm okay with that. We must have been on our second troll of our trip and Gary has a nice take down. The fish gets off. Rats. A couple of trolls later Gary gets another bite. He takes the rod out of the rod holder and sets the hook hard. He set so hard that the rod exploded into four pieces. Al Witte was sitting directly behind him and had to take cover because of the flying bits and pieces. Even after all the fireworks I thought we still had a chance to catch this fish. Nope. This fish won and in the process broke a cherished piece of equipment.

I couldn't help but laugh, and laugh a little too loud when this happened. Several guide boats around me thought I was crazy. Why would I be laughing when a client lost a fish? I told one of my guide friends  I would normally be very upset if my gear failed, but in this case Gary brought his own rod and it's all on him. My guide buddy started to laugh too.

Gary, sadly, had to use one of my rods to finish the trip. He did catch a smaller king salmon but chose to release it. I think the fact that his wife Nikki kept a nice fish led to this decision.

That's Gary in the back row on the left. Not quite sure if he was smiling or crying in this photo...

Gary has another mooching rod that I'm sure he'll be bringing along in 2018. It'll be fun to start another run of memories with Mooching Rod #2. I can't wait for that to happen.

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