Viewing post #61006 by Rarejem
|I know that every hunter and fisherman has some wonderful stories about "the one that got away" so I thought that it might be fun to share a few.
Of course you know that for the most part, "the one that got away" was a beastie of incredible size and skill, and that is most often the reason that he has managed to evade capture. I can honestly say that although I have lost several monsters from the end of my line for one reason or another, I have never had as emotionally frustrating a loss as my Mom did when we were salmon fishing in Langara, BC.
First of all, to set the scene. Langara is in the north end of the Queen Charlotte islands, and that area is still almost completely wild. When you are fishing off of it's coast, you will have dozens of bald eagles flying overhead, and it is very common to see a pod of orcas swim by, or have a gray whale blow within a short distance of your boat. Sealions, seals, and porpoise are everywhere.
It was a misty morning, and my Mom had hooked a giant Chinook salmon. Chinook have their own style of "playing" with an angler, and you have to go through the routine, because if you try to "horse" them in, you WILL lose them. Their first trick is to dive down down down, spooling out yards and yards of line. Let him dive, and then bring him back up slowly. After the run, he will allow you to gain some ground, but when he rests for a minute, the dive begins again. This routine can go on for quite a while. When the salmon has decided that diving is not going to get him free, then he will try a long run away from the boat, but closer to the surface. The same game ensues, but this time horizontally rather than vertically. This is the time when you get a chance to see the size of your fish, as when he is resting, he will more often than not be just below the surface with his dorsal fin and tail showing on the surface. Mom's was a monster! And he was getting tired....she had been fighting him for about thirty minutes. He was not ready to come in yet, but it was getting very very close. AND THEN all of a sudden..........
A big shadow came up from underneath the salmon, and Mom's line went burning off of the reel until a SNAP, and all tension was gone. And up out of the water came a monster sea lion with Mom's salmon in it's mouth. Not only did the bugger steal her fish, but he actually played with it in front of us as if to say "Neener Neener"! He threw it up in the air, clapped his flippers, caught it again, chomped on it.... playing with his food, and looking at us the whole time with a smug smirk!
It happend so fast that we didn't get pictures of the incident... we were just staring in shock at the thief. All I can offer is a picture of the scene of the crime...
You don't stop playing because you grow old... you grow old because you stop playing!