Salmon at $39.95 a Pound…

Well, we did it. We went fishing for salmon. Never mind that I thought we were going fishing for trout. Lost in translation, I guess.


It all started about a week ago when I rang up Ed Fisk and made arrangements for our fishing excursion for today. I explained that we were older than dirt, completely inexperienced (fish out of water?). He was game anyway. So I booked the trip. He told us to meet him at Stampede Reservoir near Truckee at 6:30. I blanched at that idea but said okay.

This a.m. the alarm clock chirped at 5:00 a.m. Oh, my, that’s so early. And cold. And what to wear? Ed said to layer. So, I wore about 5 layers. And a hat. I was ready. So, off we went to rendezvous with Ed, our guide and owner of Fish Tales.

When we arrived, he was standing in his boat afloat at the launch ramp…waiting. We grabbed all our goodies and headed down to the water. Thing is, the only way to get on the floating ramp was to jump on a rock and catapult oneself to the ramp. That didn’t work out so well. Into the water my left foot went. Soaked before even getting in the boat. My shoe and sock. Soaked. Then Rayman had a go of it. Same thing. One foot soaked. Without making a fuss, we boarded the fishing boat (19 ft. long) and headed out to the middle of the lake. It was beautiful and peaceful.


But here’s the catch, pardon the pun, please. Those fish in that lake don’t stand a chance. The boat was outfitted with sonar for locating the fish. His magic sonar also showed the depth and temperature of the water.  There were 4 poles, 4 riggers (hope I have this right). The riggers were released by motor. Ed had about a zillion different flies. The boat had two motors. One for going slow to troll. The other one for going fast. He was armed and ready and by extension, so were we.

His bait of choice was canned corn that he put in a Tupperware container, adding red dye and garlic. Yum, apparently, for the fish.

Fishing this way is almost a guarantee for a successful outing. We certainly had a successful outing. We caught 10 fishies. We lost about as many that got away before we could get them in the boat. Those were the lucky ones. I apologized to each fish we caught. I suffered from pangs of guilt. Nevertheless, we pressed on.

Rayman reeling one in.

Rayman reeling one in. Ed, our guide, being patient with him!!

We were on the lake for about 5 hours. Never got cold. My sock and shoe even dried out.

It turns out that fishing is a lot of waiting interrupted by a flurry of activity when the fish strike. Calm, calm, calm. Bite. Pandemonium. Calm, calm, calm. Bite. Pandemonium.



Because, the lines are dropped and then you are left in a world of wait.  And watch… averting your eyes from the pole on the left to the poles in the center, to the pole on the right.  Over and over because the poles were inserted into to “pole holders”.  Since you couldn’t feel the bite, you had to watch for it.   This gave me the bright idea that someone should invent a “tension feeler” that you could clip on the pole and line.  When you got a bite, the gizmo would sing out, “You got Fish!”.  I don’t think Ed thought much of that idea.

Ed told us about the osprey and bald eagles that live at the lake. Never saw them. Ed told us about the bear at lake’s edge. Never saw one. Ed told us about his fishing friends. We saw some of them. In other boats. They traded information about lures, fishing spots, how many were caught. How many got away.

When we decided to call it quits, Ed cleaned the fish (I watched attentively) as we headed back to the boat ramp. Did I mention that he has a Garmin that he uses to steer the boat via wifi?  The only time he was at the helm, was on the way in. The rest of the time, he just pushed a button from the back of the boat to change course. Before disembarking, I donned my dry sock and shoe. And, of course, got them completely soaked jumping from the ramp into the water and then onto dry land.


And so it went with our fishing expedition. A whale of a good time.

As a post script, we cooked two of the salmon on the grill for dinner tonight. Yum, yum, yum. Now I must close to go eat my blackberry pie.


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