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Last Post: Mon, Oct 12, 2009   Topics: 53   Posts: 4
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Sandman Sun, Oct 4, 2009 - 12:54 PM     Subject: Vedder Chum Quote
Joined: Feb 2006 They're here.

After the debacle with my daughter last weekend, I figured the tides had indeed changed and that it was time to shift focus. I decided to leave the boat behind and headed out to the Vedder River. As I turned off the Highway at Old Yale Road, I saw from the bend in the trees lining the road that the October winds were going to be a factor this morning. The twenty or so cars lining the dyke at the end of the road further discouraged me. As I turned onto the dyke I saw that there just as many cars parked down below as well, but I was surprised to find only three cars at the irrigation outflow gate near the Sumas confluence where I normally park. I climbed into my waders and headed down the trail to the river where I found another pleasant surprise. Both sides of the river were crowded with anglers fishing shoulder to shoulder above the confluence with the Sumas. In the Sumas itself, however, not a soul for a two hundred meter stretch below the confluence.

I smiled to myself at my good fortune and waded out into the shallow water until I could cast my fly across to the deeper water along the clay bank. A few fish were surfacing, so I tied on my pink pattern and flipped it across, mended hard, and let it sink in the drift. The wind was blowing hard so I had to time my casts between heavy gusts. I had a few touches but no hook ups and continued to work my way down this run, happy that I had it all to myself. As I got down to the point where the Sumas bends around an outcrop of the mountain to enter another straight stretch the wind had really began to blow. The current was slacked at this point and the river widens into a great holding point. I continued to work my small pink rabbit fur pattern and hit a large male that I quickly fought and released carefully.

Then I saw it, out of the corner of my eye. A large fish surfaced twenty feet back up from where I was standing. This was clearly no pink salmon.

My pulse quickened as I slowly backed out of the river and walked up to a point above where the fish had surfaced. I quickly changed flies, tying on my “Chum Candy” pattern and cast it across the river and mended hard. The fly sank as it began its slow drift in the almost dead current. The fly had not travelled more than twenty feet when it stopped. I lift my rod to set the hook when a rocket launched out of the water across from me. The fish shook its head hard and the fly flew from its mouth. I stood in shock for a few seconds before quietly cursing my poor hook set. I made a few more casts to where the fish had taken the fly but only managed another pink, this one a strong fresh female, which I also released after a good battle. I worked my way further down stream to where the river bent again to flow straight down to the end of Sumas Mountain where it would turn again to curl around the mountain to its confluence with the Fraser. From here I could cast across the current (what little there was of it) and let my fly swing across the breadth of the river passing the noses of any fish sitting there. The wind was blowing so hard, however, that I was constantly forced to cast further upstream than I wanted. My sink tip line would be dragging the bottom long before it reach the slack water where I hoped a Coho or two may be waiting. I decided to concentrate on the wide stretch above me where the incoming tide was competing with the slow outflow current creating a temporary slack water pool of its own. I cast my Chum Candy across and began a slow retrieve similar to the retrieve I use for the pinks, a slow jig followed by a slow strip, jig –strip, jig – strip. The fly paused as though hooked on a stick in the sandy bottom. I raised the rod and set the hook.

The pulsating tremor on the line told me this was no stick. Then the line began to rip through the water across the pool and a silver slab broke the surface and walked across the water on its tail. I strip the line in by hand as the fish swam back and forth across the slow current. Then the train left the station and the line began slipping quickly through my fingers. I was only just able to get the line looped around the lace hooks on my wading boots free before the last of the line was gone and my reel began to sing as the fish continued his run. Thankful I had removed the 6 pound tippet this morning and replaced it with 10 pound mono, I carefully palmed the reel and slowed the train. The fish jumped and began to come back towards me as I frantically cranked the reel to keep pace. A few more runs and numerous strong head shakes later, and I was able to ease the 11 pound doe into the shallow water. This chrome bright Chum was a delight and an excellent way to start the fall season. I now have 7.5 pounds of fillets in the brine getting ready for the smoker.
Sandman Sun, Oct 4, 2009 - 12:57 PM     Subject: CHum Quote
Joined: Feb 2006 hmmm
Sandman Sun, Oct 4, 2009 - 5:08 PM     Subject: RE: CHum Quote
Joined: Feb 2006 The fly that fooled this Chum, which I referred to in the article as "Chum Candy" is not the traditional chartreuse flashabou variant nor the Alaskan pink marabou variant but my own combination of the two. It is tied comme ca:

Hook: 3/0 Eagle Claw Laser Sharp
Thread: Black
Ribbing: flat silver mylar
Body: pink marabou trimmed short like chenille
Wing: Chartreuse squirrel tail.

I usually weight my salmon flies with an under-wrap of wire or dental floss.

richw Mon, Oct 12, 2009 - 10:48 PM     Subject: Great Post! Quote
Joined: Aug 2009 I love reading posts like this! Especially when the person is a good writer and story teller. I was livin vicariously through you for a moment.

Thanks for the great post and generous pic of your fly.

r
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