Took the boy scout troop fishing again this week. Instead of going in the boat, we went to a beach right in town that has a run of coho that passes right by it. The tide needs to be low tide to fish it, and luckily low tide lined up just right with a 6 pm scout meeting.
The scout master got some loaner rods and gear from the local Alaska Dept of Fish and Game office, and I strung up 4 of my rods. We got big spinners or pixie spoons on the rods and headed down to the beach. There were half a dozen people fishing, which was very light effort for this place and probably due to the heavy downpour that let up right when we got there.
Sam and Ferguson were fishing to my left. About 10 minutes into casting, I see Sam’s rod bend. The brings up his lure and I see there’s a piece of line he’s caught. And on the other end of that line is a coho salmon. I immediately cast over the line, too, so we get two sets of hooks on it. He and I reel up out lines til we each have about 10 feet out, and we start backing up off the beach. I get ahold of the line – which turns out to be fly line- and I call Ferguson over to pull in the line. He gets the coho in the shallow water and I see it’s a real hog. Maybe 15 lbs. Just as the fish gets onto the beach the leader breaks, and I drop my rod and run forward and keep the fish on dry land. We’ve got him. What a big coho.
I show Ferguson how to stun the fish with a blow to the top of the head, and then break a gill to bleed it. We put the fish in a little tide pool that’s forming with the incoming tide. I later show Ferguson how to clean the fish. I forgot to bring a bucket, so we hang it form an old piling by the fly line we caught it on. At dark, we head to the vehicles, and luckily Keith’s truck bed is clean, so he takes the fish and Ferg home while I take the rest of the boys home. We head back to town and within a mile or so are soon in the heart of downtown Juneau and I think – this is why I live here.