Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hardy Virgin Winner!

Back in March, Mia wrote about her Hardy virgin miseries and offered up a reward of a dozen flies to who ever came up with the best story.

Then in April, Mia's story had a happy ending!

Kevin Bulley is a guy we fish with a lot (and he is really fishy) and also our winner. Like Mia, he also had a happy ending. Here is his submission.
We love happy endings!
The Hardy Marquis Salmon reel came in December 2010 and I loaded it up with a Skagit head for winter fishing. I've lost track of the rivers I fished with it but know they included the Puyallup near my home until it closed early and the Skagit until it's early closure. Fished the Kalama with a friend and helped him get his first two winter fish, including one while walking back to shore and reeling up (I'm not kidding!). Had a great but fishless day on the Sandy River and a couple more on the Hoh and Queets flying solo. Fished the Quinault below the lake for two days. We even saw fish there and casted to them but couldn't get a take.

It's not like I wasn't touching fish. There were a variety of tugs, pulls, nips, whatever, just no solid hookups. The best/worst was on the day the Skagit closed. I rowed from my car to a nameless island and hiked down to a great piece of water, waded deep into tanky water and casted over the rest to a perfect seam. Got a nice grab, then changed flies and had that magical slow, steady, weighty take of the loop. I was sure the game was on, then the loop came tight against the Hardy and the fish just disappeared, never to return. It was a long drive home wondering if I should have set the hook on first contact. Still wondering . . .

Then came our season ending trip to the Olympic Peninsula. Steve Egge and I took a few says to go give it our final shot of the Winter. The stars all aligned; falling river, cloudy with showers, 3-4 foot visibility, weekday and not too crowded. The first Hardy fish came in the morning in a perfect tailout. Hard grab, run, jump, reel in, run jump. I just watched the Hardy spin and listened to it sing. Steve must have thought I was crazy as I just let it go round and round. It was easy to palm when the time came and that's the only drag it needed. A bunch more fish came to us those two days, likely the best winter fishing I'll ever see. The last one is in the picture. I was beginning to think the Hardy was cursed, but now I'm a believer. I just loaded it up with a floating line for summer.

Nice job on the fish and the story Kevin! You win the dozen flies!

Brazda photos

Now Mia has to get the skunk off her new Saracione!