After a couple months of silence on my part and getting my butt off the couch, I figured it was time I got my rear in gear and gave “riplps” some greatly needed affection. The past few months have gone by faster than an F-16 fighter jet going over a football stadium and I’m still wondering how Christmas could have come and gone so fast. The rest of the season in Alaska was just like clockwork, with just a few twists and turns. The weather reaked havoc on Alaska and caused the Nushagak river to rise nearly 3 feet and turn to the color of Nesquik (you know, the chocolate milk drink stuff?). Hurricane Katrina somehow revived herself and paid us a visit one not so important day and I can now say that I’ve rowed a boat in 70+ mph winds. But aside from the bad weather and poor river conditions, fishing was good. We had to use flies that were redicoulously bright and of unorthodox size (flies big enough to take your noggin off). But after learning how to “chuck and duck” the flies produced some good fish and anglers always came back with grins and photos to flaunt.
On the evening of September 10th my dad shot a moose. That night I was fishing upriver from camp when I heard this faint grunt coming from the alder trees behind me. I immediately knew that it was a bull moose and took off running for camp (which I regret now because I made everyone believe I was being chased by a bear). Anyway, I informed my dad who inturn grabbed his gun and we walked about 100 yards behind camp when we saw the bull standing in some bushes. He was looking right at us. “Is he big enough?” asked my dad. “He looks pretty big to me,” I replied. One shot was all it took for the old bull to go down. He ran about 50 yards only to expire in a small pond (slew). I was sure that we would be out there all night cutting up moose and fighting off bears, but with six people working together we had that moose in camp within 3 hours. The rest of the night was spent sitting around the campfire, drinking beer and telling stories. It was a good way to end the hunting season and what kept creeping into my mind was the fact that 2 years ago to that day was when I shot my moose. The season of 2010 was a great one and it’s hard to believe it’s already come and gone. Such is life I suppose: the bad news is time flys, but the good news is…your the pilot!
I returned to Montana in early October and two weeks later I was off to British Columbia to chase steelhead. My dad and I left Montana eager for that first swing and first ever BC steelhead. The drive was long but the senery was unbelievable. After 3 days of driving we reached New Hazelton and met up with a steelhead master by the name of Paul Miller (aka, Paulito). He and his wife were kind enough to let us stay in his B-E-A-UTIFUL home and offer us some much needed (and appreciated) instruction on the Kispiox river. Paul took us to several of his favorite runs (all of which will remain un-named) and after a brief lesson on where to cast and “what not to do” we began our 2010 steelhead extravaganza.
The next 8 days was spent beating the water and battling the elements. I’ve never been to a place where mother nature was so prominent (I know that sounds dumb but go to BC and you”ll know what I mean). It rained nearly everyday and if it wasn’t, it was colder then a snowman’s nose. I was constantly “doing a little jig” to get the blood flowing through my viens again. Even though the weather threatened to take every little bit of sanity I had left, I was loving every minute, and when I brought in my first ever wild BC steelhead I remembered why I was there and whyI loved fishing so much. It was a good feeling to hold that 15lb hen in my hands, then watch her swim back to the waters in which she was born. Steelhead truly are……god’s dime.
Throughout our 8 days of fishing, my dad and I caught and released 3 wild steelhead. Some would say that’s terrible fishing, but we couldn’t have been happier. Steelhead are tough, elusive, stubborn and picky. Anglers can go weeks without even moving one, and the fact that we got 3 was more than satisfactory. The time spent with my dad was icing on the cake and will be something I look back on for the rest of my life. British Columbia steelhead are now in my blood and if one thing is for sure, I’ll be back for round 2….soon!
The rest of my fall was spent in Montana. Hunting season was in full swing when we got back so I endulged myself in some duck and pheasant hunting. In November, I turned 21. Some friends were kind enough to show me the ropes to ‘bar hopping’ even though we only went to 2. I’ve never been one for singing and always said that I’d never sing karaoke, but on this particular night, Jenn and I sang “Fishin in the Dark” which we totally rocked. I think I may have a future in karaoke! Snowboarding season is also upon Montana and I have been taking full advantage of it. Red Lodge is the closest mountian and although small, is a great hill to spend a day on. On Christmas eve, I was lucky enough to snowboard a full day with two good friends of mine. It’s one thing to be out snowboarding, but when your able to do it with good people, it makes a good day turn into an awesome day. I can’t wait for the next day of shredding the pow pow!
I’ll return to college in January. I’m looking forward to getting back into school again (I know, I’ll probably eat my words). I’ll try to be a better blogger and update this thing more than just once every 4 months. Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you all in the new year!!!
Best fishes and Happy Holidays, Camille <‘))))><