I finally had my own chance at springer fishing after calling a guide last Friday. He was able to get my buddy and I out Monday. With the run past 50% done, it was probably a good time to go. I spent Monday waiting patiently for my friend to get off of work. 11:45 PM rolls around and we are off to Drano Lake. After driving past the Bonneville Dam, I knew I was close. Drove past the Wind River and I started to look for signs that said Drano Lake boat luanch. The signs that indicated Little White Salmon River gave me clues that I was close. I drove past the boat luanch and realize somethings not right. I turned the car around and eventually get to the launch just a little bit before 4 AM. The guide gets there a few minutes after me and puts the boat in the pitch black sky.
5 AM rolls around and we boarded the boat. Two other firefighters joined us and we start fishing. About after an hour,the firefighter sitting behind me gets his rod slammed. He landed the fiesty king and everyone is excited. We made another pass around that area and he gets another takedown. The fish did a Houdini and it was gone in a flash. The morning bite dies down sometime afterwards. There was approximetly 8 kings caught during the morning bite including the one on our boat.
After 10 AM,things got real slow. We did the toilet bowl area and no results. The guide is tossing everything in his arsenal at these fish. The boat got real quiet real fast. Showers were pounding us with 15 mph winds. At this point in time, I was praying to the fish gods just to know what it feels like to fight a a springer.
Its almost 2 PM now and I am off in my own world day dreaming. It had been awhile since I was paying attention to my rod. All of a sudden, I hear the words you have a bite. I run over to the rod and yanked it out the rodholder with ecitement. I start to reel the fish in without setting the hook. I set the hook after a few cranks and luckily the fish was still on. I play him real carefully making sure not to horse him in. When he gets close to the boat, he goes bananas and runs in every direction that he could.
He tried to run under the boat and I was like NOOOO!!!!.The guide sees this and starts to jump up and down so the noise brings him back up to the surface. He sees the net and freaks out again. This time he took me from the left side of the boat to the right side through the giant 200 horsepower motor. I turn the rod and do a dance with the guide to keep pressure on the rod. He decides to make a last ditch effort run with all his might till hes tired. I hold on for dear life and start cranking the reel when hes totally spent. He still trying to get away once I get him to the boat,but his fate was sealed.
Once the springer was landed safely, there was a lot of excitement on the boat. I hi-fived my buddy, the guide and the two firefighters we shared the boat with. Everyone was all smiles and it was a good atmosphere again. We tried to catch two more so each fisherman could leave with one but Drano Lake didn't want to give up anymore of her bounty.
So after months of talking to many guides at the Sportsmans Show and online, keeping up with springer reports and keeping an eye on the springer count at the Bonneville Dam, I finally caught my first springer. I felt blessed because out of the 20+ plus boats there running 2-5 rods, mines was one of 12-14 caught that day. Lastly, I feel fortunate not to lose my fish during the fight. One fisherman had a tough battle with a springer and all of the spashing at the surface snapped his line. It would of been a long and depressing four hour drive back to Seattle. Thanks for reading this long report.
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