Last Cast

I look at October as being the end of my fishing season, with November starting a new year. The late summer fishing lull reduces the number of trout that are out and about. I still went out, mind you, but didn’t see or catch as many fish as I wanted to. But isn’t that the same all year, anyways?

My official fishing year ends on Columbus Day weekend with our annual trip to Pulaski for Salmon fishing. For those who have never done it, imagine catching a three foot, over 20-pound fish, that only wants to go up river. A real thrill. The water was down a little, but challenging enough. On the first day, my fishing companion, Mike Holland, and I always hire guide Greg Liu. This way we know we ‘ll catch some salmon.

Mike started it off by catching an 11-pound brown trout. It was as big as a salmon, incredible sight! On my turn, first cast, boom – a salmon! I would usually report that that ended my day, but fortunately, Greg guided us, quite ably, to catch our limit. For those who haven’t been to the Douglaston Salmon Reserve, first thing to know is that, if you’ve never fished there, it’s a rodeo in the public area — just not enjoyable for me. Second, if you catch fish and want to bring them back, you need to make your way upstream a couple of hundred yards, then scale the 100 steps to the top, dragging the fish. I always thought that a local boy scout troop could make some money bringing fish up from the river for fishers. I’m not going to spend much time talking about day 2, except that Mike caught two fish that he released. Second sign of the end of the season is the annual banquet. This year was great, almost as if last year’s wasn’t virtual. Lots of activity and some great donations brought a good contribution to the club.  Thanks to everyone for participating. The best part of the evening was being able to see and talk with everyone again. One of the key aspects of the club is the fellowship. It was good to have some of our new members join us and get a feel for what we’re like — live! At the banquet, we recognized the efforts of Dave Keane who has served as Vice President and Conservation committee, but most critical was his role was running this year’s banquet.  Not only did Dave drive all over the place to get donations, but he was at the Amvets the day before and set up all the tables and chairs. The banquet was a great success due to Dave’s efforts and our members’ “vigorous” contributions. We also recognized the efforts of Ruby Fine, who recently stepped down as Membership Chair after 17 years. Ruby still is integral toText Box 6 our operations, but I couldn’t pass up the chance to honor her, as she gives so much to the organization.

The last sign of “end of year” was our club trout stocking. Rick Loose and his team did a great job in raising the fish this year. Once again, there were no small fish. We had a great crowd of volunteers to jump in the pen and learn the secret places the fish are stocked, so thanks to everyone who helped, as well as Mark Toms and the DNR team.

So now the new year begins. It starts on November 9 with our first “live” meeting since you know when. Looking forward to not only hearing Jim Lowell’s talk, but seeing everyone and talking fish! See you then!

By Andy Mekelburg