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Uncle Wes

Life is Good (Article)

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This all took place about 14 years ago, it?s been sometime so I?ll try and remember it as it happened. One weekday after work, had some buddy?s stop by and we decided to throw some horseshoes and drink a couple of beers. After about 45 minutes... page_break of shooting the bull and complaining about work the conversation shifted to salmon fishing. Scott mentioned that he heard the bite was on at the mouth of the Lewis, and folks working the hog line across from St. Helens were boating quite a few of them. Well as the beer started flowing and the fishing lie?s started getting bigger and bigger, Scott came up with this plan, that we should all just call in sick tomorrow and try our luck. Well after a little discussion (very little) it was decided that was the plan. So we all headed over to the garage to get the boat ready for our fishing adventure.

We started putting in the rods and reels, the guy?s all went over to there house?s and got there gear so everything would be ready for first light. We had sandwiches, snacks, and enough food to feed an army. After everything was loaded and set, we went through our check list and all agreed we had everything we needed for this greatly anticipated adventure. Everyone headed home about 9 o?clock to get some sleep, so we could all meet back there at 4:30 am. The more I thought about this the more excited I got, what an idea blow off a day of work and spend the day on the river with your buddy?s. Life is good.

So the next morning everyone starts showing up around the agreed upon time. Terry say?s he knows of a good place to launch that will only be about a mile run or two from the mouth. So we all load up and get started. About a half hour later we arrive at the launch and the sun is just starting to come up, well it was just beautiful. I kept thinking to myself what a great day. We get the boat launched and everyone climbs in. Scott, Terry, Norm and myself. We start heading down river everyone is getting rigged up for trolling, we all agreed that was how we would start. As we start out we notice a little fog rolling in. I made a comment about this and everyone was telling me not to worry the sun would burn it off in no time. So with confidence high I kept us on course.

Now as minutes pass by the fog is getting thicker and thicker. Getting real hard to see where we are at. I slow down to an idle and what seemed to be an eternity, which I?m sure was just a couple of minutes. The fog just got thicker and thicker. I kept thinking how can this be, this isn?t supposed to happen, it?s supposed to be a great day. After all the planning and preparations this trip is supposed to be perfect. No work, a boat full of your best friends, life is good. I?m listening to guy?s banter back and forth about fishing tactics and the biggest one?s they?ve ever caught, when all of a sudden out of no where here comes this tug pushing a barge at what seemed to be full speed, he?s right on us. I crank the boat hard about and gun the throttle full speed. Man alive, we barely missed getting hit. The voices are getting high pitched, everyone hollering, scrambling around trying to regain their composure. I just put the boat in neutral and grabbed a beer and chugged the first one, and gulped the second one. I?m not much for drinking beer at 6am but it was definitely called for.

After 15-20 minutes of talking and cleaning out our shorts, we decided we would keep on going. We new we were somewhere close to the middle of the Columbia, the barge was a dead give away. So everyone let there lines out and we commenced with the fishing. We weren?t going to let a little fog and a near death experience with a barge interfere with our well planned adventure. We had been trolling for about 2 hours with out even a strike. By now my ship mates are starting to get restless. I?m hearing remarks like ?who ever filed the fishing reports were full of it? and it was just a plot for the tackle stores to sell more gear? or that? the paper just printed out right lies? Well I just kept on working the river, fog is still so thick I can hardly see. But there is nothing going to ruin this trip for me. After all, a bad day of fishing beats a good day at work. And besides that, what could be better than being on the river salmon fishing with your best friends, Right?

Well the guy?s are starting to settle down, back to telling more lies and joking around, When all of a sudden wham, wham. Two fish on. I know you could here Norm scream FISH ON clear into Vancouver. I remember thinking to myself alright a double, and just as I looked back Terry was screaming he hooked up to. Unbelievable 3 at once. Life is goooood. I grab my rod and started bringing it in and felt a little resistance and thought damn, I?m snagged up. When all of a sudden line starts coming off of my reel, I set the hook and now we have 4 on. Life is now looking real good. I look back and it looks like a Chinese fire drill going on back there. I?m fighting my fish and steering the boat with my butt and trying to keep us on course.

Well I know I?m going to have to horse mine in because if one of those guy?s loses there?s it will be all my fault and I won?t here the end of it for a year. Nothing like good friends. So I get mine up to the boat grab the net still trying to maneuver the boat with my butt, my rod in one hand the net in the other, I go to dip it and he spits the hook. I watch helpless as he just lay?s there, so I stick my net down as far as I can and make a sweeping motion and to my surprise I got him. A nice 12lb buck. I flop him into my boat and Terry screaming for the net, he?s got his boat side. So I lean over steering the boat with my foot now and dip his. Alright 2 in the boat, and Norm and Scott are still fighting there?s. I?m glancing back and checking Terry?s out, it?s about the same size as mine. Now you know we are both grinning ear to ear, nothing can ruin our day now.

After about 20 minutes Norm gets his close to the boat and Terry dips his, a real beauty at least 25lbs. Were all high fiving each other and laughing, having a great time. Scott he?s still battling his . Now it?s been sometime about 45 minutes and Scott he?s screaming for the net. High pitched panic and excitement all at once. He?s seen it and he just can?t believe it. He?s telling Norm if you miss netting this one I?ll kill you. Norm reaches down and puts the net on him. He struggles to get the salmon on board, this thing is mammoth. I can?t believe my eye?s. Biggest salmon I?ve ever seen. Terry pulls out the hand scale and this thing weighs in at 47lbs. It?s huge. We all are just staring at it flopping in the bottom of the boat, were speechless. When all of a sudden I here this noise and see this bright light. Oh damn, it?s my alarm clock. It?s time to get up. I put my clothes on ,grab a cup of coffee and head out the door. My first thoughts are, what a great day to go fishing. Should be a good time.

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Actually George I just closed a deal with that magazine and there going to carry my monthly by line called "According to Wes" I also have a couple of other sites carrying that section also. Actually it has snoballed the fella I owe the thanks to is Ken Kristian he has a site in Canada and he started it all for me. Who knows if there is enough interest maybe this site will also join the "According to Wes" family.

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