LOL!! I know, I know…I’m such a funny gal! I realize I’M THE ONE who has been hiding lately!! For that, I do apologize!! All of you ladies with kids, husbands, jobs, pets, family obligations, bills, etc., etc. know exactly how it goes!! I know everyone has been waiting for the FISH BLOG to begin and I’ve been simply just trying to catch up so I can finally ‘get ‘er done’! We’ve all had our share of the “crud/flu/colds” move through our home and family, so of course, that’s one of my excuses–(you girls know what I’m talking about: you can’t get $#*% done when you are sick!)! Another is that I have an 8 year old boy in his first year of basketball–very exciting and VERY BUSY!! And then yesterday, we all were blessed with the opportunity to join that said 8 year old boy on his school field trip to Brundage Mountain where he learned to ski for the very first time!! Might I just say, he’s a natural!!!!! But now I sit here at my computer, appreciating all of you ladies who have gently reminded me that I’ve got some real work to do to make sure you folks are getting your very important updates on who is leading in this tournament!!! I’ve missed you all and here you go!!!! Thank you all for the emails…it makes me think all this writing is worth it and not too annoying!!
Okay, so day 1 was Friday, February 4. We had three boats scheduled to go out fishing with Rich, Mike and Sam. On Monday of this week, it was smooth sailing…we were getting all the way up to Mackay Bar and figured we were going to have no problems getting you ladies wherever we wanted to take you to fish. However, Mother Nature had different ideas. By Tuesday afternoon, the temperature started to drop and didn’t stop until we were completely frozen almost all the way back to Riggins. That’s what we get for thinking we could beat Mother Nature!! So we had to scramble and figure out where where we were going to go–all that matters to these guides is that you ladies catch some fish!! I’m really serious about that–when they don’t catch fish, I’ve never seen them so down in the dumps before! It’s pretty sad!
Anyway, we heard from a friend and guide over on the Snake River that they were “knocking them dead”, so that gave us some good vibes to maybe send a boat or two or three over ‘yonder!! The Steelhead and Salmon numbers on the Snake River in Hells Canyon have been steadily building over the past years and it’s always a great trip on the Snake virtually any time you go since the temperatures are pretty agreeable over there–for fish and for fisherman! Mike Wallace decided to stay above Pittsburg Landing, while Rich decided to head to the confluence of the Snake and Salmon Rivers. Mike had some tough luck as the water started to get off-color with the warming temps pushing a little mud into the water of the creeks flowing into the canyon. His ladies did have at least three fish on, but nothing landed! This was kind of a lucky boat…he and deckhand Brad Sawyer had three different groups of ladies who really didn’t know each other, but ended up becoming fast friends by the end of it!! I have a feeling they’ll be booking again next year since they all had such a fun day! Mike took them to some neat spots in Hell’s Canyon to at least check out the magnificent scenery in between fishing holes!
Meanwhile, Rich took Luanne Ostrow and friends downriver to the confluence to try and get out of the murkier water. They caught a fish on their first drift! Jamie Coffey-Kelly caught a 28″ wild fish, while Debra Hodges caught a 29″ wild fish! Stephanie Coffey was the big winner today with two fish–23″ keeper and a 27″ wild!! Way to go ladies!!
All boats were scheduled to go over to Hell’s Canyon, but Sam’s bunch decided to take a “look” at Hammer Creek on the way, just in case they wanted to fish there. One of their team leaders who is also a previous WWB Champ–Wendy Hafer, reminded Sam that the day she won WWB (back in ’07), they couldn’t even start fishing until about 10 a.m. due to the ice buildup. She won that day even after a late start! So, she said “hey, let’s see if we can do it again!” Even with some ice bergs floating in the Lower Gorge, they went ahead and stayed at Hammer Creek! I guess luck was on their side because these ladies got into some fish!! Wendy Hafer herself caught a 23″ wild fish, while Sherri House and Deb Charlton (these were their NON-tournament chosen days to fish) both caught two fish each! Sherri: 23 1/2″ hatchery and a 24″ hatchery keeper! Deb: 32″ and 35″ keeper!! Great job ladies and some nice sized fish too! But Amy Cardenas was the one to beat today as she’s now the new most fish leader AND big fish leader!! She caught three fish, a 24″H, a 29″W and a 34 1/2″ H!! Her biggest fish is so far the biggest TOURNAMENT fish. That’s it for day 1!