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Fish Tales: Hubris on a hook a sure way to scare fish

Posted: Thursday, July 15, 2010

Shhh, the salmon are listening, they can hear you, I swear.

Unlucky hats and bananas be damned, if there's one way to scare off a lite king salmon bite, I'm positive it's a little too much ego in the morning.

OK, so maybe there are other factors that play into one's success hooking into a king, but in my limited experience, overconfidence never helps.

I still remember the first time I saw hubris dull hooks.

My dad and I were fishing the spring run of the mighty Rogue River a decade and a half ago or so with a friend of his named Ken.

It was my first time fishing for kings and I had no idea what to expect, but Ken did, or at least so he said.

Ken had lived and fished all over much of the globe, including right here on the Kenai. At the time however, he was living in Oregon.

As we made the long drive from his home near Bend to Gold Beach, I remember him saying, "Mmm, I can taste that king salmon off of the grill already."

I distinctly remember thinking, how does he know we're going to catch one?

While I'd never fished for kings, I'd sure spent enough time with a hook in the water to know that you can't taste a fish you haven't caught unless you're planning a stop at the grocery store on the way home just to be sure.

Meanwhile, I just hoped I'd be so lucky to see one of these mega-salmon that could grow to half the size of my 12-year-old frame.

Wouldn't you know it, we spent five days on the Rogue and got two take downs that resulted in one fish in the box.

I was indeed so lucky; Ken, not so much.

I'd like to say that's only the case for fishing the Rogue, but my experience on the Kenai has showed me otherwise.

You get all types at fishing lodges like the one I work at, and I've seen no shortage of guests that stroll in talking much like Ken.

It might just be me, but I've noticed it's those folks that don't know what to expect, and are just hoping for a chance to catch a fish, that usually go home with a box of Kenai king steaks and memories to last a lifetime.

Meanwhile, the brash guest in the cabin next door is typically heard muttering about the price of a fillet from the grocery store.

Dante Petri lives in Sterling.



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