Two salmon for the price of one Delta adventure! The 16 pounder poses on the left, along with the eight pounder. Yes, Agnes, there is a fishing god, and he was smiling on me this trip!
After several years of the salmon closure, and a couple of lousy salmon runs before that, I finally caught my first salmon limit in over seven years! I must admit it took me two days to accomplish, but a limit is a limit! (Two in possession and all that…)
On Tuesday morning I launched into the Sacramento River at Rio Vista and began trolling upriver in the wind and chop below the Rio Vista Bridge, busy as a one-armed paper hanger trying to keep the boat on course while reeling out a green, double bladed Silvertron behind the boat.
It was a choppy, breezy morning as I began the troll upriver.
About half way between the bridge and the mouth of the Old Sac, the reel screamed out the good news that a salmon had already fallen for my tricky scheme. I grabbed the rod, ran back into the cabin and turned the boat into the river, cut the engine down to idle and threw it into neutral – all with one hand, the other trying to hold the rod and line taut against the fighting salmon! I began reeling in an angry, energetic salmon that couldn’t decide whether to run toward the boat or away – so he did both, back and forth. He put up quite a struggle, but when he tired I finally got him to the boat and eventually into my net. I had been trolling for no more than half an hour! Yes, there is a fishing god! I weighed him in at eight pounds and 22 inches. And he was a beautiful chromer!
He was a beauty! Eight pounds and 22 inches ain’t a big salmon, but he had a big heart and put up a good fight. The green Silvertron spinner is still attached.
Now the pressure of catching that limit fish was on!
I continued to troll past Isleton, upriver past the Ryde Hotel, clear up to Walnut Grove and beyond. For nuthin’.
A few of the beautiful homes on the river at Long Island, just above Isleton.
A DFG creel census crew came along side as I was trolling upriver. They asked, as usual, if I’d had any luck. For once, I could say YES! They asked to measure, weigh and sex my fish. They weighed him in on a spring scale at nine pounds. My electronic scale said eight pounds. And after looking for eggs, they proclaimed him a he. And then the usual “What’s your zip code? How long have you been fishing?” And then they were gone. DFG is hiring some mighty pretty help lately!
I docked at Walnut Grove and walked over to a small market right out of the 1950’s. It’s a great stop if you’re an old geezer and like to revisit the old days. I bought some peanuts to snack on, and continued my troll.
I anchored for the night at Locke, just across from the Boat House docks. I tossed out some eel for a few hours, hoping for a sturgeon. The “Cockpit Collins” cocktails were cold and delicious. I sat there in the dark, taking in another quiet, lovely evening on the river. While it was a bit cool, it was still comfy. The reel was silent; the sturgeon, if any, were not fooled.
Approaching the Boat House in Locke. I trolled on past about half an hour, then back to my spot across from the Boat House to spend the night at anchor.
It was a breezy but cozy night in the V-berth of my little C-Dory cabin. I began the troll back downriver on Wednesday morning around 0800, after a few morning chores and some hot coffee.
These egrets were still roosting above the water way past sun up shortly after I began the troll for Day 2 of my adventure. I presume they sleep in every morning. Life is good if you’re an egret on the Delta.
My downriver troll was breezy but uneventful – until I was about a quarter mile above the Isleton Bridge. Then…
I was watching the tip of my rod acting strangely, shaking as the green Flatfish wobbled in the water, then stopping, then shaking again. What the…? I had just grabbed the rod, still in the holder, to reel in and check for debris when… bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt! A substantial salmon was on! I turned the boat into the river, and began reeling!
Salmon #2 of this Delta adventure, and I was done – that’s a limit! She weighed in at 16 pounds and measured 34 inches.
When she neared the boat for the first time, I could see that she was no jack! After several minutes of give and take, I got her to the boat and in the net! She weighed in at 16 pounds and measured 34 inches. It was my best salmon so far this year!
That was it for me – I had my limit and was done fishing. I stowed the gear, fired up the main engine and headed for the ramp. What a great Delta salmon adventure for the old man!
As I drove home, I called my friend, Bora, who had done the fine gelcoat work on my boat. I had promised him fish back when he was doing the job, and it was time to settle up with my promise. He was delighted to meet me as I drove home, and was amazed at the two big salmon in my fish box. He would smoke them, he said, and it would be party time! As for myself, I wish fish tasted like chicken. Or even bologna. For some reason I just can’t eat fish! If I could it would add a whole new dimension to my fishing.
Next week may be another grand Delta adventure – or maybe a trip to Apple Hill aboard the motor home. Life is full of tough decisions, but the coach trip is Wifey’s idea…
Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.