Sunday, February 7, 2010

Here's to you Mr. Hamms

When you see a broken logging yarder and sky cart in the middle of town, you know you are in Winter Steelhead country. Also with that town comes a cast of characters. Some are locals, some come from neighboring towns, all converging on the possibility of taking some meat home. Some of these characters are very skilled fisherman. They drift fish, side drift, pull plugs, plunk, you name it, if it catches fish, they do it.

I think I recently met my favorite character. I've seen him 2 weeks in a row now. We talked last week at the boat ramp and this week again. Both times, he finished his day with 2-4 cold Hamms beers and a cheek full of Redman. Not only is that likeable, but so is a little incident I saw while I was at the boat ramp yesterday. I looked upstream and one of his passengers hooked a fish in the tailout above a little rapid and fast water. The other passenger quickly netted the fish and kept it in the water until they were through the quick stuff. As soon as he could, Mr. Hamms dropped anchor, and went to work. He saw that the fish was wild so he bit the leader off, used his pliers to remove the hook, and had the fish ready for revival in about 10 seconds. He took time to keep the fish in the water to let it recover. Mr. Hamms supported the fish with both hands under water and revived the wild steelhead until it was ready to go.

For this, I salute you Mr. Hamms. It was great to watch you have fun, take some fish home, and take care of our wild fish too.

My buddy Bernie with his first winter steelhead!

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