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The Quilcene River and a Life Ruined July 8, 2011

Posted by saltcastings in Family, Fishing.
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Noah and I fished the Quilcene on Sunday, the first time either of us had stepped foot in the river.  We tried to get advice on access points from the ranger station in Qulcene, but the two cotton-tops behind the counter were less than helpful.  Apparently they don’t much care for fishermen in the park. 

With the hatchery closed, we made our way up FS27 and scouted the upper section of the river.  There we found more water than I expected.  It was cold and fast and although we whipped the water in a few places, weren’t able to raise a fish. 

I’d read a bit about the Quilcene estuary through Doug Rose and Les Johnson so downstream we went.  A nice guy at the boat launch directed us to the access point and a few minutes later we were wandering down the road paralleling the lower section of the river.   We didn’t get very far before the first long hole appeared.  It was too nice to pass up so we stepped in and I helped Noah find his swing with the 8.5 foot Browning boron rod dad gave us. 

On about his third cast he rolled a fish just off the bank below us using an elk hair caddis I tied this spring.  Several more casts and the fish took another swing.  Noah started picking his way down the bank, casting and seeing if he could raise him again.  I headed back over the bank to tie on an Adams when I heard him holler.  There he was, knee deep in the run, rod tip up and a beauty of a sea run cutthroat showing off his best acrobatics.

Noah played him well, even when the fish ran straight at him, and before too long had him to hand.  I slipped the hook out and Noah let him on his way.  I swear I’ve never seen that kid smile so big in my life.  That was his first fish on a fly rod where he did all the work.  “He’s ruined forever,” dad said the next day when I told him what happened. 

Ruined forever indeed.

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