Fun Day with Pinks this Morning

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by William Wallace, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Hit the upper Puyallup near McMillian, few guys around bridge and up river. So, I went down stream all by myself. Today took my Cabelas Lsi 10'6" 5wt switch, 325 grain Skagit short, 5' poly leader to a orange GP shrimp fly. Well, first time casting that line on the rod and I am very pleased. Using Rio orange slickshooter as running line. Very easy to cast and was able to cast from length of head to 70' without any trouble. Best loops I have ever had in my life.

    At first I was casting without fly to see how I needed to change style, speed and found out I had to do nothing, so on goes they fly. First cast was a blast, end of drift and felt tug, well snagged on the under belly. But found out that little switch has some power to hold a 4lb pink pretty well until my leader snapped! Guess I will go higher than 6lb. So my next leader was 12lb, all I had bigger but it worked. A few more casts, mend, swing close to slow water let it sit, felt the light tug and saw the line twitch, to my amazement a beautiful silver fish rolled with my GP in its mouth. She took a fast swim over to the middle of the river and then went down stream, my little Farlow's Cobra screamed like I have never heard it before. That little fish took off and put me into about have way through the running line before I knew what happened. She worked her way back to my side of the river and was able to get all line back all the way to the head. Felt better now! Got her to the rivers edge, rolled out the barbless GP and let her go! I already have enough in the freezer to last.

    I ended up fair hooking about a dozen and a half others, with about 10 fowl hooked and couple others I was able to feel the tail shake and with a few good side to side shakes of the rod, the hook popped off. To my amazement I happen to look back behind me, guess I was tunnel visioned, the elderly man I helped a few days ago with his gear technique was sitting 20 yards behind me on a log sipping his morning coffee, well I think it was coffee!

    He had a big grin, a hardy "good morning to you son" ( I am 47) so it made me feel young again! I reeled in and went to talk to him. His name is Gregory, lives local and just was out for his morning stroll, no rod in hand, when he saw a familiar fellow fly fisherman. He thought it was me, cause I had the same color shorts, fanny pack and white ball cap. We talked for about an hour and was an exciting conversation at that. The end of the talk, he told me he had lost his son about 10 years back due to a car accident. A drunk driver fell asleep at the wheel on hwy410, crossed the center line in a turn and went head on to his son. The son was heading to his house from Buckley to stay with him, then go fishing in the morning, but it did not happen. It really hit the heart hard. You could see he held in the tears, but I couldn't, they came out like rain. Gregory talked about all the fishing trips he had with his son on the Puyallup, Green and brought me back to my father and all the glorious trips my brother and I had with him. So out of the blue I said well, when we meet on the river again, I will be your son if you be my father, it was now time for him to cry. Guess that meant the world to him, cause I received the biggest hug from him. He told me I was a great boy and my father would be very proud of me.

    He told me to get my ass back out there and fish! His last words were something like, "the fish are like life, they will keep going by you just like every day in a month, but when that moment comes and you feel a tug of life at the end of your line, that day will stop and become a memory just like you gave me today". I walked away with tears in my eyes, my heart beating as hard as it ever had and I thought who brought this man to me and why? I stepped near the river, stripped out a couple handfuls of line, snap t, swing back and shoot! tightest loop I had ever had, swung through and a tug of life was felt. I looked back with a smile and he was not there!

    Was he really there?

    There was no one within 100yards of me in either direction, I was confused and wondered did I have to much coffee with a touch of bourbon this morning myself?? Don't know but I sure went home and had some straight bourbon, a couple.

    Hitting the river again tomorrow morning, hope to see Gregory!

  2. You know how I feel brother. That is awesome, we will talk tomorrow. By the way I have tears in my eye's. Love you!
  3. Hope you can go tomorrow! It was a fun day, better hooking (fair) than last time. Can't say it was the fly, but seemed to be doing better than others that I could see. Bring the 4/5 switch, have some fun!
  4. Thanks for the beautiful story and nice report!
  5. Thanks Kyle!

    Met brother on the river, as always a great day with him. His son Tyler came but wasn't fishing, just a lookyloo today. Was good seeing him, haven't seen him in a long time.

    We hooked a few nice and some semi not so nice. My brother took out his little fiberglass switch and had a ball. Still trying to figure a line for that thing. We can cast it okay, but not dialed in yet, we will get there! Beautiful little rod and played the pinks well!

    A great day with the Wallace Clan
  6. Nice story.
  7. Some things are more important than fishing---fishing is just the vehicle. Thanks for enjoying both the important and the vehicle.

    p.s. I too love my Cabelas Lsi 10'6" 5wt switch---mine is paired with a 360 grain skagit short. Some day I would like to find a pod of pinks and have the same experience that you did---sad but the dry side doesn't have pinks and the travel is a bit long for them.
  8. Well, wife and daughter took off for Wild Waves haunted house, so I decided to take the rod and a few lines down to the Puyallup. Was casting awhile and saw about 10 people come down to the river. They looked sad, everyone was hugging, they all stepped towards the river and tossed in a small item into the river. Thought it was a little odd, so I started to work my way down towards the group. I got within about 50 yards of them and one man started to walk towards me. Did not know what to expect. He approached me and asked if my name was William and I said yes I am, who may I be talking to? His name was David and a friend/neighbor of the man I spoke of above, Gregory. He told me Gregory had passed in his sleep Wednesday morning. David recognized me by the way I was dressed, I was wearing the same hat and jacket the day Gregory met me.

    Please excuse my writing as I go further. This really hit me hard. I had to reel in and sit down or I would have fallen. David gave me a big hug and said everything will be okay. He told me Gregory had told him about coming down to the river, meeting me and enjoyed our conversation. David said that day was the best day for him in a long time. He lost his son, last year lost his wife, he was alone, except for the few friends around him. Gregory's enjoyment was to come to the Puyallup and fish, talk to people if they opened up to him. He stated I was the only one in a long time who ever reeled in and sat down with him to have a heart to heart talk. He never would open up to anyone about his losses.

    David said, that day was not a loss, but a gain. I made a perfect stranger so happy that was all Gregory could talk about to him. After our talk, we both got up and walked down to the others and he introduced me to them. I spent the next hour talking to them about Gregory, but all they wanted to know is about me and fly fishing. They wanted to see me cast, so I gave them a short demonstration of Spey casting. After I was done, reeled in and walked back out of the water and one wonderful lady approached me and said that was just beautiful, now I understand how Gregory felt that day and other days he watched me cast. I did not know that Gregory had been down there a couple other times watching me from afar. She said he did not want to interfere with me and my fishing.

    The light was starting to fade so I walked with them back up to the cars. We gave hugs and said our farewells, but they all said they will all start taking walks around the area to watch for me. I asked if there is or was a funeral or anything for him, they told me this was all his friends and all what was going to happen. He is being cremated and they don't know what will happen after that. I gave my number to David and told him to keep in touch.

    I am so lost for words, still how this stranger comes into my life, so short, but has affected me as if I knew him all my life. In my mind, that hole below the 128th st bridge is now named the Gregory Hole for me! I met a great person and had caught many pinks there, even met another WFFF member there and great times with my brother.

    So, as of now, I say thank you for reading and it is time for me to have a shot of whiskey in Gregory's honor!

    Remember smiles are contagious and with my life's lesson....It only takes a seconds to listen to someone's heart, but it is a lifetime of happiness to them!

    I am blessed to have been a part of Gregory's life..Someday we will meet again to finish our conversations, but for now I will cast as if you are there, for you are my friend for life!

    William BRAVEHEART Wallace
  9. May God bless you William, because you reached out and blessed Gregory (and it sounds like he touched you also)!
  10. William, thank you for sharing that.
  11. Lots of food for thought in that. Thanks for sharing.
  12. Thank you all for your responses.

    Been sitting here at home alone, thinking on how people I have met have influenced my life, either fly fishing or just life. I have had a few mentors in my life that I still instill their way of fishing and the love of the outdoors. I just think, well hope I have done the same with the people I have met. It is that moment in time we spoke for the brief second that either brought a smile, gave them that little bit of info or a helping hand. All I can say with two glasses of whiskey, a few thoughts, I sat at the fly tying bench and pulled off an amazing dozen flies that I am going to fish my hardest to get a fish for Gregory!

    Gregg Lundgren likes this.
  13. You make me so proud to be your brother!!!!!!!!
  14. The world needs more people like you.
  15. Freestone,

    Heck I didn't know I was that kind of person! Just guess my father brought me and my brother up right, I am just following in his foot steps or atleast trying to.

    Hey bro, I know you would have done the same thing, we think to much alike

  16. What a sad but amazing and rewarding experience! This story is a great example of how critical it is to really soak in everything you passes you by at every moment so its up to you to make a difference!

    Great stuff William, thanks for sharing!

Share This Page