It's strange how when you're out fishing or hunting, the funniest things can happen. At least in my experience it seems that those strange things happen more often while I'm out in the woods, or on the stream or lake. I'm sure that at times it has simply been pure bad luck, or more rarely, pure good luck.
One afternoon my brother and I drove up to Green Peter Reservoir, outside of Sweet Home, Oregon. It was getting late that warm afternoon as we pulled off the road. We got out of the car and stretched off the hour and a half long ride from Halsey, then anxiously got our rods and fishing gear ready and started making our way down to the water, sliding on our hind-ends down a steep slope of dry, clay-colored dirt.
We fished for a while and caught a few trout on bait, then I began working my way around the little cove, walking on the round gray stones of the small beach, casting a green Rooster Tail spinner. I began catching lots of fish. On almost every cast a fish would strike the lure and I was landing rainbow trout one after another. My brother continued having fair luck with bait on the other side of the cove. I was really enjoying myself. After catching about 10 fish, I was feeling like I was on top of the fisherman's world. The sun was setting now and the western sky was a warm orange and yellow glow, shining through the dark green firs. The evening seemed magical. It seemed as if all of the fish were destined to come to me. As I fished, I noticed a trout that kept rising and flipping around in circles on the surface, about twenty feet from the bank. I didn't pay much attention to the odd acrobatics of the seemingly possessed fish. I was plenty occupied hooking, landing and releasing fish and savoring the natural beauty in which I basked. As I landed and released the eleventh fish, I noticed that the circus-bound trout kept making its way closer and closer to me, flipping on its side across the water. At that moment, all of the mystery and splendor of the evening came to a climax, another fishing moment that will not soon be forgotten. I knelt down and reached into the water as that beautiful, ten inch, circus bound, acrobatic, lunatic, out of it's mind, seemingly possessed trout flipped itself right into my hand, no hook, no fishing line attached! I raised it up out of the water to show my brother who watched in unbelief from across the small cove. It was an unbelievable fishing trip, and though I have had many enjoyable days in the field, it was the type of pure good luck that I have never experienced the likes of since, well, if you’ve read some of my other stories you might not agree with that statement.
I've had other memorable experiences at Green Peter. I remember one cold morning when my brother and my friend and I fished that same cove and had a different kind of luck. It was one of those mornings that started out with high hopes, as we embarked on our voyage to Green Peter. We arrived at waters edge and zealously began to fish, but the cold, steady drizzle of the low lying clouds and the lack of fish soon dampened our spirits. Though I enjoyed being surrounded by the beauty of the mountains and the water, the only excitement to be had was the thought of getting out of those cold, wet clothes and get warmed up. My brother and my friend soon had enough as well, and we decided to reel in our lines and try another spot or two, then head home. As I was getting my things together, a cackling laughter echoed through the cove and the surrounding hills. I looked over in my friend’s direction to see what the matter was. He could barely hold up his rod as he reeled, being overcome by laughter at the sight of what he was reeling in. Do you know how a dead fish looks when it's been dead for a long time, frozen in a banana shape, and the sides have lost all of their rainbow colors and the eyes have that glazed -over look? Well, that’s a pretty good description of the fish my buddy was dragging in. Needless to say, that fish wasn't much of a fighter.
I've heard that laugh of my friend's on many outings, like when our youth leader took us on a camping and fishing trip up to Green Peter. On Friday night, we boated out to a secluded camping spot in one of the little coves on the northeast side of the reservoir and camped and enjoyed a beautiful warm night. It was one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever camped at. The ground didn't even seem hard there and there was no dew on my sleeping bag when I awoke. That morning we started early and trolled around the lake and caught quite a few kokanee. We decided to move to another part of the lake and were doing some pretty good speed when someone noticed the fish stringer and pointed at it as it slapped on the water alongside the boat with just a fish or two left attached. After returning to where we had put on full throttle, we were able to gather up most of the whip-lashed fish from the water, though they were a little hard to put back on the stringer hooks, considering their condition.
I believe it was on that same trip when my friend had a fish strike his lure as we trolled along. The fish doubled the rod over but was soon lost. My friend reeled in his line and let out that cackling laugh when he saw the fish's eyeball, neatly threaded on the hook!
--Tight Lines-- nimrod243