My First Salmon by Ryan

Ryan with his first ChinookFirst off let me say anyone that has a stream or river large enough to fly fish on, get out on it as much as you can, and do whatever you can to protect it.  Recently I decided to get away from my tv and computer and get out fishing.  I started off doing some small panfishing, but after a week or two, I decided I wanted to get into bigger game fish.  Now, I don't live next to a river that has an active trout stock, but I do live next to one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, Lake Michigan.  After about two months of fishing and my largest fish being a 3lb coho salmon, and the rest being yearling brown trout and feeder salmon, I finally had my first real hookup.  Now, fishing the lake isn't like fishing a river, in that you really don't know exactly where fish are sitting.  You can guess based on wind and water temperature and time of day, but its all really just guessing.  The rest is about putting the time into it on the water.  Anyways, about 6am half in a daze from working my spoon over various depths over and over, I nearly had my rod yanked out of my hand.  Now, let me tell you, my expectation for fish was something in the 5-8 pound range, brown trout, young chinooks, maybe a coho.  What I hooked into made my ears ring.  Immediately I knew I had a good fish on, and what came after that spoiled me for life on panfishing. After about 15-20 minutes in a daze, shocked something could pull so much line out, I managed to get him close enough to net.

Just over 15 pounds, and let me say, I'm completely addicted.  Nothing could have prepared me for what catching a king is like.  I know they get much bigger, but this fish really put on a show. What a fantastic species of fish.