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Ode to April

I recently returned from a trip to British Columbia where I spent two weeks fishing the Skeena system. I hit every river on my BC bucket list, and can now die a happy man.  For those not in the know, the Skeena River is the second largest river in BC, and has a list of tributaries that read like a Fantasy Wish List: The Kispiox, Bulkley, Morice, Copper (yes the Copper River – the mere mention of which causes people to drive out of their way and spend ridiculous sums of money when the infamous King salmon from this river hit the Pike Place Market each year). If you’re not familiar with the area, the Skeena system is an all star lineup. Beautiful country, too.

kispioxbulkley

The chance to take a trip like this could be considered the pinnacle of one’s fishing career, and catching a monster steelhead from this river system might well be the ultimate feather in one’s lucky fishing cap. But for a guy like me it was just another few days on just another river, or two, or four: no big deal. I opted to forgo a professional guide, instead saving my pennies for daily filet mignon and 12 year old Scotch and the finest of Cuban cigars, which I enjoyed from the comforts of my brand new Earthroamer XV-LT, which I purchased specifically for this trip. Paid cash, too, since my royalties from book sales are astronomical ever since making Oprah’s Book Club and the New York Times’ Bestseller list. The Earthroamer is capable of going almost anywhere, and its offroad capabilities came in handy because I hit some weather on the drive north.

Earthroamer

As one might imagine, this vehicle garners a good bit of attention, and I had many curious folks ask to come aboard for a looksee.  While enjoying a beautiful early evening along the banks of the Kispiox, a rig pulled up and a very attractive young lady wearing an Olive the Woolly Bugger t-shirt and Goretex waders emerged from behind the wheel. I assumed she was stopping to eye the river and perhaps do a bit of fishing, but she actually stopped for the sole purpose of asking about the Earthroamer. Now I’m no dirty old man and this young lady was young enough to be my daughter (and Mrs. Unaccomplished Angler is reading this), so I didn’t invite her to stay for long.  But since she was already geared up, we decided to fish the run right below camp together. She was struggling a bit, so I gave her some casting and presentation instruction, which resulted in her hooking up with this cute little 17 lb hen.  Moments later I humbly landed one of my nicer fish on the Kispiox (a 40.75 lb buck).  Before she left, the young lady angler and I exchanged autographs, and I’ll be honest:  April Vokey looks even more beautiful in person than she does on the internet.  As she drove off I patted the fender of the Earthroamer and thought to myself, “Owning this thing is better than walking a puppy in a park on a summer day.” I’m sure I’ll have to sell it now that Mrs. UA has read this.

april_vokey_steelieAprilFools

I won’t bore you with the details of the fishing, but suffice it to say it was stellar. Actually, it was gluttonous. I quite honestly got sick of catching steelhead: 12 fish days were common, though on one day in particular I lost count after 23. By the end of the trip my hands were heavily calloused and I’d just about worn the cork off my Sage Z-Axis 7136. And speaking of the rod, the best thing of all on this trip was that my Spey casting was flawless – it was as if I was magically transformed into a gifted caster of masterful status. One morning another angler watched me from afar and snapped this photo of me in action. When I’d caught every fish out of that run and was making my way back to camp for a break, he waved me down and showed me the photo, which he later emailed to me.  “Don’t I recognize you from somewhere?  You’re Mike Kinney, aren’t you?”  I chuckled and replied, “No, but I get that a lot.”

Picture 141

Tightlines to all – I hope you’re enjoying this first day of April.

19 thoughts on “Ode to April”

  1. Rebecca says:

    Well, I’ve always heard it was good to write your dreams down after you wake up.
    It was a good dream, Kirk, a fun one to read about on this April 1st ~

    1. admin says:

      What are you saying, Rebecca? This didn’t really happen?!?

  2. Josh Mills says:

    That is April first perfection there sir…noice!

    1. admin says:

      I couldn’t help myself, Josh.

  3. Lenrod says:

    I knew you were going to be big when you were on Oprah teaching her how to flyfish…..Way to go Dawg.

    1. admin says:

      Lenrod- So nice of you to stop by and chime in! Sorry I can’t stay for long, Oprah’s calling. Again.

  4. Chunky Tuna says:

    Well done! You had me gulping for air for about 5 seconds. :-)

    If you want to see the real deal, check out this link http://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?pid=199138&id=1259913638. That’s me posing in the Silver Hilton Lodge with a big Babine fish I skated up that cold November morning (in spite of sporting a really foolish lookin mustache).

    1. admin says:

      Chunky- unfortunately the link points to content that is “currently unavailable”, but I’ll take your word for it 😉 No doubt it’s some stellar fish porn, all the better when paired with a pornstar mustache!

  5. Chunky Tuna says:

    Now I know why my wife encouraged me to grow it. 😉

  6. Jon De Jong says:

    What Chunky didn’t tell you is that he may have pneumonia so gulping for air is rather commonplace right now. Your trip sounded amazing. Tell Mrs. UA that I thought that lovely young lass was her holding a steelhead. You must have picked up that Earthroamer after our trip to the Methow when you were sleeping in that cheesy looking leaky camouflage tent. Can’t wait to sleep in it sometime. Wish I could have made that trip. Sound like an UNBELIEVABLE time.

    1. admin says:

      Large Albacore: You know, if our talk last summer had materialized into a trip North, we could have very well experience a story similar to my tale…only without the lovely young lass, the Earthroamer, the gluttonous catch rate and the masterful casting. Some day, brother- someday. I’ll bring the tent- it’s all yours!

  7. North Bender says:

    I don’t care what the skeptics say, I think your newly found fishing babe probably tops the August rubber hatch on the Yakima!

    1. admin says:

      N.Bender (Nash), I’d almost forgotten about that fateful August day until now ; ) Actually, I’ll never forget that.

  8. Brilliant! You had me at puppy in the park.

    1. admin says:

      Hey Reba,
      Thanks for chiming in…glad I was able to reel you in ; ) Come back again, y hear?

  9. April Vokey says:

    Cute read and thanks for the shout out! Think it may have been another female angler though : )
    I don’t own a wooly bugger shirt and am far too proud to ask for help when struggling on the river (unfortunately)…. : )
    Would love to fish with some time though!!!
    Shoot me an email next time you’re out my way!

    Sincerely,
    Ape.

    1. admin says:

      Wow, April- having you find my entry and chime in makes me feel like I’ve just hit the jackpot! ; ) I think you need an Olive the Woolly Bugger T-shirt.
      I’ll send you one if you’ll promise to wear it fishing. If I ever make it North I’ll definitely look you up. I’ll be the really accomplished Spey caster in the Earthroamer ; )

      Cheers,
      Kirk

  10. April Vokey says:

    Lol! I’ll wear it! Was reading the Olive the Wooly Bugger book to a mini Fly Gal earlier today! Was super sweet…..

    Hope to see you up my way!

    Ape.

    1. admin says:

      Cool that you’ve seen my books- how’d you come to find out about them? You do know there are 3 in the series, and like fly rods, you can’t just get one!
      I’ll see about getting a shirt sent your way…

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