The Elf Guy:
It was a couple of days after the big bubble of sockeye had passed. Glory and I came down in the evening to get our fish for the evening. It was really crowded up and down the line but eventually I squeezed out a spot, which I promptly gave up to Glory. The spot of course was my usual hot spot. I outplayed some-first timer who was showing his gal how to fish. They were a real cute couple. The guy wasn’t a first-timer to fishing, but I had never seen him in my hole before. He seemed to know what he was doing, but he was spending so much time out of the water tending to his woman that there was no sense in claiming his spot (which is really my spot) as his own. So, I managed to make the land grab fairly easily.
Once established I handed off the spot to Glory and went to find my own place to fish. I managed to find a spot about 5 or 6 people up from Glory. It was an odd-ball spot on a corner pocket of slack water. On normal days the spot I was standing would have been totally bunk. However, this evening still saw those sockeye hitting the water pretty hard. So, in about 15 minutes I managed to hook up a few times and finally bag one.
After that I walked down and starting working in with Glory when she got tired. Over the next hour we each hooked into half a dozen of fish or so. At the end of that time we had 5 fish on the bank. I had been playing catch and release with 2 on the bank, waiting to limit until Glory had her third. After Glory got her third I was back at work intent on finishing off a great evening shift of sockeye fishing. I was sure that it was going to be a cinch to get that last fish. Heck, for the last half-hour I’d been knocking them off the hook on purpose. So, off to work I went.
About that time, I caught out of the corner of my right eye a faintly familiar silhouette. It was an approaching fisherman whom I had seen quite a few times in previous years. He had a narrow weathered face, with a triangular pointy beard. He wore an old green ball cap which sat on his head and popped his ears out in a funny manner on both sides. He wasn’t very tall either. And with his greenish jacket and waders he really looked like the stereotype of an elf….only this guy was armed with a 8ft. flyrod and he could really fish!
Since Glory had retired to the bank with her limit, Elf Guy moved in next to me on the downriver side. The fishing was starting to slow a bit and I was hooking up at a noticeably slower rate than during the previous hour. But this didn’t faze Elf Guy in the least. He was into fish on his second or third cast. I really like Elf Guy, his style is a lot like mine. He is quiet and focused. He uses a fly-rod with proper fly-line, and he knows how to catch them rascally sockeye. That and we’re both competitive down on the water. I’d say we’re kindred spirits of the same mold…fishing-wise that is. So, anyways Elf Guy starts lighting things up right next to me while I’m bumbling along trying to get that third and final fish. Within 5 minutes, Elf Guy has put two chromers on the bank at my feet. That starts to get me fired up and I start concentrating on the game a little bit more. In moments, I’m hooked up and on my way to the bank with my limit….until….”twang”….”fish-off”. Of course, then Glory starts in with the jeers….But not to fail I’m back in the water in no time making casts and doing my thing. About 5 casts later the same thing happens again….fish on….fish off. Rats. Then here comes Elf Guy stepping back into his spot after taking care of his second fish….and wouldn’t you know it…..Elf Guy hooks up immediately with his third fish just a soon as he gets back into the water. He has 3-limited in under ten minutes. It was pretty darn good. And there I was trying for the last hour and a half to get that final fish of the evening. Okay, so he kicked my butt pretty good that night……it doesn’t happen often…but that’s sockeye fishing. Respect and hoamge to the Elf-Guy.