I knew I was going to regret that last Kokanee.
It was excessive and I should have stopped. Peer pressure forced me past the point of being rational. Worst part was I had to work the next morning. It would be painful, with a guaranteed headache and major dehydration. A quick shower with only a few hours sleep wouldn’t mask it.
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I’ll confess: I’m addicted to Kokanee … on a dry fly.
Steve, Kalin and I took part in a spontaneous, gluttonous, marathon-fishing extravaganza at Hidden Lakes on Tuesday night. Sometimes you can’t predict when the chemistry is just right and the night started out like any other weeknight fish.
We portaged the fishing kayaks to Hidden #1 and began cruising for Rainbows.
With little success, we moved on to Hidden #3 to fish the money-spot. Within a few minutes we’re all into scrappy, little Rainbow. With beavers, bats, loons and a fox to keep us company, we worked this small lake for a couple of hours.
With the fishing now having exceeded expectations, we were prepared to push back to the parking lot. The sun now firmly committed to going down brought a midnight chill and my warm bed called to me.
We pushed back into Hidden #1 only to have a flurry of fish rising a few feet from shore and directly in front of us. Steve recognized that a hatch was occurring and quickly loaded his fly rod with a dry fly. He tossed it out amidst the maelstrom and within seconds had landed an unsuspecting Kokanee.
Kokanee are a landlocked Sockeye Salmon introduced through the stocking program. They are aggressive, taking little mepps spinners and all sorts of dry and wet flies.
Like other salmon species, they often travel in schools and only have a limited life-cycle. Best thing of all is that they feature firm, red, meat like that of their ocean-going family. They tend to be small, around eight to 12 inches, and are perfectly proportioned for a one-person meal.
Before we knew it, the Kokanee provided us all with an hour and a half of added value and tomorrow’s barbecue dinner.
With the cold and dark now upon us, we took off across the lake in search of the parking lot. Without even removing my waders, I jumped into my car and began the quiet drive back to Copper Ridge. It was now 2:30 a.m. and well past our bedtime.
The next morning at work was, as predicted, like a hangover. While my eyes were half closed the entire day, I made up for it with a big, open grin.
In a sick way, I love maximizing the Midnight Sun with these excessive angling experiences. Nothing another little addiction like caffeine, can’t fix.
If you would like to share your fishing story, or hear more about this one, visit Dennis Zimmermann’s Yukon fishing blog at www.fishonyukon.com.
PHOTO: DENNIS ZIMMERMANN