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I noticed the water level on N. Santiam was going down today and decided to hit a favorite bank fishing hole after work. It was pouring down rain by the time I got to the river and I was keeping a watchful eye out for thunder boomers after the report of the guy getting zapped last week.

I was nice and dry in my neoprene waders and rain coat and felt like a true Oregonian. No rain is going to stop me.

I started working my bobber and jig out from the bank. On about my fifth cast I threw out to the fast side of the current seam. The bobber was about half way through the fifty yard drift and down it went. I cranked up the slack as fast as I could and set the hook. The response was that ever so wonderful feel of a head shake and then a splash of the tail on the top.
The fish turned downstream and started taking line. I've hooked several fish in this hole and have yet to have one go any further than the end of the tail out, but this fish kept going. With the current at its back I had no chance of slowing it down. I began working my way down the bank, waiting for the fish to stop. I finally started to gain a little line and began working the fish up stream until I could feel that the line was stuck somewhere down stream. I began working my way anxiously down stream hoping not to lose the fish. The bank was over grown and I had to stumble my way down stream. I had to stop several times and free my line from the over hanging branches and blackberry vines. On my FIRST fall I found out the crotch of my waders was no longer waterproof. "Hmmmm, the waters not that cold. On my SECOND fall I found out rain coats don't work very well when your arms are under water. "Yep, that water is cold!" By the time I made it through the rapids I was holding on to overhanging brush to keep my shoulders out of the water. I finally caught up to the rock my line was over and, "YEEHAW", the fish was still on my line. Finally clawed my way to an opening on the bank and had a chance to look at the fish. It was a nice 10-12lbs winter native. I pulled the fish up close enough to grab the jig and pop it free. Said goodbye to the fish and gave myself a smile.

I had to use the end of my pole to climb my way up the bank through a nasty tangle of last years blackberries. I had to laugh when I got to the top and could see that I was 100 yards downstream from where I started. My waders are ruined from the blackberries and I will be picking thorns out of my hands for the rest of the week. I know it was stupid and irresponsible of me, but, MAN WAS THAT FUN!!!

I tried to tell my wife about the fish I caught as I separated the damp contents of my wallet on the counter but she just muttered something under her breath that sounded like "idiot".

I think I had better find a fishing anynamous group. I can see it already," Hi they call me, me fishin, and I do stupid things just to catch a fish." :blush:

So what have you done just to catch a fish?
 
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