Story: A humble and humorous skunk streak..

Posted: January 30, 2013 by Hellcat in Fish Reports, Gear Fishing, Salmon, Trout & Steelhead
Tags: , , ,

I’m very happy that readers are out there blasting through the AAA archives to find gems like this. Here is an excerpt from a post that Jeff Donaca commented on over a year ago. Thanks for finding this, Lucas Holmgren. Enjoy. I know we can all relate no matter our skill level.

By Jeff Donaca

“While my stink from getting skunked might not be epic in terms of numbers the joy of getting the smell of me was shared by not only myself but also the old timers who had taking me under their wings.

It all started out like I am sure everyone else’s first trip to a new river showing up and seeing a huge lineup and trying to figure out how to fit in after showing up later then everyone else. Of course I get the normal responses from the regulars fishing sucks or man it was hot over there you should try that place out. It took me 10 consecutive trips before I was allowed to enter the honey hole with these regulars. It might as well have been fishing in a honey bucket for all of the mistakes that I was making.

Little by little I was able to get them to show me how to fish the river. One day it might be what leader and length. After my 20th trip I was finally able to hook one. Did I land it hell no but I was hooked. I lost 5 more before they told me I was using the wrong knot. The next 8 days saw some video worthy mistakes. There was me falling on my ass during the hook set because I hadn’t mastered the art of mending. Getting my first fish to the bank and stepping into a fire pit only to fall to the ground and lay there watching my prize flop back into the river was my favorite. I became the master big game salt water fisherman in the river. I was debating if I needed to start counting the number of fish lost at the bank since I had gotten so many leaders to the end of the rod.

On my 28th consecutive trip I finally hooked into a fish with the right knots, rig and proper drag. After what seemed liked a forever I finally got the fish on its side and ready to come up on the bank. This after all is where I had lost most of my fish. I looked to my right and there was 5 70+ year old guys standing there to help me land my fish. Seeing a 80 year old regular put his rod down and go in the water in his pants to help me land my first fish almost felt as good as finally filling out that tag. As I stood their with the shakes after catching my first Steelhead I overheard the regulars talking about how happy they were for me to finally get my first one.

While there has been many since then there is nothing better then getting my stink off and catching my first fish. I know that it would have been much longer if it hadn’t been for all the help from them. They took the time out of their trip to show me rigs, how to tie a bobber stop, give me hand tied jigs. I have saved some of these jigs even though they are beyond fishable. I hope someday to get good enough to help a new person get their first fish.

Jeff Donaca/TeamSalmon

  1. Death Dealer says:

    I could not have said it better myself, ” I hope someday to get good enough to help a new person get their first fish.” Is the comment that describes one of my motivations behind fishing as well. Great story Donaca.

  2. Donaca says:

    Looking forward to getting this years skunk of this weekend for both my dad and I. Should be a good trip with the Hellcat in the DB.

  3. Hellcat says:

    Rivers are blowing out locally. We need to reschedule, Jeff.

  4. Sal says:

    Good story and one that a lot of anglers will be able to identify with. Way to stay after them and to keep your sense of humor intact and love of the sport strong. Sal

  5. Nookslayer says:

    Donica I am so happy for you. You put in the time and it paid off brother… You will forever be the river McGuyver to me

  6. Great story Jeff ! It should be an inspiration for all of the anglers out there looking for their first.
    Your dedication, thirst for knowledge, and ability to apply what you were learning culminated in landing that first fish. You never forget the first one, and as you know, all of the ones that follow are just as special 🙂
    Nice job!

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