After fishing a couple of seasons with Jose Silva I’ve learned quite a few things. Aside from new angles on holding water, fish behavior, tidal influence, and an ancient recipe used by the Peruvians to prepare a fine carp for the dinner table, the one thing that’s been drilled home time and time again, through experience, is this: Out-fishing the guy is simply impossible.
Our last 2 trips out together had left us driving home with MY side of the truck encompassed in an unsavory odor, suspiciously resembling that of a certain small mammal (black with a white stripe down the back).
But this was a new morning and a new beach… and finally, a barred little beauty to hand… make that MY hand for a change – ah yeah…
Fully aware that these “high-rod” honors would be short lived I pulled out the camera and shouted “Hey Jose”!
At the edge of the next hole I got into another, and he was even bigger!
This is when I made the mistake of taking note to myself, “Doug: 2 , Jose: zilch”, and then, as if on cue, while I was looking down attempting to compose the picture I hear Jose yelp, “Hey Doug-a-roo”!
I look up to see Jose’s 6 weight buckled over, with line headed for the horizon, straight through the breakers…
I excitedly yelled back to him in question, “Striper”?
And over the crusty complaint of a corroded surf perch reel I thought I’d heard him reply back something that sounded a lot like ‘STEELHEAD”!
“Whatever”, I remember thinking, dismissing my inability to decipher his, “bla-bla-bla”, over the noisy surf and that skin-crawling grinding sound of that poor sand embedded fly reel.
Then I saw it jump! It didn’t just jump, it cart-wheeled through the surf! Stripers definitely don’t jump, and they surely do not cartwheel!
A few minutes later, and sure enough, Jose was posing with an 8 -10 pound steelhead, caught from the beach, on a fly rod!
The rest of the morning was a bit of a blur as far as I’m concerned. We continued fishing, and even caught a few more perch, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Instead, all I could do was check my cell phone every minute or two to see if I had enough “bars” to squeeze out a text msg.
Over celebration Ribeyes off the BBQ that night (washed down with a cold corona, or possibly two) I finally broke, “Hey Jose, we need to talk about fish handling skills”?