The upper Rogue River is one of the few rivers in Oregon that hasn’t restricted fishing hours due to the drought and heat. So a few nights ago, Ryan Decker and his son Zach headed to river. Zach did great. He landed four trout before Dad had even got his line wet.
(Ryan’s number one job on the river is being a guide for his boy Zach….untangling line, tying knots, talking through the steps of playing a fish, and then of course netting fish. So just as it should be, Zach outfishes his Dad much of the time, but things were different that night. )
After an hour, Ryan got a break in the tangle action and landing fish for Zach so he rigged up his own fly rod to cast for steelhead. All good fishing stories start with a setback, so of course, Ryan’s line snapped off on the first cast. With not much time to fish, he picked up the spinning rod, rigged it with a blue jig and tossed it out. After the jig touched bottom, he reeled a little bit to lift the jig and let it dance in the current, but something hit the line.
His fishing buddy was sure that Ryan was just snagged on the bottom. Then the line started to travel upriver and a the fish broke through the topwater. This was no snag. After a heart pumping fight, Ryan brought in a 27 inch black lipped wild chinook that was just under 8 lbs! After his glamour shots, the wild fish was released back to the river to make more fishies.
Did Ryan land that fish because of earning good fishing karma hustling for Zach? Or, did Ryan land that fish because of his lucky shirt? Or, did Ryan land that fish because he’s a rockstar fisherman? Hard to say, hard to say… but that’s not the point…
A magnificent fish and four awesome trout for a wonderful father and son are exactly the point of the story.
Congrats Ryan & Zach on a great night of fishing and lifetime of memories!
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