May Day occurs on May 1 and refers to several public holidays. In many countries, May Day is synonymous with International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, a day of political demonstrations and celebrations organised by communists, anarchists, socialists, and activist groups. May Day is also a traditional holiday in many cultures. That was the description from Wikipedia, but for me May 1st is a much more special day as it marks the opening of Ling Cod season in our Puget Sound. For the past several years a selected group of my closest fly fishing buddies gets to fish with me for the Puget Sound Wolf. I planned to get out this morning with Thao T. as he was the original innovator of fly fishing for Lings, so I’ll always save May 1st with his name on the calendar.
We met at the launch at 5:40 and proceeded to make the run to our normal spot, but when we found a dozen other boats and fisherman throwing their whole tackle box at the Lings we decided that we had enough of that and wanted to explore some other possible Ling water. A run across the sound onto another location also was fruitless as we pounded the water. Not that it wasn’t good at the first spot, Thao did land two average sized Lings, but I was still looking for my first big pull.
Our last idea was to try one last location which may have been overlooked, so we made another crossing, burning plenty of fuel but enjoying the wonderful May 1st sunshine and calm flat water. Upon my third cast, my line stopped and a fish was on! Ling a ding, that tug, there is nothing quite like that that feeling when you have your 8 wt. torqued and taco’d with a goliath fish. I picked up two fish there, so I was even with Thao. We then decided to explore even more and ran to another locale that seemed to have a nest of Lings.
Our flies were eagerly engulfed and the pursuit was all worth it, the time, money, gas, broken gear… yes, and the lack of sleep. End of tally, I landed 5 Lings and Thao landed 6 with several others missed on poor hooksets. Since discovering this wonderful fishery a few years back, we’ve always kept a legal fish, but we’ve decided to release from here and now on all the Lings. Its our hope that it will become a better fishery in the future. I wish it was May Day, everyday if I can consistently hook into big Lings like we did today.
Thao didn’t know how to operate my iphone, so the poor angle and video, but this was a nice fish!
Proper release of these beautiful fish