I wanted to get the Sea Runner out since it’d been a couple months since I ran her out. Since the fuel gauge isn’t 100% accurate, I like to run the motors without fuel in the carbs as its less likely to gum up and foul with deposits.
I invited Rob D. to join me as he is a Veteran of Lake WA and we might as well run the downriggers and try our luck at trolling. Upon startup, both motors fired right up after a few pumps of the priming bulbs. Things were looking positive, but shortly after I noticed that the kicker wasn’t peeing as I’d noticed from the previous outing that it was a weaker stream of water coming out the exit port hole.
The kicker trimmed up and we fired up the main motor as we proceeded I make our troll along he north side of the 90 bridge. Problem was that the lowest speed we were able to troll down to was 2.0 mph. Ideally cutts like it between 1.2-1.5 mph. About mid span the rods are dancing and we even had a double at one point. We brought up the gear and proceeded to towards the Cedar River to give another try. That effort would prove to be fruitless, so ended back up towards Luther burbank and back towards the 90 without any luck. We even trolled the south side without a taker.
Effective lures and combos were: yellow flasher with white mini hootchie, and cured herring with a 0 dodger. We also tried a pink hootchie and wedding ring/sling blade without much success.
After I got home, I disassembled the lower unit from the kicker and inspected the impeller. I believe that last season when I ran the kicker dry the upper plastic housing melted a little from the heat and caused a bit of gap and leak over the summer of use. To my amazement the impeller was fine but three of the veins were flipped over and this causing a counter affect when the shaft was spinning. Ultimately, I’ll have to locate a new upper housing where the cup sits as I believe there is too much play as the water doesn’t make it’s way the top end. There’s always something when it comes to boat ownership but it sure was nice to get out and brought a cutt and some resident coho to the boat.
Lake Washington Coho are to be released while you can retain cutthroat.
Event though this post isn’t about fishing it is somewhat related. I’d recently met a neighbor whom I consider a friend. Even though Koji is the same age as my dad I consider him a friend. Although we have an age gap there is a mutual respect and love for all things fishing. I’ve helped him come along with salmon fishing as he’d never focused on the salmon until our paths crossed. I shared some sacred fishing ground with him with the explicit promise that he’d never divulge the spots and techniques and in return he was willing to share his secret Matsutake Pine mushroom locations with me.
I’ve tried to do some mushroom hunting in years past without any success. Without the knowledge of someone you can trust and or the specifics on what to look for and where it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. We left this morning around 10 am, the weather was cloudy and cool in Seattle but things would improve as the sun poked out and burned off the low clouds. The colors of the trees were so vibrant and I can’t recall ever really enjoying the changing of the leaves as did today. Scrub oak, maple and other trees which I can’t describe all with their reds, oranges, and yellows dotted the landscape and shimmered in all the glory. I thought that even if we didn’t get any Matsutake that it was still going to be a wonderful day.
I was a little skeptical since it’s been incredibly dry and we’ve had no measurable rain fall in almost 3 months. Once we parked the car and got out the ground was bone dry, no signs of rain or evidence of moisture anywhere. Lots of young fern shoots turning yellow and dried Elk droppings around. Koji pokes around and within minutes exclaimed that he found one. Quickly I went to go see and he showed me what to look for and how they grow. He said that we were lucky to find one as it was going to be tough. After about 30 minutes of rooting around we decided to do a loop and head back to the car. I did find some other suspect mushrooms but Koji described that they were not Matsutake due to the shape, color, smell and location they were growing.
I figured we drove all that way for 1 mushroom, but I was optimistic and kept searching. Another 15 minutes I spotted a pair and then a third. I confirmed with the criteria and indeed they were Matsutake. We decided to call it quits and head back home. What could we do with 4 medium sized mushrooms? I got some ideas from Koji and decided to make Ramen with a Matsutake broth along with defrosting some Westport Albacore to serve alongside.
We stopped at the local Asian market and Koji showed me his favorite ramen: Myojo Chukazanmai variety which is made in Japan but excellent in taste and noodle quality. I marinates the Albacore with some rock salt and seasonings and fired up the blow torch to surface sear the Albie. Atop the Ramen there were medium slices of Matsutake and a dollop of some freshly made Coho Ikura.
What an honor it is to have been able to locate these mushrooms with the expert help of my neighbor.