I had a fantastic day of salmon fishing on the Oregon coast with David Johnson’s Guide Service last week.
Now, admittedly, I had a couple of solid advantages in that, one: I spent the day fishing with my best friend, Chef Chris, who in compliance of our grand twenty-five years fishing tradition together caught both more, and much bigger fish that I did (it’s an unspoken understanding that we have) and, two: we’ve had the privilege of knowing David Johnson for almost the same amount of time, back before he was the unspoken authority and premier fishing guide here in the Pacific Northwest.
Our friendship goes all the way back to when he was just that nice kid who fished every single day.
I’m pretty sure that’s a habit he’s maintained during the two and a half decades since, as well. I’ll leave the personal anecdotes for some other time, and try to stick with a straight-up customer review.
First of all, David really goes out of his way to provide an exceptional fishing experience. Bait looking slightly worn? Run a line of over the rocks? Maybe just a little too much (or too little) weight on the line?
Dave is in constant motion making sure that everything is new, fresh and in top shape.
“Some guys,” David confided, “are really concerned about the overhead and will let clients run bait until it falls off the hook. I don’t do that. I want my clients to catch big fish and lots of ’em, because that’s what brings them back. Saving a couple of dollars by skimping on fresh bait isn’t how you make money in this business.”
What’s his biggest issue with clients?
“It’s getting the guys to keep their rods on the rod holders,” he laughs, “the men always want to hold the fishing rod and them WHAM try to set the hook on the first nibble. You’ll miss at least 90% of your strikes if you don’t wait until a salmon had solidly taken the bait and starts swimming away. Guy’s just wait for that. Listen to your guide, he WANTS you to catch fish ! Leave the rod in the rod holder!”
If you’ve spent any amount of time in the fishing circles of the NW you’ve probably come across David Johnson in magazines, TV or radio. He’s written or been featured in over 50 local and national magazines, hosted half a dozen TV shows and has been a regular guest on Portland and Seattle radio.
With a degree in Fisheries and a life time of fishing the North West and Alaska David knows the ins and outs of salmon, steelhead and sturgeon fishing. (From Dave’s website)
I couldn’t agree more. Although, in all fairness, I probably can’t give David all of the credit for the fact that our ship-mates, Don and Teri, were completely delightful people whom became boon companions by the time the first fish was landed. I’ll just attribute it to the fact that the level of quality service David provides attracts awesome clients, lol!
Follow a fantastic day of fishing with dinner at one of my all-time favorite brew pubs, The Pelican Brewery & Tap Room in Tillamook.
Smoked Cheddar Burger, beer-battered fries, and a Tsunami Stout with good friends old and new…can’t imagine how you could end a day much better than that!
Find out more about scheduling your own amazing trip at David’s website: David Johnson’s Guide Service
PS – You didn’t think I was going wax poetic about these lovely salmon and not give you some bait to plate ideas, did you?
Here a few of my favorite recipes to go along with those lovely fillets you’re gonna bring home…oh and be sure to subscribe to our blog over at SimplySmartDinnerPlans.com, as I’ll be posting a couple of new recipes there soon, including an amazing salmon chowder, a teriyaki salon collars, and how to make a delicious simple fish stock.
Oh, and here’s a helpful post to read before you try any of the above…
How to remove pin-bones from salmon