“The Falling in Place” is about a 50-minute long jet boat ride downstream from the lodge. I like this kind place name because you know there is always a story behind them. I like this particular place name even more because you won’t find this name on any map. The only place where it has any geographical meaning is within the oral history of a few Painter Creek Lodge fishing guides, a couple of sports who like to record where they caught a particularly nice fish, writers and the three women who fell in the river there several years ago. It wasn’t a deadly or sad kind of falling in at all. They were Painter Creek Lodge employees down there for an afternoon of fishing with lodge owner, Jon Kent, and over the course of that afternoon each one fell in the river. That’s all there is to it, but it’s the way of lot places get named in remote areas. Places like Bear Creek, Crazy Woman Creek, or if you want to switch to guide speak, the Tree Hole or the Family Pool or the Willow Bend Pool.
Today Jon and Patty Kent and I are heading downriver to the Falling in Place to see if the silver salmon have arrived there yet. Jon figures the first of pulse of silvers should be there, but it’s early and it’s always good to know where the fish are for sure..
Once there it doesn’t take us long to rig up—two 8-weight rods with floating lines and 7-foot long leaders which are nothing more than a 4-foot long butt section of 20-pound test Maxima with a 3-foot long section of 15-pound test blood-knotted to it. Nothing fancy. Jon’s rigging a weighted pink bunny to his tippet, so I knot an unweighted pink bunny to mine just to make sure we cover the water column.
When Jon drops his bunny into the water at his feet to strip some line out for his first cast a silver immediately takes it. Jon calmly says,” I guess they’re here.” He then quickly switches to a pink popper. The strikes on the poppers come less frequently, but they always do and it’s worth the wait to see the take.
Jon and Patty are switching off on one of the rods---He catches a salmon, releases it and then hands the rod over to Patty and vice versa. None of us are catching one fish after another, but the silvers are indeed here and in the coming weeks this this calm water will be filled with them.
Toward the bottom of the Fall in Place there is deeper, slower moving water that’s a perfect rest stop for the salmon heading upriver. We catch the brightest, strongest and heaviest fish of the day here.
“It’s only going to get better,” says Jon.