When John Scalf tells his granddaughter about the big fish that almost got away, she’ll have to believe him.
He has the photo to prove it.
The Marysville resident and 12-year veteran of the waters of Rivers Inlet, B.C. — about 75 miles north-northeast of the tip of Vancouver Island — reeled in a 47 1/2-inch chinook salmon on Aug. 1 with fishing partner Dale Smith. With the bite, the thrill of the chase was on.
The fish was moving quickly, with about 200 yards of line already out before Scalf and Smith left their rods dangling as they began their pursuit.
“I told Dale to go, go, go, hit the gas, I’m almost out of line,” Scalf recalled.
After several runs, the fish finally slowed and surfaced, about 75 yards out from the boat. Hardly the kind of fish that could be reeled in, the guys edged the boat closer until finally Smith was able to scoop the fish into his net. It took both of the men to lift the salmon into the boat.
When Scalf went to weigh the fish on his 60-pound scale, it buried the needle. They weighed it again at Dawson Landing where the salmon came in at 75 pounds.
That measurement made Scalf’s fish one of the largest to be weighed at Dawson Landing in the last 50 years.
“It was so large it would not fit in my fish box,” Scalf said. “Dale grabbed the Crown Royal and a toast we had.”