Emergency Opening = Trip for B-Run Pumpkins on Big, Greasy Puget System

I know you and I were all surprised about the WDFW emergency opening for Pumpkin Harvest on a redacted River I mean, talk about insomnia last night. See I had a hunch something like this might happen, the escapement was way above expected, there were over 20000 pumpkins at Sunset Falls by November 1st so things were looking good, and better yet with the 3rd wettest start to November, ever, you just knew they, as in pôhpukun or Cucurbita would be floating West. With Thanksgiving coming up, the idea of cooking Pumpkin pie with the meat obtained from within a can was about as appealing as listening to anyone talk about 3 weights. Nope, I was ready to hunt, to harvest. See I think about this stuff all year, and now, all systems, per WDFW, were go.

I stayed up late tying some new flies. I checked my leader, greased my reel, put on some clean underpants. And while Mrs Boot tried to distract me with less appealing adult entertainments, I instead read up on Lester Johnson's Top Flies for Sea Run Pumpkins from an ancient back issue of the unfortunately now defunct 1971 September issue of Vegetable Growths, Model Plane Builds and Fly Fisherman magazine. I gotta admit the centrefold from 1971 stirred something in me, the giant Cucurbita, still on their autumnal vines, posed seductively in a wheelbarrow beside a wicker creel stuffed with Mirror Carp alongside a remarkable model of a Supermarine Spitfire in big deuce North African Livery..... well Mrs Boot would have to wait.

To calm myself down a notch or two, the last thing I did before falling asleep was read the forecast discussion page from the National Weather Service, including the Marine, Aviation and Long Term model forecasts. To reduce that excitement for you, the next day was NOT going to be the bleak wall of rain as suggested earlier in the week, instead, a promise of low wind and clear morning skies, some sun even....

Now, I know a lot of you have been direct messaging me and asking me basically the same question "Boot, how can I up my Puget Sound Coconut Pumpkin game" and so I thought I'd take you through it, step by step, share my excitement so to speak, excepting of course the one thing that you gotta figure out on your own.... Out of respect to Les, and the no doubt now dead editors of VGMPBAFF magazine, I'm not going to tell you what fly to use, what rock to stand on, what line, what Redington Vice 6 Weight Purchased from Stonedfish to use. No sir, there are some things I will NOT tell.

But I will show you some of the things that happened, and maybe, if you are familiar with these tools and techniques, you can take a pencil and jot down some plans of your own, so as to build your voyage, your magic, your own adventure.

Anyways, the trip started with a little leaf removal from my aqueous steed, aka the brown barge...
I drove a ways, thrilled to see Puget Sound was still, the weather was holding, though it was cold.

Fog was leaking out of the mountain valleys but the slight coastal breeze kept the salt side clear. Hopefully clear enough to see Pumpkin. I just knew they had to be there, somewhere

A fresh coat of snow graced the high peaks, cormorants had been working, drying off, their inability to fly with Pumpkins of larger size meant there was a good, dare I say excellent, possibility big Pumpkins were around.

Pretty soon I spied a pair of Bald Eagles who had commandeered an old Osprey nest. they were behaving weird, like maybe they were protecting whatever it was they were eating in case I might steal it
As I got closer I noticed something, something that jacked my heart rate up, way up.
Can you see it?

Well look closely at the bird on the right's beak-


That's right- that bird's been eating some B-run pumpkin, for sure. The two of must have cooperated to fly a big-ass pumpkin up into that well of sticks. And now they were chowing down on Cascade's finest fall fruit, caught, unequivocally, within one hundred yards of where I was !

Well as we all know when it comes to Puget Sound Pumpkins the old saying from like the Prophecy or something goes like this: "Two Puget Sound Pumpkins there always are"

My hands were starting to shake, the prospects seemed to be coming together well.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of the jumping pumpkin! I scanned the horizon, just like Immortan Joe does on Mad Max Fury Road...........and there....there it was
A flume of spray worthy of the Great White pumpkin itself....

I waited and watched...maybe it would show again.

Everyone knows, or maybe if they read Les's article in Vegetable Growths, Model Plane Builds and Fly Fisherman Pumpkin can dive up to a mile and stay down for 45-50 minutes at a time. But sooner or later, just like Russian Submariners, they have to come up to breathe again.

I figured I would wait an hour, ten hours if need be. I took a pull from my flask of coffee sweetened with scoops of arguably the finest vanilla ice cream you can buy, QFC's Private Selection Classic Country Vanilla. And then a rush, a well of ascending bubbles, I spat the coffee and some of the vanilla goodness back into the sea, grabbed my camera to see if maybe, just maybe, I could capture a jumping pumpkin. I flicked the mode to SPORT on the SOny Rx 10 on account of not being too bright when it comes to cameras and settings and such, and pointed towards the bubble feed, and damnit if it didn't just show again, taunting me, 100 yards off.....

But I got the shot....
I stalked that pumpkin, followed its bubble trail and soundings over the mud channels and towards the flats.

I knew where this guy was heading. See, Les fessed up in that awesome article a lil' nugget about the 'ol Puget Cucurbita. These Pumpkins love to work the same shallow water traps as the herons, but the two compete with each other over what they can eat. And what with the racket this guy was making, these guys spooked, took off. That flight though was my tell. The pumpkin was close by, presumably now very close to within casting range

I started stripping line, barely able to keep the coffee and Private Selection A-Grade Vanilla influences on my essential tremor in check. My excitement made my hands shake like crazy. I lay down some casts, varied my retrieve, but nothing. Then I noticed just the most subtle orange hue that could be seen from any commercial satellite or person possessing color vision. Barely discernable, this near fluorescent 300 watt globe of glowing orange stuck out among the muted greys, browns and greens of the swampy backwater where I was and the Herons no longer were. It was pretty damn well close to invisible, and yet, towards this subtle Orange Moon complete with its own gravity, I tossed my fly.

I had to remind myself, whatever you do, don't trout set, the B Run multiple-frost Pumpkin often has a mouth of mush and mold.
Don't trout set.
I said it again, frost with my breath. My heart was beating with perhaps occasional non sustained ventricular tachycardia.

And then, the strike, subtle at first, like maybe you hook a rotten cantaloupe or decaying head of cauliflower.

Don't trout set.

I strip set, gently, and damn well everything went basically nuts.

The fight was like hooking a bathmat, like a really plush one, not a shitty little cheap towel-like excuse that your Marxist brother would think is OK on account of him thinking a good bathmat is the sign of corporate dupe/elemental fool

The rod (Stonedfish's old 6 weight Redington Vice) was bowed like you might see when you tie a five-pound bag of rotting grapefruit onto the rod tip to see just how much arch and creak the Vice really has. Man well this thing didn't even protest, but looked like a green letter U turned upside down. One of the U ends was my reel, the other end was the line, pointing straight at that B-run Pumpkin sitting immobile in a bunch of high tide debris. I horsed that thing. I fought it for maybe 5 seconds or more before it had too much lactic acidosis and rolled over like the gummable bitch it was. It was unbelievable, probably the best fight I have ever had fighting a pumpkin in all my years of pursuing Cucurbita and/or Coconuts in Puget Sound.

Beads of sweat were not coating my face, but I wiped away the tear of joy so I could get down to the serious business of keeping it wet and getting a photo.

And here it is my friends, a perfect Mid November B Run Puget Pumpkin......


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Life of the Party
Forum Supporter
I was totally skunked this year…. Dragged the nine weight out knowing it would be tough go… the floater, an intermediate and a sink tip 3 and all failed. The Baby Ruth and the Reese Cuo fly wasn’t working. Tough year. Think they gone for the impossible candy. Beet and eggplant candy product. It’s a new world and the trout are adapting too. 😉


Life of the Party
Well I took care of a small one of these pumpkinfuckers... pie is on it's way! Not my thing, but it's my mothers birthday and she loves her pumpkin pie.. will stay away from the water today, as I'm sure there will be retribution if the pumpkin's find out I pied one of them... they're mean!20231121_044706.jpg
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