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A Little Voodoo Goes a Long Way when Fishing the Tributaries of the Columbia River (continued)


We then made our way back to Edge headquarters and got a few hours of sleep as we prepared for our last day of fishing, this time with Edge prostaffer and guide, Ron Holt, and the man himself…. Gary Loomis. Our target, a section of the Lewis River just five minutes downriver from Edge called the “Meat Hole.” At 5AM Gary picked us up and brought with him a big box of Voodoo Doughnuts, a local favorite.


Gary brings Voodoo doughnuts, these things are disgustingly awesome


These are probably some of the oddest, and amazing, doughnuts we have ever had. We’re talking doughnuts covered in Captain Crunch, Coco-Puffs, banana chunks and cinnamon and our favorite maple frosting with bacon. These over the top doughnuts were pretty incredible and we ate our fill as we started fishing.


The morning on the Lewis is foggy and many boats crowd the "Meat Hole"


Gary can tell you a million amazing stories and you get him started on graphite and he will take you to technical levels that will blow your mind, but the minute we were ready to fish he transformed. “Ok guys, no more talking, time to fish,” he said.


Cal works a fish back to the boat


I thought he was joking but he was dead serious. It was all fun and games until it was time to wet the line and Gary seriously gets in the zone. I called his name and he didn’t even hear me, as he was so focused on hover fishing. While the rest of us had our rods on the rail Gary was the one angler in the boat that had his rod locked under his arm and his finger on the line, always ready to detect the slightest of bites, and he did that all morning long. The only time he spoke was between fish.


There seem to be endless salmon stacked up in the Meat Hole


I don’t know if it was the Lewis River, the Edge rods or the Voodoo infused in those disgustingly awesome doughnuts but we caught them good. We landed more King Salmon and even a pretty Coho moving up and down a drift that we could have easily cast end to end. In this tight spot there were over 25 boats doing the rotation, each waiting their turn.


Boats take turns running up and down the Meat Hole


A very clean Silver caught in the Meat Hole


I asked Gary if this was the usual amount of pressure for a Sunday and he remarked “this is actually pretty light, I’ve fished here when there have been 100 boats, let’s just say you don’t bring a boat with a fancy paint job into the hole, you’re going to get banged up.”


"You know it takes a real man to eat when you're already full" - Gary Loomis


After catching all those fish Gary reached back into the Voodoo box and offered us more doughnuts. At this point Cal and I had pretty much used up our calorie count for the entire week. Gary was persistent and yet we still declined. He didn’t take no for an answer and said “you know it takes a real man to eat when you’re already full.” We all burst out laughing and suffice to say we finished the box.


Gary makes long casts with his latest rod creation


The rest of the morning we caught a few more fish but the real pleasure was learning about Gary’s passion for all things fishing. He had countless stories about his various trips to exotic destinations and when we talked about the rod building business he was like a talking encyclopedia of graphite design. Once in a while we were interrupted by other anglers eager to say hello to Gary.


Sampling what Edge has to offer


He was like a celebrity on the water and at one point we even pulled alongside another boat so that he could hand over a rod and experience the latest Edge blanks. Cal joked it was like a drug deal “the first hit is always free.” Sure enough the guide in the other boat didn’t want to give the rod back by morning’s end.


By noon the fog has lifted at the Meat Hole


After two and a half days of intense fishing we had boated more salmon than I ever remember catching. Jon and Gary were gracious hosts and it was great to see Edge flourishing. The team is passionate about designing and manufacturing the highest quality rods. Rods that are not only are effective but rods that anglers will be excited to fish with. Jon talked about his desire to not just build a rod in the U.S. but build it out of as much domestic content as possible. Everything from the graphite to handles and winding checks are manufactured in America.


There is some seriously good mojo at the North Fork


Gary has had his hand in many of the rod companies in the region and after spending an incredible weekend fishing with the team it really isn’t a surprise that Woodland Washington is such a catalyst for American rod building, with brands like Lamiglas, G.Loomis and now Edge all spawned on the banks of the Columbia. This is an ideal environment for rod innovation, filled with anglers passionate about fishing and fishing tackle, and as we flew back to the Bay Area all we could think of was just how magic the rivers and the fish that swim in them are. Maybe it’s still the sugar talking but in our minds there really is some serious Voodoo mojo at work up at the North Fork.      










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