A Little Voodoo Goes a Long Way when Fishing the Tributaries of the Columbia
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
Gary brings Voodoo doughnuts, these things 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
There seem to be endless salmon stacked up in the
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
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
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
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
There is some seriously good mojo at the North
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.