I grew up fishing and owning boats, spent plenty of time camping and fishing in Port Alberni, Bamfield, and Nanaimo, and I’ve spent all my vacations fishing on the west coast. But this fish story has its beginning indoors.
I was in the mall one day when I met a woman at a bedding store. We chatted for a while and eventually ended up texting and dating. It turned out she loves being on the boat and she loves fishing, and as time went on in our relationship, I knew I had met the one for me.
We spent a couple weeks fishing at China Creek and Bamfield, and we were having a blast. We had taken a bit of a break and came back to Nanaimo to relax for a night, do laundry, and check on our houses. The day we were going to leave to head back up to China Creek, I raced to the mall and bought an engagement ring.
I knew I wanted to propose to her on the boat but was stuck trying to find a clever way of doing it. Then it came to me. I grabbed a flasher from my shed and wrote “Will you marry me Sally” on it. I also went out and bought a fake ring to run behind the flasher (on a 6-ft leader of course, because that always seems to work for me).
I hid the flasher and fake ring until we got up to China Creek. I waited until she wasn’t looking and dropped it down to 38 ft, and we fished for about 15 minutes. It was around 4 p.m. outside of China Creek campground and we were trolling towards Lone Tree. When she was looking the other way, I tripped the downrigger gear and then told her she had a fish on. While she was playing the fish, I went in the cuddy and grabbed the real ring and put it in the front pouch of my hoodie.
I asked her if the fish was still on, and she said she thought so. I chuckled under my breath and was so excited I could hardly contain myself. Seconds later, she said it fell off, so I told her to bring in the gear and check the hook.
She saw the writing on the flasher and the fake little ring attached. I got on one knee and said, “I knew from the moment I met you that you were the one. I love you so much. Will you marry me?” She said yes and started to cry. After some hugging and kissing, I pulled out the real ring and put it on her finger.
That is how I caught the best one of my life. We kept fishing and minutes later had a spring in the boat, but it was nothing compared to how I felt knowing she was going to be my wife. When we came in, people asked how we did. I told them I got two—one small one and one really good one!
This article appeared in the January 2020 issue of Island Fisherman Magazine. Don’t miss another issue, subscribe today!