Guest Post: Salmon Fishing Showdown

by Rebecca on November 16, 2009

in Salmon Fishing

~”Salmon Fishing Showdown” is written by my 14 year old daughter Kaitlyn. Enjoy!~

~Kaitlyn Fish On~

~Kaitlyn Fish On~

This was my first time salmon fishing. Robert and my Mom, Rebecca, kept chuckling when they looked at me, for I hadn’t stopped grinning since the moment they told me we were going salmon fishing.

I was imagining a leisurely fishing trip with the family, but I had no idea what was to come. All I knew, as I headed far into the mountains of Idaho, was that salmon fishing wasn’t going to be like fly fishing for trout, or sturgeon, crappie, blue gills, or any fish I have fished before.

Getting there felt like an eternity, I had to ask, “So, just how far back in the mountains is this place?” Robert, seemingly unsurprised by me asking that, simply answered, “Only about 40 miles more. It just seems longer because you have to go unreasonably slow on these mountainous roads.”  We finally got there and the first thing I asked was  “So, when are we gonna go fishing?”  “After we unpack,” they answered in unison.

“Ugh,” the sound escaped my mouth before I could stop it, resulting in me earning two glares. I hate unpacking, I would absolutely love trips if there wasn’t the whole packing and unpacking part. Thankfully it didn’t take too long.

They had to be joking. I stood there staring at the torrent of white water in front of me. Eventually, I turned to them, with a look of disbelief on my face and said, “I’m supposed to fish in that? You must be kidding! I doubt you could catch a fish in that water.” But they just said, “Trust us.” I probably wouldn’t have listened to them if there hadn’t been a line of people casting lines into the rapids.

Before I could join the line of people trying their luck fishing, I had to learn the Salmon Fishing System. The rules are pretty simple, and as long as you follow them other fishermen and women won’t get angry at you.

Salmon Fishing System:
     1. 1st come 1st serve. If you want a spot you have to be the first person on the river to claim it.
     2. Just because you got a spot one day doesn’t mean you get it the next day.
     3. And whatever you do, if you have a desirable spot, don’t leave it or else it may be gone by the time you go back to it.
     4. Stay in turn. This is a major one. If you don’t pay attention and stay in turn most people will skip you after 5 seconds. DO NOT GO OUT OF TURN, this is the difference between life and death. When you go out of turn you are casting over other people’s lines and will get them in a giant birds nest (knot). This tends to make most fishermen extremely angry.
     5. Yell “Fish On!” at the top of your lungs if you have a fish on the line. For fish go up and down river trying to get off the line. If you don’t yell it may tangle with other lines, making the other fishermen angry and resulting in you losing the fish.
     6. If someone yells fish on, reel in your line like there is no tomorrow. You never want to be responsible for a person losing their fish.

After mom explained this to me, we started heading down river to practice. When we got down far enough that they wouldn’t count us into the group, I was shown the drift I wanted to catch. It took me awhile to get the hang of casting the new reel I had gotten just for this, but when I did, my mom and I started working our way back up to the group. Eventually we were a part of the action and I had been introduced to many of the people on the river.

Robert holding Kaitlyns Big Fish

Robert holding Kaitlyns Big Fish

They were all incredibly nice and patient for the newcomer, and were constantly giving me tips, even if some of them contradicted themselves. One even offered to let me use some of his pre-tied baits. Eventually I felt a sharp tug on my line. I yanked with all my might, the fish stayed on the line.

“Fish on!!!” I hollered to the people around me. Everyone started reeling as fast as their reels would let them. After a long tough fight, I got the fish to the shore. The disappointing part was that it was native wild salmon so we had to take it out of the net and let it go really fast. But I was still ecstatic. I was bursting with pride and joy that I had actually caught a fish. Many people had been fishing for days and not even had a bite. As we quickly set my beloved slimy salmon in the water to let it go, congratulations coming from all directions, I knew I was instantly hooked on salmon fishing.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get another fish to the shore the rest of the trip. Though I still had loads of fun with my new fishing friends.

During this trip I learned many lessons, and was reminded of many, too.. The biggest lesson was to wait my turn. If you don’t wait while in the line you can infuriate many people by casting over and tangling their lines. Another lesson, is to pay attention and not slack off because if you do, you may miss your chance. You may never get another chance like it, and you‘ll never know what would have come out of it.



{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

RobNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

Very nice Kaitlyn!

BTW! I think you take great photos. Just because they’re artsy doesn’t mean they’re bad! I like to do the same thing with my camera because there are 15 zillion and 1 photos straight up and down. Read my post about fly fishing photography!

Tell your mom I said heya!



RickNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Kailtyn well done! I loved reading about your trip salmon fishing. You are so right about those rules, but they make everything easier for all the lines in the water. I’m so glad you got your salmon and you had a great time.
Keep Fishing and keep writing about it


DavidNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Nice fish! You tell a good story. I hope you catch a lot more fish like that over your whole life.


ClifNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 5:50 pm

Good work Kaitlyn, your fish is a beauty.

Pro tip: If you never stop traveling you’ll never need to unpack.


JohnNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

What a great post! Sounds like a trip that created memories for many years. I often remember similar trips with my family as a young man. Learning and following those rules build good character in my book, kudos for giving the extra 10%. A native fish of any kind is a trophy in my book! Nice fish!!!

Keep up the great work, looking forward to many more from you.


bawbNo Gravatar November 16, 2009 at 10:40 pm

B B Bubba! Loved your story and what a great fish you have!


MelNo Gravatar November 17, 2009 at 12:21 am

Very well done, Kaitlyn! Enjoyed reading your salmon fishing story and glad that it turned out successful for you. Hopefully, your mom will have you do other guest posting efforts.


kirkNo Gravatar November 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm

Nicely detailed report, Kaitlyn- you write good (must be genetics)!
Now you’ll have to go back and catch another one on a fly ; )

Keep up the good work!


DaleNo Gravatar November 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Great fish Kaitlyn.

I never could bring myself to fish that kind of water for very long. It always seemed that I spent more time casting than actually fishing. Sooo, kudos for hanging in there.

Good story, you should write some more the the site. I know a few stories you could tell that everyone would like. the bear hunt the soup can among others.

By, keep them coming



KaitlynNo Gravatar November 18, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Thank you everyone!!!!

Thanks for the support. I’ll absolutely write another story if my mom will let me. I’m glad you liked the story of my experience.



Grandpa/DanNo Gravatar November 18, 2009 at 11:33 pm

Great story, must be the genes. I can picture the line of fisherman, in sequence, at the choice hole, after the big fish. The experience is another part of your life the majority of kids never get. Waiting for the next story.


Bass FishingNo Gravatar November 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Great photo and great fish.


She's So Fly - Sherri RussellNo Gravatar November 21, 2009 at 7:59 am

Great Story. This is what fishing is all about – the unexpected, learning new things and of course the excitement of the catch!


Kentucky JimNo Gravatar December 2, 2009 at 10:37 am

Fun read, Kaitlyn. Keep writing. I enjoyed your story very much.


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