In Honor of all types of Fishing…

by Rebecca on June 11, 2010

in Fishing Observations, Salmon Fishing

~The Idaho Native Way of Fishing for Salmon~

In the last 6 weeks I’ve somewhat fallen off the Fly Fishing wagon and traded in my version of Fine Wine fishing for a 12 pack of Keystone light. First I kept a perfectly good fly rod strapped to the front of a warp speed Bass Boat and tried my hand at fishing for Smallies like the Bass Pros do it.

I had a great time, but snuck down to the river confessional later that evening to try for Bass on my Fly Rod. I discovered that if you cheat on your Fly Rod, it does forgive…

Next I left my Fly Fishing gear in the FishCruiser so I could partake in some Salmon gluttony over the next few weekends….the regular old fishing style. I’ve tried to justify this Fly Fishing infraction by the factual circumstances. 1) All my Fly Fishing rivers were closed until the end of May! And 2) If I were to march down on the riverbank to the communal fishing hole with a Fly Rod, I’d get promptly drowned.  May– Salmon season on the Little Salmon— it’s my new Fly Fishing exemption rule to a whole years worth of water swatting.

When I go up Salmon fishing, I encounter another form of fishing community that I’m not part of, but have spent time observing and asking a lot of questions. The Northern Idaho Natives engage in their own form of fishing that to the casual observer might appear ‘easier’ or less difficult than the way we are required to fish for the salmon.

I admit that I used to think the same thing –easier–  in perhaps the same way I’d come to think of Fly Fishing is more difficult than the standard variety of fishing. In regards to gaffing or dip netting, I’ve witnessed how preconceived notions can add a layer of tension over a river. However, in the last few weeks I’ve come to understand the Natives way is indeed difficult and takes skill, practise, patience and know-how that must be learned to catch fish their way. In other words, some catch a lot of fish, some catch a few fish and others barely catch any fish. Fishing, no matter the form, does not show favoritism.

Maybe I’ve been gently knocked off my Fly Fishing high horse over the last month and my horizons have been broadened by being open minded. I’ve caught fish that haven’t been on my radar, I’ve met new and interesting people from all walks of life and I’ve gathered a new respect for all types of fishing……not just the one I personally prefer.

Truth is, fishing comes in all shapes and sizes, forms and techniques and for the record, I’d like to add ’humbling hatchet’ under its definition as well.


Photo Credit:
By my Fishing Friend & Photographer extraordinaire Bryan Forsmann


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

RobNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

I’m a bit upset that I didn’t get to go on any of these adventures :(


KirkNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 9:29 am

Good on ye for embracing more than just fly fishing. All forms of recreational fishing are fine and dandy and acceptable. None is any better than the other- it’s just a matter of personal preference. However, the mindset of the angler is another matter: not all anglers, regardless of their fish catching method share the same philosophy about respecting the resource. Catch and keep is fine where allowed- I myself love to bonk a hatchery fish or keep a fish or two from a sustainable resource. And I think traditional native methods of catching are admirable, but don’t get me started about tribal gill netting of wild fish. I better stop here ;)


ClifNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 9:41 am

I would like to see a little less excitement, adventure and enlightenment on your blog. Stay in your box Rebecca! :)


RebeccaNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 11:33 am

@Rob ~ well, you just need to ditch those beautiful Florida days and come up to rain central and join me on all the adventures……invites always open.

@Kirk ~ I bonk hatchery brats myself. Mighty fine eating. I’ve never watched tribal gill netting of wild fish. I fear it would not sit well in my preserve the resource mindset. Watching individual Natives gaf or dip net on a 20 foot pole was fascinating to watch.

@Clif ~ Gasp! You mean you want me to sit home and watch fishing programs on TV? =)


ClifNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Only trout fly fishing TV programs.


ken morrowNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm

rebecca, rebecca, rebecca…

broadening one’s comprehension and knowledge are never a bad thing. and in spite of what many fly anglers like to think, it’s just a different way of catching fish. we’re all still fishing. and it is, when all is said and done, just fishing.

the fastest and easiest way i’ve ever lost my serenity in life is by taking myself too seriously.


MelNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Rebecca, just wanted to add that I enjoyed this post, not for the big fish, or fishing drama, but, for the way you stated your thoughts. Nice job! I hope anglers from all walks of the fishing scene take some time to give this some thought.


ColoradoAnglerNo Gravatar June 11, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I concur, Garlock – even though my loyalty is with the long rod.

So does this mean you can also appreciate the ‘art’ of using dynamite to fish?


WolfyNo Gravatar June 12, 2010 at 8:43 am


You KNOW that, to me, fishing is fishing. Yes, I love the allure of the fly rod, the mystique, beauty, … associated with it. For me, when stream trout fishing, it is the ONLY way to go.

But I also love to throw 3 oz. bucktails on jerkbait rods for giant pike, troll bonito for hungry roosterfish, and flip 1 oz. jigs into heavy slop for largemouth.

I just love to fish, and EVERY aspect of fishing holds some kind of magic for me.

As always, very nice post and perspective



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