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.

Rebecca

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

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Fishing, Intimate-(ly)

by Rebecca on June 3, 2010

in Outdoor Photo Journal

~Feelin' the Salmon Love~

When you are fishing and the general rumor floating upstream is, “In So & So hole, they are catching 5 salmon every 5 minutes” and you let curiosity get the better of you, there’s a good chance  you’ll find yourself toying with a situation that looks a lot like temporary fishing insanity.

Especially on Memorial Day Weekend.

I gave it precisely 3 casts. The first cast caught me a big burly guy who smiled all 4 of his teeth at me when I surgically amputated my line off his. The second cast made it through the spider web with flying colors (and a thank you to the fishing gawds) and the third cast caught me 1 salmon and at least five other lines. That was all the fun and insanity I could take =)

The places I fished this last weekend were crowded, but nothing like the insanity I participated briefly in shown above. As much as I bemoan the combat fishing, there is something to be said about a large group of people hanging out fishing together. Dare I say, (believe it or not) the communities that form on the riverbanks are both interesting and entertaining. In other words, I had another great weekend……….

Rebecca

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Salmon Smile

Have any of you ever experienced the phenomenon of fishing that is so amazing, so unbelievably perfect that you feel like all the stars aligned and the Fairy Godmother of Fishing has swooped down, covered your gear with fishy gold dust, granted you 24 hours of the most perfect casts and extraordinary drift presentation known to man WITH willing, eager fish?

Or, in simple terms. You went on a fishing trip and it rocked. BOO-YAHH

Well that was me—- specifically on Monday 5/17/2010. Fairy fishing dust, aligned stars, perhaps a whole years of good fishing karma used up on one historical (for me) day of salmon fishing. I’m still grinning like a fool from the whole experience which trumps the other lasting effects like the pretty bruises and the questionable internal injuries I’m still feeling from that day. 

~More Salmon in the Fiesta~

This is how I claimed my piece of perfection. I found a magic rock to stand on. I found a honey hole slot that the salmon were moving (piling) through. I figured out the exact weight to use and the perfect length of leader. Somehow I figured out the exact spot to cast into without snagging up and just how far down the slot to guide my line before I needed to recast or more often than not, set the hook.

I set the hook a lot. So often that Slayer (who was struggling for much of the day) started counting my fish on, fish in the net, fishing broke off, totals. At this point I think he did that because on some level his fishing ego was on the line, but thankfully by the end of the day he was doing fine himself. Since he counted (I never do) I’ll share. Evidently I caught into 58 salmon.  Out of those 58,  I got 31 int0 the net. At the end of the day my jello arms and wounded body parts agreed with those numbers as well.

~Last Salmon of the Night~

However~ big numbers, sore arms, impaling of the butt of my rod into my ribcage and a melted reel aside, I did something else that day that made it beyond special. A little gal, age 14, came along the river with her dad. I asked her if she had caught any salmon over the weekend and she replied, “well, I hooked two in 3 days, but they broke off really fast.” Insta-mission for me.

I told her to grab her rod and I took her down to my magic rock. I made her swear to keep the magic to herself and showed her my exact line of casting and drifting. Magic I tell ya ~ Savannah caught (and for once I DID count) exactly 7 salmon in one hour. She rocked it and dropped the jaws of about 20 other fisherman around. I was one extremely proud instructor. Just when I didn’t think anyones grin on that river could get any bigger than mine, Savannahs smile blew right by my own. Priceless………

I’m not sure when my next magical fishing day will happen again. I know I tried to re-enact the scenario again this last weekend only to be rightfully (and without mercy) humbled back into realistic expectations ~ salmon fishing can be tough. Doesn’t matter though, I had my day, the one that will carry me all through the year. Boo-yahh

Rebecca

~ It was a good day...a really good day....~

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~ Here little fishies....here.....~

I just got home a few hours ago from 5 days of fishing and camping. I’m beat up, bruised, my fingers are all sliced up, and I’m dead ass tired. I’m also impossibly behind on all things correspondence, Internet and mowing the grass BUT~ I’m still grinning like a fool.

So what’s the reason for my unlikely smile in the face of all that whining? Well here, I’ll show you. Plus this will let you know I haven’t been slacking off for the last five days. Oh no, I’ve been busy doing important stuff.

To Start my Fishing Fiesta off last Thurday I went to another lake! As in a boat…..Bass, Crap-eezz & whatever else landed on my fly.
I know, I don’t know whats happening to me.

And then…..and then I went salmon fishing.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words right?

~I caught a lot of these big boys~

Tonight I just thought I would share a photo and say
 ”Hi, hello, if you haven’t tried Salmon fishing lately, I highly recommend it.”

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