Salmon fishing? or insanity?
Written by Judy Long   
Tuesday, 15 February 2005 14:34
A little something for all you salmon fishers out there!

There are similarities in salmon fishing whether it is in the Pacific Ocean, the Great Lakes, or in the many rivers these fish enter during their life cycle. Each type of water has its challenges but some things remain the same- salmon and the excitement they create.

For the past three or four years I have taken part in our spring salmon season. During this period of time I have caught a fair number of fish, enabling me to consider myself initiated into our local, springtime, group insanity. I don?t really rate myself an expert but I feel that I have some insight into this salmon fishing business. I have decided there is a definite difference in attitudes and thought processes in folks fishing for Salmon compared to the typical steelhead fisherman.

Steelhead fishers just tend to enjoy the fishing experience and many times no fish are actually harvested. These people go through the day without having their hands tremble, or their voice shake and they behave in a relatively normal manner?..considering they are fisherman. Salmon fishing is an entirely different story. It is not uncommon to observe the fisher fidgeting with his rigging, or continually checking his tackle box for perhaps another ?lucky lure. This angler is totally preoccupied. His hearing seems to fade in and out?and when he does talk it is without a doubt about the fish. This is a salmon addict who is suffering from what seems to me a common condition that afflicts all those who participate in this activity!

?Why else would one get up three or four hours before it even starts to get light, just to make sure you beat the other anglers to that one special spot on the river? Or sit the entire day in pouring rain or wind or both and then turn around and do it again the next day and call it fun! All this just to catch a fish? but the object of this game is to get salmon in the box, or better yet lots of them in the box There is an undeniable mystic that goes with the mighty Chinook salmon. Anglers speak of its great strength and the long hard runs. These same people get a glazed eyed look about them as they recount the day?s activity.

There is a story for each fish, how it ran or jumped, the hard takedowns, and all the other exciting details of catching one of these coveted prizes.. After the days ?fun? is recounted a time or two it sounds as if the entire day was one grand experience. I sometimes can?t quite fit the day?s description with what my mind remembers?.Did I miss something? Were there more fish caught and I just forgot or am I totally loosing my mind too? Yes ?.salmon fishing. I do have to admit these fish can be very exciting, especially if you manage to get into a big one that can weigh as much as 25 to 35 pounds or bigger. That could truly be an experience which would get the old adrenalin going. Personally, I just don?t know if the overall experience is as grand as its image. Granted, these fish are about as good as it gets on the grille but the general fishing experience doesn?t feel all that wonderful to me.

Salmon fishing can be hours of pure boredom and physical discomfort with occasional moments of insane activity. My experience is the average salmon will have one to four good hard runs; they might even throw in a few jumps for interest. What tends to happen next is the fish surface and will trash roll while you are trying to drag them to the boat. This trashing can result in numerous lost fish, tangled lines and a generally ugly netting experience, all of which can result in a lot of foul language.

Visualize one large plug with a couple of hooks, one of which is attached to a fish that is rolling, thrashing and tangling in the netting. Sure makes for hazardous conditions when you need to extract that same fish from the net. Rolling, thrashing fish, hooks flying and your hand impaled on that loose hook. The other hook remains firmly attached to that huge monster that will not hold still! Not my idea of a good time. This situation would not be fun for anyone in the boat, especially the guy with his hand in the net. More foul language. Another problem I have with salmon is unless you are fishing their home waters (the general area they will be spawning in), you are at the mercy of traveling fish.

They are never still; always moving and you have no idea if there are fish anywhere near you. If you are not getting bites you just don?t know if the fish have lock jaw or they are somewhere else. That?s a confidence builder for sure, especially after you look at your watch for the tenth time in four hours and find it more interesting than the fishing pole that continues to throb without a tick or bump. Granted the boredom gives way to Keystone Cops activity if a fish finds one of your lures! That suicidal fish grabbing hold of your offering results in people scurrying, rods winding and reels screaming, the excitement of fish on!

Yes, Salmon fishing is an experience that can turn the most staid and sensible person into a glassy eyed, trembling puddle of excitement. It is that heart pounding, hand shaking dose of adrenalin that every salmon fisher looks forward to. It is a form of springtime insanity that occurs every year, pulling in members from all age groups. The fix for this problem is a wild, jumping, silver torpedo, which hopefully is bound for the BBQ.

Yep, salmon is the king, crowned by every hopeful fisherman!

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