Tuesday, January 3, 2012

No Ink

Saturday concluded my first year fishing for salmon and steel in the fine rivers here in NW Oregon and my tags have nothing to show for it. I started working at a new job last Jan and wasn't able to chase the steel. When April rolled around I was busy getting Littlefisher hooked on trout at Hagg Lake and Dorman Pond instead of chasing springers. The end of May through October was spent with Littlefisher and I chasing cutties on Gales Creek, the Wilson, and Nehalem. For the remainder of the year the rain and my work schedule could not sync up. We only had two really good rains for the fall season, just before Thanksgiving and right after Christmas. Both blew out the rivers and left me with only two decent opportunities in November and December. I fished both those days hard but so did everyone else.

Littlefisher stalking the cutties.
Thankfully I'm not basing the success of the year on filling in little boxes on my tag. Littlefisher thought catching planter trout at the lake was alright. She was duly excited for her first one, but she was still more interested in catching frogs, bugs, and snakes during our lake outings. She turned the corner when the rivers opened for trout. On our first outing she was introduced to the acrobatic cutties on the Wilson. It was a great day and we both played at least a dozen fish. On the way home I asked her if she wanted to go back to the lake and she replied, "No way dad, the river fish are so much better!". We spent the rest of the summer on the rivers chasing fish. Nearly every weekend had at least one day where we were in the open air exploring the rivers. We were warmed by the sun, cooled by the waters, and soaked in the beauty of uncultivated places.

There was also success with actually catching fish. On our summer trout outings I averaged about seven fish played fish per trip. Of those I kept four, three were hooked in ways that would have killed them. One just flat out looked to tasty to let go. Late in the spring run I managed a clipped chinook jack that didn't need to be tagged. I landed a beautiful native coho hen in late October but the quota had already been hit for the Wilson so off she went. Through November and December I released a few boot black nooks.

For this year Littlefisher and I both have tags. With all the experience from last year, I look forward to us both enjoying our time together on the water. We might even get some ink!


  1. I ABSOLUTELY love that you are doing this with your daughter. KEEP IT UP!

  2. Nice, really nice. What we need in this world is more women fishers, good for you. Thanks for stopping by Windknots, I appreciate it and I'll be following along.