fish blog

The Good ‘Ol Days

This was my last weekend of total freedom before I get my exam score back and it’s likely back to books. I took advantage of it and fished both days for a change.

There were a few fish caught, all wild fish, and great weather.

I got new waders Friday (very much needed) so I was excited to break them in except, for some reason, Jeff thought it was a good idea to remove them from my truck and not replace them with my rain gear. I did maliciously eat his lunch but after 2 bites I felt guilty and offered it back to him since it wasn’t intentionally. Thankfully, the weather held up most of the day so it was just a bit wet before heading home for the weekend.

I skipped the detailed story of my weekend trip because what I wanted to talk about was the state of our fisheries. Although I’ve fished for over 12 years, I don’t have 20, 30, 40 years under my belt. The “old timers” share stories of how fishing used to be. I’ve always wanted to be a part of “those days”. The fishing hasn’t quite been the same the past two years as it was my first 10 years and I mostly attributed that to my lack of fishing because I was studying but now I’m wondering if we’re coming out of “the good ‘ol days” and moving into a slump. This year I’ve heard from almost everyone that the fish just aren’t here. The salmon never really showed up. The steelhead don’t seem to have hit their peak although the runs are almost over.

Sure, there are good days here and there and maybe there are more during the week when I’m at work, but to hear to many people mention that they don’t know where the fish are and on multiple systems has me wondering if this is the is part of the Ebb in our fish history. Or, perhaps I just haven’t been as lucky as other years and the stars don’t align like they used to on the weekends. I am an analyst and I like to observe and collect as much data as I can before coming to conclusions. The fishery system and the way its managed could take a lifetime to truly understand and I’m eager to free up some space in my head to continue to learn these trends and factors contributing to our fisheries.


The Search Continues For The Lucky Hat…

I went out fishing with another new hat this weekend to see if it was lucky. Just in case, I brought a back up. ;)

We started out the day really slow. Nothing for several hours and then I switched the hat. The water coincidently warmed up 2 degrees around the same time. Within 5 minutes of putting on a trusted hat, Jeff’s hooked a fish! He lost it pretty quickly but it was the most excitement we’ve seen so far! Then, within the next pass, Jeff’s uncle Wes was hooked up! He landed a hot little hatchery hen and we had one in the box!

At this point, we definitely were thanking the trusted hat and talking about turning the brand new hat into a “grocery store” hat. I really like this hat so I didn’t want to throw in the towel that easy so I switched it again to give it one more shot.

Jeff hooked up again and it was a nice 14 lb’er! It was getting quite cold again and the fishing pretty much died down so we called it a day and headed home before we got miserable.

We had a friend flake out Sunday so we decided to run errands and I got craft (I have a wedding to plan by July!) but it was so nice to be out once again with no agenda and nothing to worry about afterwards. I didn’t care when I got home. There were no lingering thoughts of other things that I could be doing. I didn’t care about work. I didn’t care about anything except fishing. This is what it’s supposed to be like and what I’ve been missing the past 2 years while I worry about studying. Soon, I’ll be back to this mindset all the time!

I’m still a little bit unsure about my new hat and think I’ll give it another try next time I’m out, but I’m definitely still superstitious about my hats!