"I still don't know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel. But I do know that if it were not for the strong, quick life of rivers, for their sparkle in the sunshine, for the cold grayness of them under rain and the feel of them about my legs as I set my feet hard down on the rocks or sand or gravel, I should fish less often. A river is never quite silent; it can never, of its nature, be quite still, it is never the same from one day to the next. It has a life of its own beauty, and the creatures it nourishes are alive and beautiful also. Perhaps fishing is, for me, only an excuse to be near rivers. If so, I'm glad I thought of it."........Roderick Haig Brown, 1946 [More]
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I am not really much of a fisherman, but the passionate enthusiasm of the rest of my Norwegian family on the part of my brothers and father more than makeup for my failures. I do however like to fish for Chinook and Silvers once a year in the salt water. Though I have tried river fishing a couple of times, it doesn't appeal to me. Oh I know the beauty of sitting beside a ribbon of water, watching it's ceaseless flow and listening to its salmon wend upstream, but to fish I like the salt. Its great body varied in moods, rimmed by islands and its depths filled with mystery and life. Mentally, I find fishing very restful. Physically, I think its a disaster - rocking in a small boat for more hours than I care to remember and certainly for longer periods than I would tolerate any other activity with only sporadic bursts of energy. This is not good exercise. But like childbirth, the occasional moment between the strike and the landing are indeed exhilarating enough to put aside all the time between. The sport is called fishing, not catching.
"If you want to be happy for a moment get drunk. If you want to be happy for 3 days get married. If you want to be happy for a week kill your pig and eat it. If you want to be happy for life learn to fish."
For those interested, my brother Richard and a fellow contracting friend, Terry Deeny, guide and put together fishing trips. They do a nice job in scouting sites and organizing trips. They can be reached at 1-206-483-1971 (Rick Egge) or 1-206-722-0633 (Terry). They're not into computers, so more primitive communication methods must be used. Any E-Mail inquiries will be passed along.
There are six species of Pacific Salmon indigenous to the Western Coast of North America. This was recently revised through a decision by the American Fisheries Society from five to include Steelhead (now designated as Oncorhynchus Mykiss) in recognition that there is no generic differences in the species from previosly grouped Pacific Salmon. Unlike their relative, the Atlantic Salmon, a Pacific Salmon returns only once to breed and die (the Steelhead is an exception to this behavoir and some of the species return to spawn more than once). Salmon turn reddish in color (the Steelhead turn blackish) when returning into fresh water, and males develop hooked noses. From their exact redd, where they hatch in the many rivers of the West Coast ranging from Alaska to California, the Pacific Salmon goes to sea and returns, traveling thousands of miles, to renew and die in predetermined life cycles. It is one of the wonders of nature.
I owe the revision to include Steelhead to Barry M. Thornton, a fisherman and author, who lives on Vancouver Island. Berry is new to the internet but not fishing and I have included his new two books below for those interested. He also writes articles and three columns: a local weekly 'Outdoors' column for the Comox Valley Echo , a monthly 'Flyfishing for Steelhead & Pacific Salmon' for the Island Angler magazine and the 'Canada West' column for Western Flyfishing . His EMail address is email@example.com.: Barry's post on the change goes like this:
"Recently, steelhead lost their unique North American nomenclature (Salmo gairdneri Richardson) as a result of a decision by the American Fisheries Society's, Names of Fishes Committee. They concluded that the Asian name Mykiss historically applied earlier to the Asian (Kamchatka) steelhead race, will now take "nomenclatural priority" and will be the "proper scientific name for this species." Also, this committee concluded that there was "no biological basis" for distinguishing rainbow trout from Pacific salmon at the generic level hence all trout and salmon "of Pacific lineages" are now considered to belong to the single genus, Oncorhynchus, originally used only to refer to Pacific salmon. As a result, steelhead now come with the scientific label, Oncorhynchus mykiss! I have a new hunting dog which I named "Mykiss" just to remind me that nothing remains the same."
Of course there are all the curmudgeons like myself and Bob Stappler who aren't convinced by this scientific voodoo. As Bob put it:
"I am somewhat skeptical about the reasons behind the reclassification . I know DNA similarities have been cited to substantiate this matter. I never have seen any comparison of the DNA of Salmo Salar (Atlantic Salmon), Salmo Trutta (brown trout) or Salmo Clarkii(cutthroat) and the Pacific salmons. Unlike the Pacific salmon, steelhead don't die when they spawn. They go back to the salt chuck where about 5% survive the rigors of the open ocean and return to spawn a second time. Also, as I recall the upper jaw of Onchorhynchus becomes hooked at sexual maturity while in the steelhead it's the lower jaw. Bright mature buck steelhead entering the river to spawn have the distinct red gill plates and lateral red stripe typical of the rainbow trout. How significant were the similarities between the DNA structures of these critters? After all the DNA of chimpanzees is supposed to be at least 95% similar to human DNA. No one would argue we're the same species. I can't help wonder if any commercial fishery concerns had a role in this change. I think Salmo Gairdnerii is getting a bum rap. But then what do I know about Ichthyology? I'm just a retired Boeing engineer."
You and agrue this with Bob at: firstname.lastname@example.org or just enjoy and go fishing like I do.
Spawning behavior of the six species are similar. The female digs a redd in a riffle that is usually below a pool. Although several males are around, one is usually dominant, and keeps the other suitors at bay. The female swims across the redd and lowers her anal fin and on cue the male swims along side and quivers. This behavior prompts the female to lay her eggs. She then digs the gravel to cover the eggs with her tail and the process is repeated until her supply is spent.
Note: Like all things fishing nothing is without controversy. While the above description is taken from "Inland Fishes of Washington", Jay Munney recently put in his two-bits worth, and a nice picture of his catch. As Jay said... "Yes they [Steelhead] do winter over in the streams, but that is not the time in which they are breeding. the fish do not have strong runs until march, which by then the streams are warmer and there is more runoff for the fish to move upstream. The small percent that do stay over in the winter are too lethargic to consider spawning, not to mention there are considerably less fish in the stream. They were leftovers from the fall run in which they were only there to get a quick meal from the spawning of the salmon. the spawning then gets underway in early march and lasts until maybe mid-may...depending on weather conditions, and water temperature. at higher elevations such as Alaska....it may go right through June. Again, this depends on weather and water conditions at the time. This information is coming from a guy who is constantly on the streams....
A special acknowledgment for information lifted from Inland Fishes of Washington listed above and the revision for Steelhead by Barry M. Thornton
OF INTEREST Last December my wife and I watch four large otter at play around our dock on Cottage Lake for about fifteen minutes. One had a five pound spawned salmon (probably a Sockeye) in its paws for a feast. In living here for twenty years, we had never seen a similar sight. I had occasion to see some large migrating salmon some years ago under the bridge on Cottage Lake Creek below the lake. That salmon migrate the obstacles of civilization through Cottage Lake will always be a source of wonder to me. There are over 300 pages at my site. Try the
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Things I found
UW Fisheries Dept.
The Salmon Page- Many links by an obvoiusly well educated elementary school class
TROUT TIPS - Trout Lakes in Washington
STEVE'S Washington State Fly Fishing List - Listen for the stream
Alpine Flyfishers - A FF club that meets in Sumner
J.P.'s FISHING PAGE- Top 5% of the Web Award
Anglers Online- Top 5% of the Web Award
TROUT TIPS - Trout Lakes in Washington
Fishing Reports - Activity across the US
Anglers, Fishing, B.C. - covering my fishing area of choice
Sporting Adventures - Fishing Hunting and Outdoors - great resource for links and info (Thanks Shawn)
Great folk who found me and people who FISH
FISH NEW ZEALAND - by Bruce Gordan, a Kiwi Fisherman and a great fishing site
Fishinternet Australia - by David Dryden, a smorgasbord of Aussie fishing and international sites
FISHING THE NORTHWEST - by Dan MacNeil, a fellow Prodigy member
FISHERMAN'S HEAVEN - by Kevin Erickson, Well worth a visit with good fishing links
The Northshore Chapter #220 Trout Unlimited Homepage - lots of Salmon info too!
WintersHope Flyfishing- a fellow fisherman at accessone
Tu Tu Tun Lodge- Lots of Oregon Coast and Rogue River tips by Dirk VanZante
Capt. Ron's Site- Florida fishing at it's best
Ziggy World - Zig's only been fishing once, but her web-page is zany enough to qualify for her for us boneheads that do
Fisherman always welcome! thanks, Jon Egge
You can reach me by e-mail at: email@example.com
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Last Revision Thursday, June 16, 2003
There are over 300 pages at my site. Try the
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