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The Ones That Didn't Get Away

(Ya shoulda seen the ones that got away!)


One of the things that attracted me to Oregon was the fishing, specifically for Chinook Salmon (aka King Salmon). The local rivers abound with fish and the local area abounds with rivers.  Luckily I was able to do my fishing for a few years.........and then my government came to help me.  First they started by issuing voluminous obfuscated fishing regulations.  It got to where you needed to take 2 lawyers and a judge in the boat with you to read the regulations while you fished.  When that didn't stop us, the state government started putting the price of a license higher and higher each year until only rich Californians could afford to fish.  The taxes thus gathered started out being used for hatcheries to supplement the natural supply of baby fish.  Then some "expert" figured out that that just wasn't right and they closed the hatcheries and killed all the young fish.  Finally our long-suffering sport was put out of it's misery by Federal Fish and Wildlife just outright banning fishing for the Chinook Salmon.  They did this because they claim that it has become an endangered species.  The Fish and Wildlife fish counters I've met couldn't tell the difference between a Chinook Salmon and a goldfish though.  It's just another oppressive action by the government for our own good.  We've got to be nice little peasants now and run along and eat our frozen fish from China caught in water that contains God only knows what.

These are a few pictures of me and friends back when we could fish.  People often ask what we did with fish that size, assuming we didn't invite 25 friends over for dinner.  Well, that was where the work came in.  We'd filet the fish and can the meat.  Or as I used to say, "We eat what we can and what we can't, we can."

All the pictures below are fish we caught on the Coquille River. It's possible to fish from the bank but the catching isn't great.  We did it on a boat trolling up and down the river through familiar areas where we knew the Chinook salmon rested on it's upriver spawning trip.  For trolling we used either a Blue Fox lure or a split anchovy on a single hook.  We never admitted catching a Chinook that weighed less than 20 pounds.







This poor lady was suffering from depression over never having caught a keeper Chinook.  My fishing buddy and I took her out on the boat and after a few tips, she landed this one.  She only caught the one fish though......and it was only 42 inches long and only weighed 35 lb.



My fishing buddy (rt) and a friend trying to divide one.

This is me.  I prefer the formula of 2 fish for one person instead of 1 fish for 2 people.



This one wore me out.

Everybody got one.


More pictures.