Fish stories and pangs of hunger

The other day my housekeeper, Paulette Joy Lovely, (honest, that is her real name) was at Lincoln park in West Seattle and was astounded by the huge number of fisher folk on the shoreline fishing for salmon. Men, boys, women, grampas, grammas, all lined up with casting rods attempting to bring home fresh caught Pink Salmon or whatever else might be swimming by.

Most were using spinning rods and casting colored spoons while standing on the bank though there were also a bunch of boats cruising out of reach of the shoreline anglers.

She counted 70 people on the bank thrashing the saltwater to a froth.

She even spotted an eagle cruising overhead watching for dinner and took a picture of it.

Paulette Joy Lovely has a son who is a fishing guide on the Columbia River near Vancouver, where she has caught huge steelhead when floating with him. She's very helpful to me too. I'm hooked.


Fishing was my passion early on.
Once I took Jim Willis, the manager of the famous (now long since closed) Epicure restaurant, in White Center, to Campbell River Resort in Canada. He was not an avid angler like me but he wanted to go. Jim was a slightly built man and well dressed. I don't think he owned a pair of boots but he could have used them instead of those pretty oxfords he was wearing.

We trekked out to find a good spot, not far from the lodge. I was using a fly rod and he just wanted to stand near the bank of the famous river.

While he watched, I waded out to the middle of the turbulent stream and almost instantly hooked a giant King Salmon. Lots of salmon there get over fifty pounds and mine bent my fly rod into a big U and took off downstream heading for saltwater. I moved to more shallow water and went after him.

Jim moved up to the narrow road behind me and followed the battle with bugged out eyes and those shiny shoes. He was not too happy watching and running to avoid losing sight of me. He yelled to me. "It's almost FOUR", somehow believing I should just stop fishing and head back to the lodge with him. I think he was praying the monster fish would come unbuttoned because he kept yelling at me to cut the line. He had not come to fish. He had come to eat.

I did not know this. He managed a restaurant for a living and was always around food.
He might have had a tapeworm. He was praying the line would break or the huge fish would come loose. Jim's hunger superseded his interest in me catching this fish. I wanted to land the monster and have people at the lodge rave about what a great angler I was.

Fishing is a wonderful sport. It often takes a while to land the big ones. After about an hour, the great fish was not as tired as I. I never even caught a glimpse. By this time Jim was so anxious he was preparing to cut tree bark for a meal so I just cut the line and clambered out to the road.

It might have been a derby winner. Jim was happy. He led the way down the road to the resort and the restaurant. He did not even clean his dancing shoes as he sat down at the dining table.

I had been skunked before. You get over it. Just the same, I kinda wished I had known what it weighed.

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