Monday, September 14, 2009

Pinks are good for the ego and the Id.

Life can be a frustrating endeavor at times. Situations and circumstances join together with good ole' self destructive behavior creating a brothy melange of stress with enough heady aroma and body to stammer even the most discriminating and verbose sommeliers into saying "damn that just sucks". Then when life goes great you have the constant battle between the Ego and the Id (Freud's definition of two components of your subconsciousness) waging war in brain without the help of any outside influences.
What all the above whining boils down to is when life gets complicated, just go fishing. If angling itself doesn't sort things out, then at least you spent a day stewing on the water in stead of just a day of stewing. Im sure that Dr. Freud himself would approve of that prescription after analyzing the reason why us fly fishermen love playing with our rods all day long, above all else.
Further more if a day of fishing can be compared to St. john's wort, then a day of fishing for pink salmon (during one of the greatest pink salmon runs washington state has experienced in a long time) is PROZAC and a martini.
And thats where I found myself the last few days, hammering pink salmon with flys, not martini's with PROZAC. A lot of fishermen dislike pink salmon because of their numbers, their light flavor and ability to turn within hours of reaching freshwater. I have also heard pious fly flingers complain that they are easy to catch(?).
I have grown very fond of them over the last few days because of: their numbers, their light flavor (Im not a salmon eater), and because they are easy to catch - 26 salmon in one day is nothing to complain about.
I have primarily been fishing one of the small S rivers in western washington. There have been a god awful amount of people out on the weekdays an uncanny amount on the weekends and more salmon than I have ever thought possible pulsing up the current on the way to their spawning grounds to raise a generation of orphans.
I got lucky on a couple outings after finding a Humpy hole that was somewhat off the radar for the rest of the buzz bomb and pink jig casting hordes. one such place put my Redington CPX switch rod to the test, I have come to the conclusion that a 6 weight is perfect for pinks, you can really let them beat the crap out of you, but don't have to play them to exhaustion. The fly for that day was lucky Larry - a really sparse green sandlance pattern. I tied Larry on in hopes of enticing a pink with memories of its ocean going diet... and it worked as well as prozac and a martini! 26 pinks one afternoon with one fly; is enough for me to cry bullshit on myself. but its true - I was there. I took larry home and repaired him, as he was looking quite shabby and brought him out again the next day. After another epic afternoon he brought even more humpys to hand before breaking at the bend and ending his illustrious lip ripping career. I was done for day as well.
I have heard of people fishing in Alaska and having sore arms and hands from reeling in fish all day. I never thought that I would experience it myself, let alone in a river I had been fishing my whole life.
I firmly believe it's okay to go home feeling like a big shot once in awhile, especially when fly fishing is involved. Epic fishing trips don't come along all that often and I have been blessed with a few of them this season, but I promise I wont let it give me a swollen Ego or Id.


  1. Beautiful fish, enough to make me jealous! The sight of that many fish in the river is incredible, something I've never seen here in the UK.


  2. thank you both for the kind words.