Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Week Among Kings

This week marks the first time of the season where I have placed down the fly rod, albeit momentarily, in pursuit of a species that is now making a re-appearance in the local streams and rivers where they were born. In the Great Lakes area, no other species carries on its shoulders as much controversy, even anger and resentment as the Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (King Salmon). But if any fish could shoulder such weight, it is the King. Kings can reach in excess of 40 pounds in Lake Ontario, making it the largest migratory Salmonid to run the gauntlet. But none of this division among anglers is at the fault of this nobly named fish. With its sleek shark-like stature, copper back and silver sides, the King Salmon can be a thing of beauty. Its brute strength, and surprising acrobatics make this an exhilarating fish to toggle with. Most migratory salmonid fishermen fondly remember catching their first King Salmon.

Once a King enters its natal river, however, its time on the throne is short-lived, as it begins to darken and become worn from its journey. Because of the size of the runs and the sheer density of them in the river, it brings out people from all walks of life - including those that regularly don't fish, and those that shouldn't fish. As I was making my way down to one of my favourite spots before first light on Friday (August 8), 5 "gentlemen" were heading back to the parking lot with 5 landing nets and 1 fishing rod among them. Without proper enforcement, activity like this runs rampant - this is unfortunately the dark side of the King Salmon fishery and it is why many fishermen stay clear from it.

But with all this said, it was nice to have the weight of my float rod and centrepin reel in hand for the first time in 4 months, and the feeling of being connected to fresh fish up to 25 pounds.

Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) also run my local river (but in much smaller numbers), and I had the pleasure of crossing paths with one this week. Although I had to settle for a long distance release on this one, those who have fished for these incredible fish will know that it's extraordinary just to fight one for a little while. I am, however, now even more determined to land one this season.

This is an interesting time of year as I remain torn between the float and the fly. But it is also my favourite time of year, as the dog days of summer begin to retreat and the cool crisp air predominates, which inevitably leads me to thoughts of my favourite salmonid of them all - the Steelhead!


Blogger Find Truth said...

I read your articles and saw the great pictures of the fish.I've had some grand times in my life fishing.

2:31 PM  
Blogger BCM said...

Thanks for visiting. Hopefully, you still find time to enjoy this great past-time!

2:43 PM  
Blogger Joe Raff said...

Hello BCM,
I'd like to take my two sons fishing(trout or?)to an extreme way out place.Fly in to the most beautifull area on God's earth.Mountains etc.
Your opinion would be appreciated.
Thanks Joe Raff

12:28 PM  
Blogger BCM said...

Wow, Joe, that's a loaded question! There's absolutely no way I could narrow your criteria down to just one place so let me give you my top picks:

Steelhead in the Skeena system (Terrace, BC) and its tributaries

Giant Brooktrout, Browns and Rainbows in Patagonia

Tarpon in Costa Rica

If you make your way to any of these destinations I will be absolutely green with envy!

3:19 PM  

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