Monday, June 22, 2015

Small Water Salmon

Hooking big fish in small water was described by a friend as "fighting a gorilla in a storage unit." There will be bloody shins and lost fish, but I can't think of a better way to spend a June morning. The problem, of course, is ropey lines allow control but mean fewer hookups.  Lighter lines mean more hookups but then you can't horse salmon ashore. I fished small water salmon in B. C., Washington, and Oregon with mixed success.

Recently, on my way to small water salmon, I passed weary construction workers who stared at my fishing pole like thirsty men in a desert.  "Well, somebody's got to do it." I said, and received a hearty laugh.

Fishing with Suz a few years ago, we spoke with a Bristol Bay commercial fisherman's wife while waiting for the verdict to fish his Washington property.  "How did you get your hair to do that?" asked Suz, and they spoke like old friends.  Light bulb.  The next time a guy crowded me small water salmon fishing I would try that to drive him away.

Before long, it happened.   A fisherman inched closer and closer until it became uncomfortable.  "How did you get your hair to do that?" I fired.

"Do you mean the highlights?" he asked.  Utt-oh.

In other words, there is always a balancing act in small waters between remembering we are spiritual beings and primitive harvesters.  Competition means conflict.  Rumi said, "God is the only real customer," which is true since everything else is temporary.  I received comments about my blog post below as being "sort of heavy" by mentioning all fish in all seas may be dead "by 2048."

If not then, scientists say in a billion years the sun will evaporate all oceans so life on Earth will be impossible.  This means Rumi is right.  What matters is the regenerative power of the universe to make new salmon and salmon fishers.  Jesus said in Matthew 3:9: "I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham."  And He did.  And He will.

Most best fishermen I have known have been deeply spiritual.  This is going to become even more important as drought continues, competition increases, and salmon runs drop.  Yesterday, I read water over 60 degrees will start killing salmon, and this is happening in the Clackamas, Santiam, and Willamette.  In worse news, 75 degree water is predicted in Northwest watersheds this summer which will mean massive salmon die offs.  Unfortunately, cassin's auklets are facing a similar fate in what has been noted by Craig Welch of National Geographic as "Unprecedented."  Also at National Geographic, I read Ken Balcomb's June 11, 2015, essay linking loss of chinook salmon to extinction of orcas.  Balcomb is a Senior Scientist, Center for Whale Research, in Friday Harbor, WA.  He wrote, "As a nation, we are dangerously close to managing the beloved southern resident killer whale population to quasi-extinction (less than 30 breeding animals) as a result of diminishing populations of Chinook salmon upon which they depend."  The comments after Balcomb's article are interesting and show both sides of the Snake River dams breaching issue.  After reading all of the comments, my vote goes to Balcomb.

Spawning Run

How many seeds inside a seed? 
How far does north go? 

I’m on my spawning run north
over I-205 Bridge

and salmon below in the Columbia
are on theirs.

The Statesman Journal reports
over 60 degree water is killing them

in the Clackamas, Santiam, Willamette
before they have a chance

and, unless lightning strikes
minds of politicians in Paris,

I wonder how long before we  
have lost our chance.

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