Saturday, July 25, 2015

Think Pink

Giant schools of pink salmon came through the Strait last week, and Suz and I  intercepted 
two. Mine is on the top but something is wrong with my camera lens that makes 
hers look bigger.
The problem fishing with Suz is it's hard to keep my eyes on the river. 
This is her huge Thompson River, B. C., rainbow caught while I was distracted.
Pacific Northwest Salmon Dance
The Moment We All Wait For
Suz Scouting for Ocean Salmon

Thursday, July 23, 2015 Makes Lakes Wheelchair Accessible for Disabled Veterans and Others

Click above to see an "ADA Boats Review" by Mike Carey of Northwest Fishing Reports trolling Lake Stevens north of Seattle for kokanee.

Fellow Washington fisherman Mike Mayes sells and rents wheelchair-accessible boats expanding opportunities for disabled veterans and others anywhere in the world.  He said his boat "Independence continues to serve the Fishing Access Network, and produces smiles on everyone she carries." Mayes, founder of, said design of Independence was guided by disabled friends. That is exactly what I like about him.  In three years of conversations about the best places, times, and gear to catch salmon and steelhead, he has always been a great listener.  Watch the above video, and see his Website for more information. He can be a reached at

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Then and Now

Suz and I had a big fight.  We were raised fishing the same rivers like the Molalla and Clackamas, and ocean reefs, so I guess it was only natural sooner or later she demanded to know my secret fishing spots. "Look," I said, "I bought you a diamond ring.  Isn't that enough?  I'm not giving you my secret fishing holes that took a lifetime to find.  That kind of intimacy and trust takes years.  If it's okay with you, I'd like to keep them between me and God."  She said it wasn't okay. 

"Let me get this straight," she said.  "You trust me enough to marry me, but not enough to show me your secret fishing spots?"

"How it is," I said.

She responded by purposely knocking off one of my big spring chinooks with the net (She swears it was an accident. Yeah right.).  Of course, we broke up over it. It was a nice fish that by all rights should have been in the box.

Now we are back together, and using her mermaid magic, she has my secret spots.  Or thinks she does.  I didn't tell her I learned from a Joseph Campbell video how Navajo US Army scout and storyteller Jeff King left out an essential piece of the story until the initiate was ready. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Rivers Cooking Salmon, EU Cooking Greeks

With rivers heating way above normal and falling to never before seen water levels, now is a good time to ocean fish.  River salmon, steelhead, and trout are in serious trouble due to drought, lack of water-sustaining snowpack, and recent heat. 

Today, the mighty Columbia River is 73 degrees and the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, went over 80 degrees.  Both temps are too hot for good salmon survival.  A 2004 chart at Willamette Riverkeeper notes "Instantaneous" death at 90 F and death in "Hours to days" at 70 F to 77 F.

Henry Miller, of the Statesman Journal, reported "Chinook salmon are more prone to disease, injury and stress when water temperatures rise above 60 degrees. At 70 degrees, the fish start to get into real trouble."  In the same article, Tom Friesen, ODFW Manager of Upper Willamette Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Program, noted "we don’t [usually] see dead spring Chinook in the main-stem Willamette until mid-summer” but added "Fortunately, many of this year’s spring Chinook have already entered the tributaries, which should help ensure their survival."  That is, if there is enough water for fish, their red dotted eggs, and offspring.  In a worst case trend, life wouldn't be the same without salmon.  Food, legend, initiation, family bonding, and sacredness of places and experiences in those places would be lost.

Before you pack up and move, consider the Pacific Northwest is ranked as a much better than average place to be during climate change, according to a study from the University of Notre Dame. The study notes, "Vulnerability to climate change is based on six factors: food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat and infrastructure. The readiness index is made up of three components: economic readiness, governance readiness and social readiness."

Climate destruction and social response are two main themes in my new book Industrial Oz forthcoming from Vermont's Fomite Press before the Paris Climate Conference (COP21) in December.

Regarding economic readiness, the global banking scandal of 2008 "almost brought down the world’s financial system" according to The Economist, leaving many governments and citizens in much worse shape to deal with climate disasters like droughts, heat waves, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.  Power drunk bankers and arrogant politicians in the face of climate change are like combining the Exxon Valdez with the Titanic, and hoping for a good ending.

Regarding the possible "Grexit" news today, I know Germans have been good at paying taxes, and overall Greeks not so good, but I agree with Noble Prize in Economics winner Joseph E. Stiglitz, who noted today in USA Today, "Europe must back away from Greek austerity cliff."  Rules for everything are changing fast.  Nature clearly teaches adapting is necessary for survival.