I am a lucky
guy-- a native Washingtonian. I was born here and I will die here. Warts and
all I consider Washington paradise… with strings. However, I am a realist, and typically
know what to expect here. Folks that haven’t spent a lot of time in the great Pacific
Northwest often don’t know what to expect.
friend of mine just moved from Reno to Renton. He spent summers here as a kid—and
has a pretty good idea what to expect. His coworker moved with him who is brand new to
the state. He doesn’t know what to expect. But unfortunately, he thinks he knows what to expect. What he
moved here for: Alaska Junior. Streams packed with kings, coho, and steelhead (all
of which he has never fished for) and a pristine Puget Sound with year-round open
seasons on all variety of tasty fish.
Yesterday evening I met my
friend's coworker on the shoreline of one of Commencement Bay’s
more contaminated fingers. The conversation went like this:
Him: What fish
can we catch from shore near here?
Me: Well, I
know an area that can hold pile perch and striped perch right around here. Catch
and release though—I would not recommend eating anything from this channel.
Me: Well, the
Puyallup River is about two miles that way—it has a couple of decent runs for the area.
A lot of people who fish it affectionately call it “The Puke.”
speaking two different languages. Eventually, we adjusted our dialects and started
making sense to each other. My duty as a Washingtonian was to manage his expectations,
without popping his balloon. He has never fished for, or caught, a salmon. He
would like to do so from the bank somewhere close to his work in King County.
it down to the Green. I explained how runs, seasons, closures, gear
restrictions, and netting would affect his fishing. I gave him a summary of the
various methods of salmon fishing. He was blown away by the concept of corkies—that
a mighty king will strike at a green plastic pebble. He wasn’t too familiar with
combat fishing, but didn’t like the sound of it.
him Cohos are the finest eating fish in Washington waters, so he’d really like
to catch one. My buddy or I should be able to get him on one this fall. But hopefully
it doesn’t come too quick. Beginners’ luck is truly curse. And paradise, to be truly apprecaited, must be