Sunday, October 06, 2013

Salmon Camp 2013

It's been a long time since I wet a line in pursuit of a finned adversary.  Aside from a couple of half-hearted summer trips on Tippy Dam Pond it has been months since I had last fished with  any conviction.  This was all about to change this weekend with the third annual Salmon Camp at the cottage. 
Arn and Red were more than eager to do battle with some giant kings in pursuit of our yearly supply of Roe for the Steelhead season.  I have mixed feelings about the Salmon Run.  On one hand one of the greatest spectacles of nature unfolds before us. 
Thousands upon thousands of majestic King Salmon navigate countless miles in hopes of reaching the sacred headwaters.  Once their destination has been realized their only mission is to spawn and ensure the longevity of their species.  It truly is an amazing spectacle to witness and one can be nothing short of moved by the size, number and fortitude of these mighty migratory fish.   Then comes the bad...While this magnificent event is unfolding people from all walks of life gather in great number along the banks. 
For many its an annual tradition, for many its the only fishing they know, and for many there are no holds barred when it comes to catching the almighty King Salmon. 
The "evening bite" as many will tell you is where its at.  The river sees more traffic at night and under the cover of darkness non stop splashing and tail slapping can be heard for miles.  A surreal spectacle of headlamps line both sides of the river for as far as the eye can see.  The Salmon stand little to no chance as they get winched in backwards and sideways under fouled intent. 
It's reminiscent of a train wreck and one can't help but be mesmerized by the seemingly organized chaos that unfolds.  A slaughter is unfolding but under the cover of darkness and the multitude of white lights flickering along the banks and through the forest trails can be hypnotising. 
This fishery means a lot to these people.  It means a lot to this community, and it certainly means a lot to the local economy.  They travel from as far away as Indiana, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, and the list goes on and on...Who am I to judge.  This is a put and take fishery.  These fish will die and line the banks of the river rotting once they do their deeds. 
These fisherman keep and eat what they "catch" and I'd bet good money not an ounce of it goes to waste.  It's been going on since the Salmon were introduced into the Great Lakes and snagging was once a legal activity.  A time honoured tradition I guess.  For the most part I think the DNR turns a blind eye to it within reason and even if they wanted to they could never fully enforce something of this magnitude.  Until you are there and witness it in its entirety one cannot even begin to understand it.
For us the King Salmon provide an opportunity to harvest a small amount of Roe to keep us fishing throughout the season without having to harvest any Steelhead.  Salmon Camp has always been about  camaraderie and tom foolery with a little bit of fishing thrown in for good measure.  It's always good times and an event I look forward to annually. 

Salmon camp officially kicks off the Fall fishing season as well and the Season is officially before us.  The Rains have come and the Steelhead are entering our rivers. As I type this the rain is falling hard on my roof.   It certainly is going to get interesting in the coming weeks.  If the rains and river levels dictate I hope to be chasing my first fall Steelhead of 2013 this coming week.  It's game time and my fishing is going to kick into high gear.  Keep checking in as the blog should be updated regularly with fresh photography and writing.


Harv said...

Sounds like a fun weekend!! One of these years perhaps I should get off my lazy ass and try to harvest some roe for the steelhead season as I haven't had any of my own in about 5 years now. I have been fishing primarily with artificials (beads, jigs, singles) and limited amounts of commercially purchased roe.

I wouldn't be in too big a rush to fish steelhead locally - the water has warmed significantly. There were a few nosing around the estuary section today but with those water temps I can't see them going far or staying long.

But there has been lots of water so hopefully will be a great season ahead. Have a good one!!


JB said...

Thanks for the call you POS!

Glad you found some gold.

Steeliemax said...

The only way I could keep them from leaving this old guy behind and lost JB was because
I was carrying the beer

lambton said...

Good to hear from you. I know what you are saying about the Roe. Its hard with the demise of the King on the Huron side. It's certainly not like it used to be when it comes to harvesting a loose hen for the cause. Over her in MI its silly if you time it right. I hear you though on the artificials. I would have never believed those crazy beads fish as well as they do and why even bother with Roe if you are having success with the artificials. I still believe everything has it's time and place. The dreaded waxworm aka maggot out fishes everything overhear in MI in the winter months!

I would have never imagined the Tippy night fishery would remotely appear to a man out your stature
;0) HA!!

You are the Beer Mule!!!!

Trotsky said...

That last pic gives me wood!!!!