All of us fish for various reasons, none of them so interesting as the reasons others think we fish. Personally, I fish because it restores my faith in the existential nature of human existence. Imagine my surprise when I got to college to discover I had already discovered more about the current raging philosophy than my classmates, although I couldn't convince any of the professors that J.P. Sartre HAD to have been a fly fisherman.
Consider this existential fact. In my first year of flyfishing I both hooked and caught salmon and steelhead on the fly rod, but it was to be another eight years before I was to do it in the "traditional" manner; that is, IN FRONT OF ME!
My very "first" experience with steelhead came during the Christmas vacation of 1964. I was back in Seattle from school in Boston and I was really anxious to do some flyfishing, of which there was little to none to be had in Seattle at that time of year. Except for winter steelhead. Now, all I knew about winter steelhead then was that they were hard to catch on regular gear and impossible on a fly, and you used weighted flies and lines. That was it! So when the local expert (he got one fish every few weeks, on drift gear) told me he had a hot spot and did I want to go fishing, I jumped at the chance to get in some casting practice, freeze my butt off, exercise my casting arm, and practice the nobility of "purist"(skunked) flyfisherman.
The next morning Joe found his "secret" spot on the lower Green/upper Duwamish River in the dark by the line of 50 parked cars clustered around several well trodden pullouts. In the early
light I could see a 200 foot stretch of shoulder-to-shoulder drift fishermen, defined by the “drift” technique of level wind reels, pencil leads, and bottom bouncing swings of a lure or eggs. Seemed like a great place to earn the admiration of my fellow anglers. As we walked down to the river, we had to cross a wide gravel bar, recently exposed by the dropping water level. There was still a trickle of water coming down the middle of the bar, and for some reason known only to a hydrologist, there was a small but deep hole stranded in the middle of the bar, fifty feet away from the main river itself, about six feet in diameter, with a trickle of water running between riverstones to the river. I simply stepped around this hole on the way to my destiny with noble fruitlessness.
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