How To Build A Steelhead Fort
I got this brilliant idea while fishing the Skeena River
a few years back. The place was the Remo Bar which is
where the Kitsukalum River joins the mighty Skeena. There
is a giant hole here at the junction and the huge Kings,
Cohoes and later Steelhead all pile up thick as leaves
on the water in a fall wind. The place has since been
declared a no fishing zone, thanks in part to what I am
about to recount to you, my dearest and only readers.
BOBLAWLESS, Port Ludlow, WA
No fly scene, this is a plunking bar and you rig up as
follows: attach an 8 oz. pyramid sinker to the bottom - yes,
that's right, a full half pound of lead. Connect the sinker
with 18" of at least 30 lb. test. monofilament to a three
way swivel. To the other eye of the swivel, attach another
18" mono piece (also 30 lb.) to a 1/0 spin and glow. . .
Then attach your main line (at least 40 lb. but 50 or 60 lb.
would be better) to the remaining eye and you are rigged up.
A bit heavy? Hey, we are not talking little fish here! I have
personally never seen a king caught from this hole that weighed
less than 35 lb. Most go between there and 50 lb. I have seen
a 60 and a 70 pounder caught by the same dude during the same day.
Momentarily, we shall discuss this individual.
There is a vicious rapid right below the hole and the King
will surely take you there. Even with your heavy tackle
(I used to use a Fennwick tuna rod and a Penn Squidder),
you will not be able to turn the fish. So you jump in your
boat; your buddy turns on the motor, and then you race off
after the fish. If lucky and almost always after at least
one hour, you motor back up and show off your fifty or plus
giant. I did see a fish that weighed only 26 pounds once
but it was a Coho. Damnedest Coho I've ever seen anywhere!
A perfect, mint bright male.
Well, there was this guy, a Realtor from Seattle, who had
a jet boat. He had his son with him so they were entitled
to eight salmon. But the possession limit was double
that - so he could catch (and he did) 16 fish total. He
had two enormous freezers in his truck powered by a gas
generator and he filled the things up. Then he would go
home to the states and cook each fish whole and invite
a huge bunch of real-estate dudes for free lunch.
In case you are not hip to the real estate scene, houses
are not really sold to customers directly. For example,
you want a house and you tell an agent. He does not have
what you want but he knows a "buddy" who was just telling
him last week (at the salmon feed) about a house that sounds
exactly like something you might like. Wham! The deal is
closed. And it was at the free lunch that your man learned
from his man (the jet boat guy, aka the "buddy," aka the
salmon hog) about the house. Called smoozing. $$$$$ All
caught with a giant fish. Can you imagine serving a whole
70 lb. salmon to a big crowd and they eat the whole thing?
Can you hear the kudos in your ears? Can you see the beautiful
women who would be throwing themselves at you or at least
at the salmon? Can feel the money rolling in? The commission
would be split. Half of a $60,000 dollar commission would be
30K to you. Does that buy gas? Make payments on the jet boat?
Buy first malt whiskey? I'm sure you understand this, my
dearest and only readers.
Let me just say that this American fish hog was not very
popular with our Canadian neighbors. One rotten, old dude
even threatened to kill him. So he buddies up to me and
my friend and asks for help, like we are some sort of
contingent of the American Army. . .A race war on the Remo
Bar? An international incident? And, again, my friend and I,
who were we, the American Army? There's three of us (don't
count the kid but I could be wrong) and about 16 or so Maple
Leaf boys. They were all p#@&*ed and I didn't blame them. We
are talking mayhem here.
Anyway, using the best of my diplomatic skills, we were able
to escape unharmed. The jet boy drug off his eight hogs and
my partner and I each had two fifties. This was about 1972.
Because of this incident, I got the idea of building a
salmon fort on a river bar on some river in Washington
at some time in the near future.
In my next installment, I will discuss the particulars of
construction and the advantages that such a fort would
bring to bear on this troubled, overcrowded, hostile
environment in which we must fish. Don't miss this;
it could save your life. ~ BL
Lighter Side Archive