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Salmon Fishing 2010! by Tony Floor

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Hal C
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:56 pm    Post subject: Salmon Fishing 2010! by Tony Floor Reply with quote

- Posted here with permission by Tony and NMTA - The Northwest Marine Trade Association, the oldest and largest regional boating trade organization in the nation.

Hello 2010!

The calendar does not lie. It suggests itís the year 2010 and Iíll spend a significant amount of the month planning and thinking about my outdoor agenda. I know there are invitations on my lap to consider fishing a couple times in SE Alaska, a couple trips to the west coast of Vancouver Island and a trip to Riverís Inlet in B.C., home of some of the worldís largest saltwater king salmon. Fifty pounders, and maybe a sixty or bigger. I dig sixty pounders.
I feel good about surviving 2009. In the natural world, where I spend a fair amount of my time, on and off the job, it was a good year. The blackmouth fishing in the San Juan Islands met my expectations last February and March. Spring offered several trips to the ocean to dig razor clams, lingcod and halibut fishing in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the north Sound. The summer was a blur. King salmon in the San Juans and the Strait, hot coho fishing in the Columbia, more kings in Willapa Bay and jumbo coho salmon in Grays Harbor. And although I did not chase pink salmon this year, it will go down in history as an incredible year for Washington State. Personally, I closed the year with a blackmouth fishing trip back to the San Juan Islands in December and redefined the 12-days of Christmas chasing Dungeness crab here in South Puget Sound for the same amount of time. I swear, some of the crab down here qualify, in size, to ride a Harley.
While the natural world was good to many of us in 2009, there was plenty of news about whatís wrong on this planet. It was the economy, lethal attacks on police officers, another assault attempt on the Pope and a failed attempt by a terrorist to blow up a passenger jet liner approaching Detroit. What does all of this have to do with fishing? Everything. I want to go fishing more.
I learned about the Droid, who I originally thought was my weird neighbor who had been bitten by his rabid dog. I learned about Facebook which may be closely related to face plant. And donít overlook Twitter. I had a tremendous king salmon bite last July that gave me the twitters for about a week. Dude, I just want to go salmon fishing. Not with Droid, face plant or twiddly-dee and his brother twiddly-dumb.
Yes, January is the first month of the new year. When I am not attempting to sneak up on winter blackmouth in north Sound and the San Juans, I will be drilling down on my fishing plans for a good part of the year. The salmon forecasts are not complete yet, but I know great things are coming for spring chinook salmon destined for the Columbia River. The game will really get going in April and although I believe there are tougher challenges in the fishing world than landing a spring chinook, they represent one of the best eating salmon anywhere, anytime. Rich in Omega-3 oils, bite for bite, they literally melt in your mouth. Sign me up.

Fishing with Governors

I look forward to a couple of blackmouth fishing trips during the last two weekends in March to the San Juan Islands. The first trip is an annual trip to take Congressman Norm Dicks fishing. The second trip, on the last weekend of March, is the Anacortes Salmon Derby, a great well-run tournament with 800 other anglers and good fishing.
Throughout my fishing career, I have taken a number of politicians fishing. Most politicians are unwilling to make a commitment to get involved in salmon issues. Politically and historically, salmon politics has not paid dividends, unless the cause is to increase commercial fishing. Congressman Norm Dicks is the exception. He has spoken publicly about his legacy, which includes flexing his political muscle to benefit northwest salmon issues, and to expand sport salmon fishing opportunities targeting on marked hatchery-produced chinook and coho salmon.
Fishing with Norm is like riding on the space shuttle, from lift off to 100,000 feet. The floating in space part comes at the end of the trip. In order to ride with Norm, I take 10 swigs of Geritol, 14 chocolate bars and hibernate for a week prior to the trip. Following the trip, I hang upside down in the closet for 24 hours inducing a coma reaction for two weeks. He is high energy and the man loves his salmon fishing. Passionate? Try a positive application of fanatical. Every fish is ďI got Ďem boys! Itís the big one!!! Get your gear out of the water!!!Ē Somebody, help me now.
On the flip side, Iíve fished a fair number of Governors who do not share Normís passion. I watched former Governor John Spellman, back in the early 80ís, when playing a feisty blackmouth salmon at Sekiu, become so busy with changing hands with the fishing rod which is necessary when smoking a pipe, that the rod flew out of his hand, skipped about 6 times across the water and go away. That means, the big away. Oops!
I was fishing with former Governor Booth Gardner also at Sekiu when he inquired about a boat, trolling next to us, with a metal short pole, attached to the top of the gunnel, with wire line going into the water attached to a large lead ball. ďWhatís that?Ē I learned that there are no downriggers or downriggers balls in the Governorís Office. What a shame.
But the prince of governors to take fishing has to be former Governor Dan Evans. What a nice, nice man, who has great instincts in playing a tough, large king salmon. On one trip, after playing the fish for considerable time, due largely to his light-handed techniques, the fish came unpinned at the boat. Dan simply said, ďGosh darn it. He got away.Ē I thought to myself....gosh darn it, what does that mean? I was thinking more about cardiac, inability to close the deal and profanity. Not out of the mouth of Governor Dan Evans. Forever, a class act, a gentlemen and a thinker.
Norm refers to me as his wingman. While fishing with him is similar to chasing hurricanes, he is a blast to be with. He understands salmon issues, and I have nothing but reverence for his accomplishments in the salmon political world. I firmly believe, without Norm, I would be writing to you today about bowling. Thank you Norm, for all you have done for us and what you continue to do. I am your wingman for life.
Here comes the Big Seattle Boat Show
January is also the time to hit the Seattle Boat Show, for nine days beginning Friday, January 29th. Itís time to sniff the fiberglass in the air, the latest technology advances in aluminum fishing boats and taking in some fishing seminars. This year, the Show offers 55 fishing seminars by speakers who I consider the best of the best in the Northwest. The seminars get me pumped up for the year. They help me continue to learn and plan for my days and weeks chasing salmon, halibut, lingcod and albacore tuna here in Washington. I hate this job.
So get your calendar out and start thinking about the new year and getting on the water. Thatís exactly what Iím doing. Remember, itís one of the reasons why we live here, to get outside. In the meantime, I hope to see you at the big Seattle Boat Show and letís talk about fish. Uh-oh, excuse me, I think Iím getting a bite. See you on the water.
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Captain Walker
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Joined: 07 Nov 2006
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:59 am    Post subject: The San Juans are the local hotspot for Salmon Reply with quote

Follow Tony Floor here:

The San Juan Islands Shuffle, Baby! - the continuing quest for the seasonal salmon.
Captain David Walker

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