I caught a bull trout

I went over to the dark side and fished the Skagit on Sat, floating from Marblemount to Rockport. Actually I didn't fish that much and only made a few actual steelhead casts. I took an old friend who isn't as big a tightass as I am, and my son. The boy and I explored the islands and back channels while Paul gave it the old college try. He got one good pull, but who's to say what it was.

I did land a very nice char (a bright 22") in a back channel against the highway, on an Alaska Maryann variant of my own design and construction, sparse, floss bodied, with guinea hen substituted for the jungle-cock cheeks, and a largish, bright orange and heavily laquered thread head. It helped confirm a pet theory of mine that any fly can be improved by letting it suck on an egg.

I was happy to catch the beautiful wild fish, and I duly released it. Like every angler in the world, I am absolutely convinced that I harmed it not one whit and will fight to the death anyone who suggests otherwise. Nevertheless, I decided one absolutely unharmed listed species was enough for the day, and went back to spotting eagles and helping the boy climb house-sized stumps.
Sounds like a very nice day Ray; floating with family and friends on a wonderful river in the sunshine, getting up close with a fish as beautiful as a bull, and I imagine you saw lots of eagles up close too.


Be the guide...
"Nevertheless, I decided one absolutely unharmed listed species was enough for the day, and went back to spotting eagles and helping the boy climb house-sized stumps."

I don't know Ray... Perhaps you'd be better off trading in your all your fly gear and fishing books for a pair of binoculars and and a good bird watcher guide. :confused:


must escape the warren
Nice, Ray.

Fish make a great excuse to get out and see wonderful things. Like that Trueblood story, "I Don't Want To Kill A Deer."

A heck of a day to be out, and amen.

See? Every time I try to get out (of the political) they drag me back in.

I don't know yourself Chad. Read all of my post and tell me what it is you think I don't like about fishing. I got in trouble last week for trying to tell people how to think about their fishing, so I thought I'd try a different tack and illustrate how I handle the contradictions unfortunately inherent in the intersection of modern angling and my own personal ethos. I had a great day, left some for the river, and attempted to share it with a group I'm feeling less and less welcome in. Why do you want to ruin it for me? Not selfish enough for you? :confused:

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
Hello Ray...

I, for one, would think this site would be greatly diminished by your "retirement."

Anytime you've put something up here, I've without exception enjoyed hearing your perspective. A little post like this one reminds an older guy whose boy has grown up that the time was well spent and putting a priority on fatherhood at the time was definitely the right thing to do - missed fish or no.

I can't imagine you or I or anyone else on the site would want to please everyone, every time, with everything we share. Nor would we want to. :hmmm:

Keep the faith, Ray. Lots of us quieter guys get a lot out of your words.
And, I'm sure I heard someone say once that "no man is a prophet in his own land." ;)
Yes Ray I too enjoy your posts. Not sure why some feel the need to rake a guy over the coals because he felt one fish was all he needed to catch. It is his choice and an not any of ours.

Especially seeing posts of late of guys fighting 15 pound native steelhead for over 40 minutes. They might need a little raking, not Ray. :eek:



Be the guide...
Sorry Ray - thought you'd take it as I meant it - tongue in cheeck. You know, a little ribbing. We may have some big things we disagree on, but I know that asking a fisherman to stop being a fisherman is like asking a fish to stop being a fish. It is who we are. :beer2:

No worries! Fishing, I have found, is a lot like climbing. Some climbers love to scramble or climb the moderate classics with an appreciation for the beauty of the surroundings. They find the gratification in the surrounding, not in the acheivement of the summit. Some climbers pick the hardest lines up climbs and "travel light - freeze at night" in a effort to knock off the prestigous list of hard to attain summits. Both climbers are getting the satisfaction they sought in their pursuits; even though those pursuits are much different! Inherently, they do judge one another. The moderates will say the extremists are too dangerous (and attend all their slide shows and buy all their books), while the extremists will laugh at the moderates. "What gumbies" they will say. (While hoping they will attend their slide show and buy all thier books). It's quite funny, isn't it?

This site isn't so different; we have plenty of both parties who coexist here. Because of that, we are bound to disagree at times.

For me, in fishing as it was in climbing, I am a "summit tagger" and now a "fish tagger?", I climb and fish for the acheivement. I only seldom take the time to absorb my surroundings. It's not that I can't appreciate their beauty, just that the adrenaline of the pursuit often distracts me from it.

I am changing as I mature as a man and a father and as more summits/fish have been tagged or caught. I guess that we all, at some point, figure out that even the biggest fish or the hardest summits will never be enough. I am sure my day is coming, not all at once, but it will come. I congratulate you on finding your peace. Teach that young man how to fish. It's sounds like he'll have a good and patient teacher.

Now I've got to go. I'm going to ruin my a**hole reputation if I keep this up! :beer2:
Ray, I seem to know exactly what you are saying!

My little essay that I posted a couple days ago was a direct result of all the bickering that was going on over on the political side. I am surprised that no one jumped on me about admitting to being a predator and no excuses for it LOL.

I always enjoy your well thought out posts. You come from the side of reason which sure beats the unbridled emotion! Not that I always agree, but I do think about well stated arguements. Heck I probably don't always end up agreeing with some of my own thoughts after others have added some insight!