Fan Mail

What’s in a name?

It’s time to clear up some confusion.  Recently Kevin, one of 8 faithful followers of this blog, sent me an email containing the photo below and the corresponding inquiry:

Kirk…was driving my own “fish taco” back to Texas from New Mexico, and spotted this….another business venture to supplement your fishing expenses?


My reply to Kevin was as such:

Ah yes, Werner Enterprises. There were 4 branches of the family tree: the trucking Werners; the ladder making Werners; the kayak paddle making Werners and the Unaccomplished Werners. The latter Werners, not to be confused withe ladder Werners, seemed not to fair quite as well as the former three Werners. Then there are the Werners of the Werner’s Wigglers fame, but we don’t talk much about them.

Ironically, or not, I talked about this confusing matter about a year ago. Obviously Kevin missed that entry, so I’ll post a link to it HERE, just to clear up any future confusion.

By the way- nice truck Kevin. Good color, too.

If you see a white Fish Taco that looks like the one below, it’s me—not Kevin. Just wanted to clear that up.

More Fan Mail. Sort of.

Seems as though my first “Fan Mail” post was a little bit like pouring rocket fuel on an already hot burning fire. From somewhere in the Great Lakes region (I’m just guessing), Chuck sends this photo of a big and beautiful un-clipped hatchery lakerun Skamania steelhead:

I’m so tired of this nonsense about wild versus hatchery steelhead – real , not real!
The argument has it’s foundation in the perception of how well fish fight when hooked.

Anyone who thinks hatchery fish don’t fight hasn’t caught a Skamania steelhead in lake Michigan! They probably haven’t hooked a stocked Atlantic salmon in the St. Marie’s Rapids either! Even the Manistee Steelhead fish fight really well!

I’ve been spooled by everything from a hatchery , lake run, Brown trout to a Carp!  Yep, that’s right …….even a carp!

This argument is asserted by those who want to perpetuate the romance of wild fish – which is great, but it’s nonsense to assert that all wild fish provide a better angling experience than hatchery fish! It’s even greater nonsense to insinuate that catching the wild fish makes them better, which I suspect is the real endeavor!

Chuck

Thanks for taking the time to weigh in with your thoughts, Chuck.

Real quickly let’s explain something for those not in the know, and before I do so let me state that I won’t pretend to know much anything about the steelhead in the Great Lakes region other than what I’ve read. Skamania steelhead are one of the strains of steelhead introduced to the Great Lakes system, and these Skamania fish run up the rivers in the early summer. Other strains head into the rivers in the fall and winter.  On the left coast similar runs of fish occur in both the summer and winter, although our real anadromous fish come in from the ocean before heading into the rivers. I do know that the steelhead in the Great Lakes originated in the Pacific Northwest and no, they did not migrate east of their own accord.

And actually, Chuck, if there are anti-hatchery sentiments as far as steelhead are concerned, in my assessment it has less to do with how well they fight and more with the fact that many left coasters want our dwindling runs of wild, native fish to be given a chance to rebound. The presence of hatchery fish in our west coast rivers is keeping commercial harvest alive, and as long as there is commercial harvest it’s bad for the native fish. Hatchery fish also serve the purpose of providing a recreational fishing quarry (and generate license sales for the fish and game department), but they also compete for food and habitat with the native fish. What’s worst of all is that the presence of hatchery fish serves to shroud the issues surrounding native fish.  There are a lot of anti-hatchery sentiments and I can’t begin to communicate in any valuable manner.

I’ve caught a couple native winter fish that didn’t exactly light me up with their fighting ability, but in their defense they’d come a long way from the ocean, into Puget Sound and up many miles of river, avoiding nets and seals and sea lions and treble hooks. I’ll cut them a little slack for not tail-walking me into the next county. 😉

Interestingly I’ve only had one West coast angler send in their thoughts and fish porn.  Consider this your call to action!

Fan Mail

Not very often, but occasionally one of my +/-8 Unaccomplished Fans Followers will send me a photo depicting one of their angling accomplishments. While perhaps not, I’m fairly certain that they do this for the sole enjoyment of seeing me retreat further into a state of angling despair.  Whatever the case may be, recently I received an email which comes on the heels of a recent steelheadless trip to Catatonia where I may have mentioned that Great Lakes “steelhead” are not real steelhead:

Dear Unaccomplished Angler,

You suck. I know that this is not a real steelhead to those of you on the left coast because it came out of Lake Ontario via the Salmon River, but I have to say it was pretty darn exciting when we finally got this guy (35 1/4 inches…) in the net. The day started at 20 degrees but it had warmed into the 50s by the time I landed this fish @ 3:30 in the afternoon. I had 2 strikes all day. Missed the first one at 6:00 am, so it was great to have redemption later in the day…

-Bob

Bob, that’s a beautiful fish–I’d be proud to have caught something so nice.  Amazingly, with it’s chrome sidewalls it looks just like something fresh out of the salt! Thanks for taking the time to write and share the photo of your nice lake run rainbow trout. By the way, the weather looks balmy. The Catatonia River is now completely iced over.

If any of my other 7 followers have a photo of a nice fish and want to gloat, please feel free to email me:

unaccomplishedangler (at) gmail (dot) com