June Issue A Real Smorgasboard Of Ops

A friend of mine was having some troubles springer fishing on the Columbia system during only the best fishing of the decade – issues with his crews, tackle, sea lions, weather – so he said the hell with it.

But Chris didn’t quit fishing, just hung up his salmon gear and dug out his bass stuff.

Pretty soon I started getting excited phone calls and emails.

“What’s the minimum size for smallies on the Columbia?”

“Do you know of any bass clubs?”

“I wish I’d contacted these guys beforehand.”

“I caught two 12-inchers, a 14-incher and a 191/2-incher.”

“Today my best friend was a 5-inch Senko worm in my favorite top-secret color. I picked up most of my fish when they missed my spinnerbait. I would throw that worm right back to where I had the hit and they’d pick that worm up right away. Cool to do things you see and read about and have it actually work.”

Very cool indeed.

Chris, whom I’ve known since Wazzu 18 years ago, has a love-hate relationship with fishing. I kid you not: I have literally seen him down on his knees repeatedly stabbing a bird’s-nested baitcaster.

Whenever he goes fishing, some sort of hilarity ensues, often at his own expense. It would make a pretty entertaining book.

But I admire his dedication to a sport that gives him such fits. Last September, his grand plan to find Lower Columbia walleye blew up when that massive run of coho wouldn’t leave his plugs alone. He trolled with it, though, and enjoyed a couple weeks of pretty good fishing and fresh grilled salmon dinners.

In an increasingly polarized world, one where even we fishermen seem to be falling into ever-narrowing niches of salmonid anglers only, bassers only, fly guys only, salty dogs only, it’s refreshing there are generalists like Chris still out there, guys who don’t give up on the sport just because their fish doesn’t want to play ball or some new reg gets in the way of what they’ve always done.

This issue’s for you, muchacho.

When your bass quit biting, I’ve got a jetty trip lined up for you (pages 28-30).

When the rockfish and lings are done feeding, try poke poling for wolf eels (pages 102, 103).

Then I’ve got a mess of trout and kokanee lakes for you to try (pages 42, 44, 48, 52, 54,56, 58 and 60).

When those poop out, Chinook and steelhead are back up to bat, bub (pages 32, 34, 36, 74, 78, 86, 90 and 92).

And when you’ve had your fill of those guys, it’s spinyrays – walleye and panfish – again (pages 62, 68, 70 and 94).

Yeah, that’s a lot to do, and yeah, once again Northwest Sportsman stomps the balls off of our ya’ll-hollerin’ 60-paged competitors from Down South.

JUNE 2010 NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN, COVER IMAGE BY TONY FLOOR.

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