Thursday, July 21, 2011

Salmon River New York Awaits Us Soon

This is what's little over two months ahead now. Seems like we had just got well into spring with May not long ago at all, but now I can feel the Salmon River already. It won't be long. Pulaski, New York, is my favorite town in October. It's best to avoid Columbus Day weekend--I think the run is located in better holes earlier anyhow--but this year that's all we can do. And it's enough whatever comes.

Speaking of which, last year we got slammed with the biggest Nor'easter of the year just days before arrival. (And do you recall last summer's drought?) River levels just began to become fishable again the hour we checked in. That whole long weekend the river remained very turbid, but not opaquely muddy. We caught plenty salmon. What amazed me is that we caught them mouth hooked--somehow they sensed our 10mm beads.

How many tons of lead weigh on the river bed? In the valley you can't buy lead shot, but plenty comes from elsewhere with the waves of anglers converging on the river. I know of no other form of fishing more demanding in terms of terminal tackle. I must go through a hundred split shot, and last year my pliers warped in the process, but I took it all as part of the exercise. I willlingly squeezed new lead and tied new hooks, and I did for my son too, who also went through a bag of shot. He's old enough to do it himself, but I wanted to help him in every way with catchng salmon. I have to say though that it's important he take up this sort of thing without complaint, and I don't mean to be complaining now, but sort of mimicing the repettitive rhythm of cast, drift, cast, drift, cast, drift--snag, which salmon fishing is largely all about. To get in the habit of complaining about practical necessities--I know because I've suffered the problem--is to miss out on what life's all about. We're born with hands and feet to use mostly in ways that unless we take satisfaction in them, we condemn ourselves to pain as necessarily as the acts themselves. Perhaps no worse idea occured to the mind of man than duty. It takes all the pleasure out of the hands. I think even fly fishermen have the same need on the Salmon River; they do if they get the egg fly down near bottom where salmon wait.

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