All signs point to an exceptionally good fishing season off the Oregon coast this year. Efforts to reestablish the original stocks have been highly successful and while we may never see streams so full of these sea-run fish that one could walk across them on their backs and never touch the water, the salmonids are well on their way to recovery.
Of particular interest to the angler is the fact that today’s salmon are proving to be greater fighters than those of past generations. Having no greater mass nor better muscle tone than that of their predecessors, they owe their increased snappiness to an unintended consequence of pollution from the coffee-loving populace living along the great northwestern rivers. We couldn’t make this stuff up if we wanted to. Salmon stocks, as well as all other marine fauna along the coasts of Oregon and Washington state are coming into contact with caffeine washed downstream from the cities of Seattle and Portland.
And scrappy those fish are. Anglers are reporting battles that last way into the wee smalls, muscle strains in their pole and reel hands and forearms, fish brought to boat that gnaw through the landing nets and two and three pounders that are breaking rods as if they were made of wheatstalk. So load up the car and head northwest for some of the finest fighting fish found in a fortnight, and grab a cup of joe for the road, if you don’t drink it all you can chum with it, the fish are already hooked.