With the prospect of hooking dime-bright, 40-pound Fall Chinook straight from the sea, writer Aimee Brown left her home in Colorado and rented a small cabin on the banks of a coastal stream in Oregon. For 30 days in November of 2012 she set out to meet the challenge posed by these majestic fish. Casting everyday for Kings, she learns, ain’t easy, but it’s a lot more rewarding than scratch tickets.
Words: Aimee Brown
They come on the incoming tide. They come on the outgoing tide. A negative tide brings them in like seagulls on trash day. They’ll come when it rains. When it clears. When pigs fly and hell freezes over. The 14th is the peak. We’ll see them in December. You’re too late; they came in October. Try the mouth. Try upriver. Up coast. Up yours. There aren’t any fish in this river. They were rolling this morning. Last night 50 moved through and the wake trailed for miles. They were getting them at the bridge, at the Grange, at the snag hole. It’s like seeing Sasquatch. Pulling all cherries at the slots. Catching a unicorn. Finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s luck. It’s skill. It’s scratch tickets.
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