Oregon Salmon Fishing: Unvarnished & Unglamorous Recap for 2012

Unvarnished? This is just to say that this recap shows the whole picture, in about the real way the season unfolded for me in 2012.  Sure, I understand that salmon season isn’t really complete yet, but it feels like it to me, already, and I’m just not sure how much more oooomph I have in my reserve tank to continue smacking myself in the head with a  2 x 4.

Unglamorous? Mostly, people show the best of the best in their photo journals.  I know that I have often tried to do that in the past.  Hundreds of days will be compressed into a half dozen images, making it seem that this thing we call fly fishing for salmon in Oregon is  a gloriously vivid, breathtakingingly beautiful pursuit.

Not that it isn’t – beautiful – because it is.  But sometimes the beauty is not the stuff of coffee table books.  Sometimes energy fails, fish do not cooperate, cameras malfunction (too much saltwater in the dang thing), the sun is too bright, the rain too intense, and the background exceedingly un-photogenic.

No matter. Fishing for salmon here on the Oregon coast is a gamble at best.  Any great day could be followed by a day bereft of salmon.  Any day when fish seem non-existant could be followed by a day when they seem plentiful.  Fish present are not always on the prowl for a fly to eat, and a thousand casts just might – or might not produce a single grab.

My enthusiasm for photography has been at a low point this season, for all the reasons noted above.  But a few images do chronicle the flavor of the year to date.  I invite you to browse these unglamorous shots and hope you will find a few that strike a chord of recognition, be you a salmon fisher or not – because these are the stuff of any fishing pursuit, anywhere we pursue any fish we love.

Ever wondered if blogging about a place you love will forever ruin it?

Tying a few flies some mornings was hazardous but entertaining.

If there was a place other than the water to place a fly, I usually found it.

Don’t know how, but fly line usually migrates under my boots more often than not.

Deer wandered through the yard.

Hummm.  Last guy to the hot spot gets last choice on anchor position.

When in doubt, tie some Tubes.

Some hunters were wise and took a break now and then.

Seven hours into the day, a grab, and a cranky camera lens.

Hail at the door; the start of another fishless day.


My friend, each and every day.

This is an un-named cast, perfected throughout the season.

Desperation generates desperate creativity.

Indescribable beauty.

Chinook may have been tempted, but none rose to eat a little mouse this day.

Self portrait.

I released this 22″ Jack, and so it seems did the Seal.

Perhaps I should consider fly fishing for pumpkin, as the success rate seems higher, with less energy applied to the hunt.

This Echo Prime moment was glorious, and well deserved, if I do say.

At the tail-end of what just may be the end of my 2012 salmon season,  reason to smile, and rejuvenation.

JN, November 2012

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6 Responses to Oregon Salmon Fishing: Unvarnished & Unglamorous Recap for 2012

  1. Two dogs says:

    Seems to me that you could enjoy photography a lot more if you didn’t troll your cameras first. Keep havin fun my friend.

  2. Sam says:

    It seems somehow difficult to realize the end of another salmon season has come. We just don’t know if they will come again. Somehow I suspect there is something in the ritual of it all that helps maintain the runs.

  3. James P says:

    Great post – it wouldn’t be fishing if it were glorious every time out…

  4. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Sam: we don’t know if they will come next year. Nor do we know if we will be here to receive them. Gives one pause, indeed. JN

  5. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Sometimes fun, always an adventure. Thanks for the kind thoughts. I hear that Sharks eat trolled cameras, only if they are bite-size.

  6. Scott says:

    Sometimes fun, always an adventure…. Says it all!

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