The Return of the native

Posted by Ken Campbell November 1, 2008 0 Comment 371 views

“Salmon are heading up the Satsop and Wynoochee”

That was the headline in a story in the local paper this past week. I am not a fisherman – not often anyway – but I look forward to the return of the salmon as much as any angler. And the Satsop is one of my favorite rivers.

I have paddled down river and watched the big fish swim against the flow. In the shallows along shore, working their way from pool to eddy, holding their positions in the water with rhythmic flicks of their tails, getting up the strength for the next lunge toward their destinies. By the time they get to the upper Satsop, many of them have been away from salt water for weeks. Their skin is molting away and their jaws have changed, teeth have grown more pronounced. The vibrant coloring they have always had is gone.

The Satsop was the first river I ever canoed in Washington. It is not a technical river from a canoeing standpoint, at least where I usually go. There are some rapids, but not many. But it’s a strong, steady flow and an easy shuttle… ideal for any canoeist. Like the salmon, it is a place that draws me back from time to time; the fish just keep a more rigid schedule than I do.

It feels like the time is coming around again.

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