Thursday, February 18, 2010

How On Earth Did We Ever Catch Fish Before The Internet?

Today's post is probably going to sound like one of those old guy, "In my day we..." type of rants well maybe it is. You have to remember one thing though and that is the internet is relatively new I mean we are talking about, what?, the late 80's and early 90's?
I am wondering how did we manage to catch any fish prior to the internet?
Anglers are posting fishing reports, hero shots and begging to be given all the prime locations these days. Everyone want a short learning curve to angling success. No one wants to learn the ropes and put in their time anymore. I don't suppose I can blame them but, at least for me, those early years of steelhead and salmon pursuits were my favorite times on the river. We called up the Corp of Engineers hydrologists phone recording to get the latest river forecast because there was no NOAA website to click on for the latest river forecast info.
There were no mega fishing websites to try to glean information from. All we had was the week old bullshit information supplied by Hunting and Fishing News. Oh yeah those were the days before cell phones also so there were no on the spot live updates from your network of fishing friends either.

I started out drift fishing for steelhead and it was necessary to be able to discern what was a steelhead bite and a rock. Some guys took a few years to learn this and I did not catch my first steelhead until my second year. A couple of years was the norm to learn the ropes so to speak.
I had some great times though and didn't even have a digital camera to share my victory with all in the cyber world.
When I started my steelhead pursuits in 1973 the graphite fishing rod was still in it's infancy for cryin' out loud.
So to say it's easier to catch fish these days is almost completely accurate. One thing that we had back in the 70's that is not available today is large numbers of fish! The state was dumping millions upon millions of hatchery smolt into the rivers. December and January might see as many as 7000 hatchery steelhead punched on anglers punch cards on some of the bigger and more popular rivers like the Cowlitz. The wild fish were later in the winter and most guys had moved on to spring chinook by then.
Those were heady days all right. Lots of fish and lots of was a fun and over indulgent time.
So us old dinosaurs of the 20th century did have some advantages in the pre-world wide web years.
I kind of miss those days before cybermania but in my fishing life I really don't need the electronic advantages to plan a trip to the Deschutes in pursuit of trout or maybe a trip to a coastal stream for cutthroat trout.
Heck it's a wonder I catch anything at all isn't it?


  1. I won't even fish unless someone on the interfool tells me which rock to stand on and exactly when, and what to use.

  2. Hey you got a lat and long for that rock How true! Before I moved to Cincinnati I used to burn 2 tanks of gas just to find fishable waters in the Great Lakes Region! Alot of people are looking to get spoon fed!