Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"Nass Feesh"

Henning Hale Orviston, the pretentious patriarch of David James Duncan's famous fly fishing yarn "The River Why" describes bass as

 " An outlander, a devouring pestilence, a freakish invader to the salubrious waters of the North and Northwest of  indelicate appetite, sluggish disposition, negligible intelligence, paltry stamina, and possessing a head, mouth and stomach of ludicrous bulk in comparison with its stultified body"

I've heard them describes in more "colorful" terms.
Invaders is exactly right! They now inhabit, in large numbers mind you, the fables waters of the Mother River...The Deschutes.

I , myself, have witnessed small mouth bass chasing rainbow trout in the lower reaches of the Deschutes. The larger, swifter bass no doubt won the pursuit and had trout for dinner.
So why are they here? Where did they come from? Who in the hell knows but they are not going anywhere anytime soon if at all. You will find them them in such major waterways as the Columbia and Willamette. Hundreds of little watering holes in central and eastern Oregon and large Century Drive fly fishing only lakes like Davis Lake.
In other words they are here, in large numbers and are not going anywhere.
I resent their presence and refuse to fish for them even if that is all the fishing there is. Oh yeah I have fished for bass a few times and even caught some nice sized smallmouths, pitching some kind of pickled pork rind attached to something called a "spinner bait" Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, in it's infinite wisdom , has put a five fish a day limit on the bass living in the Deschutes!?!?!?!? If I may be vulgar here for a moment , what the fuck are you idiots thinking?
I mean excuse me but are these spiny rayed little assholes invasive or not? Why is there a limit on them?

So today I was driving back from Seattle after a nice visit with my son. When I figured I was clear of the dreadful Seattle-Tacoma traffic nightmare I decided to stop in to the  new Bass Pro Shop south of Tacoma. I had hear that the store was an outdoors man's wet dream. As I marveled at the cavernous, fit for a dirigible interior with all the mounted and mummified wildlife on display one could not help but notice the inside was wall to wall camouflage. You name it and you could get it in camo. Even women's semi-intimate apparel could be gotten in a garish pink/camo combination.
You could buy pretty much anything in camoflage. Bass boats, duck boats, fish findes, electric motors. I saw one guy, obviously a southern US transplant, that might have tipped the scale at 400 lbs, dressed head to toe in camo. He looked like a big walking,talking ambrosia trifida shrub telling his equally overfed companion about the "Nass feesh" he recently caught.
I thought "hey this is the Pacific Northwest!  We fish for salmon, trout, steelhead and sturgeon up here! A salmonid species is the state fish in both Oregon and Washington isn't it?
Could Bass Pro Shops be prophetic? Are Spiny Rays our future? My God I hope not. I could not fathom EVER using one of my bamboo fly rods to cast a damn popping bug to a "devouring pestilence" like a bass. I would use the rod as kindling before I let that happen.
I know this much. I will most assuredly "terminate with extreme prejudice" any bass invader that I encounter.Wonder if they would make good crab bait?
Yeah, yeah I know you are rolling your eyes at my elitist ramblings about bass but it's like this. Bass, walleye and other carnivorous warm water invasive species are yet another reason why our salmon and trout heritage of this region is dying out.
Add the predation of invasive species to the long list of what has killed our resource and maybe you'll understand.

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