Bill Monroe: Get addicted to nails and polish the salmon
Disclaimer: Manufacturers and dealers of fishing equipment may find this column offensive. Caution is in order (or just jump into the story of a football game on opening day).
All that glitters is not gold.
In my early days of catching up on lost time fishing and hunting after being in the Navy and overseas for almost seven years, I was delighted to find success hunting Canada and the Snow Geese. with black garbage bags and diapers (unused).
A little toothpaste and elbow grease made my neglected Roostertail and Panther Martin spinners glow and I caught trout and salmon on the dime store flies.
My outdoor writing career finally rewarded me with an expense account, which I converted to premium goose lures (with each feather individually detailed), several colorful wobbling plug tackle boxes painted to hand, buzzing and clicking, hydrodynamic turn signals, expensive flies and design spinners.
But all good things come to an end and I finally semi-retired. Now, with a relatively fixed income and under pressure to part with assorted treasures, I embrace simplicity again.
I walked the aisles of a fishing tackle store recently, ruminating on the assortment of eye-catching fish candy (tackle makers need to attract the customer first, THEN the fish) and I I thought of the late Bob Toman, who constantly experimented with traffic jams, turn signals and gadgets.
He was especially intrigued by the latest craze, the 360-degree rotating turn signals that give sporadic, salmon-appealing action to a spinner or bait. They are based only on small metal blades. If it is too heavy, the “skateboard” (as they have been nicknamed) will not spin.
Bob was working on a number of different platforms when he passed away. He made me a specifically shaped blade with a Vietnamese service ribbon design (we are both veterans). He once caught three spring salmon in the Lower Willamette while all other rods were silent. He also gave me a few other quick-change copings so I could change colors.
Wait! Lightweight blade that turns on a yoke? Interchangeable? … Hmm.
I haven’t had a brainstorm on me for many years, but the color scheme made me think of a beauty salon.
Think about it: Men look away when their wives spend $ 30- $ 50 on their nails just to draw attention to the beauty, as they themselves regularly spend the same amount on brightly colored spinning just to attract fish. .
NAILS! Lighter than metal; profiled; available in many sizes and colors; cheap; can be painted.
If women (and some men) can wear spinners in their ears, why can’t I use false nails on my hooks?
I left the store and Googled Amazon, where at least seven pages of nails in matching layouts, colors, and sparkles blew my imagination.
Better yet, individually they’re a fraction of the cost of a metal wringer. Strategically drill a small hole and you’ve created an instant Whirling Dervish.
Not wanting to wait Amazon (but will, since I have a Smile account which pays a fraction of the purchase to charity and makes me feel pitifully useful), I then went to a well-known local supermarket with the initials ‘FM’, where I found a glittering display of spinning blades potential in a beauty product department.
I chose a set with gold glitter. Maybe a dozen sizes for $ 8 … Spinners, by the way, cost $ 4 to $ 6 each.
Unfortunately, at home, I lost the biggest ones by sorting them over my trash can. Since the box also contained a decent buildup of dog poop, I decided not to dig for my treasure and instead used two smaller ones on the same screed, much like a “Flicker Spinner” shad. .
The drill easily made a clean hole in the top of each and I used a clevis on a large single hook with a bright red tube. He probably looked edible, I guessed.
At buoy 10 the next day, I showed my creation to my son, Bill Monroe Jr., a professional fishing guide when he’s not saving lives in an AMR ambulance.
He wouldn’t risk its use in his boat, but in an unusual concession he gave me the ultimate compliment: “It might actually catch something.” “
Indeed, he did.
The next day, I deployed the assembly behind a skateboard. He twirled like a top, so I sent him right down.
The rod pulsed obediently for a moment, then wiggled a bit and stopped throbbing.
I brought it to the surface and, to my delight, saw the result: a sculpin.
Hey, that’s a start, and given this year’s glut of coho salmon, now is a great time to mix, match, and experiment.
There is just one catchy name left to capture the attention and imagination of my new clients.
I’ve thought about a few: Claws, clippers, fingernails, cute items, greenhouse, manicure, etc.
Or maybe, until I know if it will work or not:
Just in time ? The forecast of 1.6 million for the Columbia River coho appears to be more than a little on the right track.
Since Thursday, more than 55,000 had crossed the Bonneville dam, the highest early tally for that date in five decades.
Coho love to bite spinners.
Why not the nails?
– Bill Monroe for The Oregonian / OregonLive