Category Archives: Fishless Fishing

We shake off the preseason stiffness

The nature of scouting is like pre-season exhibition games, you’re working out all the kinks from what should become a well oiled machine.

Of late we’ve received a generous amount of moisture – keeping most of us fishermen indoors and pining away, while Mother Nature rights all her drought wrongs. I manage a scout trip each week waiting to see spawning bass in the shallows, but they’re a bit like Punxsutawney Phil, and not budging from deep safety.

Like an exhibition game, I watered the left sock from the dog bit waders I’d forgot about last season. Some strolling innocent failed to leash his aggressive canine, and I got a “through and through” on my left Achilles.  I remember standing there watching him yell ineffectually at the animal, as it attempted more damage – then his stunned look when I butt-stroked his darling quadruped, who disappeared up the trail yelping in a pained frenzy.

The waders were replaced easy enough, but the next trip had a shortened lunch due to the stash of last season’s  “fart bars” being  stale and the sack of dried peach slices being gangrenous . The beauty of Spartan rations is there’s nothing to melt, nothing completely unpalatable or rancid, but if it fails to look prettier once washed in the lake, it’s likely not worth the risk.

Lake water improved the stale protein bars, but I buried the peaches – figuring to do the watershed (and those living in it) a favor.

This weekend we forgot a rod, which always has a silver lining for the forgetful SOB that grabbed the wrong one. I’m winding up my best imitation of Robert DeNiro, “No, you can’t borrow my extra rod” speech from the Deer Hunter, knowing that loaned tackle guarantees the forgetful SOB will be catching everything  while my tackle remains untouched and I protrude lower lip …

…likewise for the dog – as now that he was done crapping on everything, he realized the human that had denied him his customary “shotgun” seat, meant he’d be splitting my beef jerky with two humans, and now the both of us were pouting.


It’s the only fish of the day – and Life has imitated art,  meaning one of the above is a smallmouth … The other is an dog owning ingrate that denied his loyal pooch precious dried beef-like substance …

… now I have to live down the gleeful pronouncement that I was blanked, and I’d had a can of “whoop-azz” unleashed on me.

Which is fair.

All that chalky blown dust that covered the banks last year is now underwater. One or two bass boat wakes later, the lake water is brown as fresh runoff.  Which means the fish can’t see flies nor lures after 10:00AM, so you get your fishing in early.

A Man in Search of a Verb

The only crime in fishing worse than being caught with live earthworms in your vest by your pals, is telling a fishing story poorly.

The formula is fairly simple. There must be some hardship introduced by the environment, there must be some inadequacy of your tackle overcome, and the fish must be large enough to predate unwary children or small pets, and only your unflinching heroics saves the day.

Which is why I’m in such a quandary, as I lack a proper verb.


Sunrise was just illuminating the lake when the hound and I stopped at an area known for morning bait activity.  The precipitous angle of the bank and depth of water made fly fishing uncertain, so I pitched a drop shot rig into the deep water and was rewarded with the unmistakable thump of a bass.

It was small bass to be sure – no more than nine or ten inches, but  it rocketed from twenty feet deep to the surface in a single frantic burst of energy. As I reeled to take up the slack, I thought it odd that a fish known for fighting the angler for every inch was suddenly a foot and a half in the air, and appeared to want to stay that way …

… re-entering the water, the bass skittered toward me and then vanished in a bathtub sized swirl.  Having had the same once-in-a-lifetime experience in saltwater, I flipped the bail open and started the methodical … One Mississippi, Two Mississippi …

…anyone that’s fished for Stripers knows that bait with spiny fins or sharp gill plates are typically swallowed head first, and the squeal of the drag is them taking the bait and mashing it into submission, before swapping ends and swallowing the result.

… so I continued to count as I watched the line move deeper into the lake.

Reaching sixty-five, I re-engaged the bail and hoped for the best. The rod doubled over and the line started making those wonderful harp chords that greet a peel with the drag set properly. I assumed the fish was larger than the 10lb mono my spool was crammed with – but with ample light tackle experience and luck, and patience, I had a slim chance to bring this cannibalistic leviathan to hand.

Six minutes later I had the fish turned and I wasn’t losing any more line, but we’d only fought to an uneasy draw. The fish showed no signs of tiring as it attempted to wrap me around anything nearby, alternating with simply sounding and sulking.

My heroics were short lived, as the line suddenly went limp and I assumed I’d been heavy handed at an inopportune moment and It had broken me off. Instead, I reeled in a 10 inch bass much the worse off for the fun had at its expense.

… and so lies my conundrum. I never put steel to the fish so I can’t claim to have hooked a 10 lb bass, played sounds weak and will beg the follow on question, fought is technically correct but is akin to starting a story in the middle – rather than the beginning, and dallied with sounds vaguely feminine and has little place in such a outdoorsy epic …

A great tale without an active verb is merely a whimper. I’ll think on it more before attempting to enthrall coworkers with the retelling  …

Imagine what they found when the Red Sea Parted

It’s the consequence of attempting lemonade when handed lemons, no matter how sour. Uncooperative fish, warming water, triple digit daytime temperatures, lingering drought, and a hound that requires exercise, each serving to make an outdoorsy type clamp on his hat and carry his rod if just for the exercise …


… then again, a nine footer makes a perfect weapon to filch decaying “dollar bills” off the tree stumps,  Considering your average plug is about $8, there’s a pile of “dead presidents” represented here.

As I spent much of my youth “dumpster diving”, this is akin to the wreck of the Atocha. Replace the hooks and buff anything shiny with a bit of steel wool, and you won’t feel the bite of teaching your child to fish – given all the tackle he’s returning to a watery grave was rescued from there earlier.

The volume of worm weights and sinkers, rubber worms (whose colors have long faded) and decaying blades from Kokanee trolling is beyond counting. Large stumps have absorbed so much tackle pulled into them from the shore, that there is a leaden debris field on the lake side of each stump, where the sinkers fall once the hook rusts away.

All you can carry, and all you need is hip boots and a dog looking for a walk.

I’ll settle for the Purple Unknown

Managed to sneak out briefly to scout the latest round of unseasonable weather.  Drought has a way of upsetting all the normal timetables, and this year is proving no different. The creek is already dry before it crosses I-5, so like last year, the only fishing that will persist is the nearby lakes, like Berryessa.

Normally the Bass spawn in Spring, but after an 80 degree weekend in March, I’m thinking we’re in Spring already and by May will be perspiring handily.

I scouted my usual haunts by Markley Cove and the dam proper, but made the mistake of being on the shade side of the cove, so the water was impenetrable until noon.

Plenty of large swirls in the coves as Bass chased Shad, but nothing was visible in the shallow edge – and no beds were present.

Saw one fish caught by a boat fishing a Chartreuse swim bait.


I stomped the bank throwing my usual mix of Large and Gaudy and was ignored by everything underwater – although I created quite the entertainment for the squadrons of bass boats that rumbled past.

Being early is never bad thing as occasionally “early” yields a fishery that’s “just right”, with only you to exploit it, versus the more numerous, “should have been here last week.”


I bagged it early and spent the balance of the day eyeballing the wildflower bloom. Like fishing, tracking the optimal flower show in a drought year is as bad as timing the bass spawn. A few colors were missing but the Poppies and the Purple Unknown were worth the early morning jaunt.

While many complain about the Lack, I shift my attentions to the Plenty

The drought and its unrelenting grip on the weather remind us of the absence of many things; moisture in any form, fishing of every type, and how Fall is being kept at arm’s length, denying us even a brief respite.

… unless you count forest fires as welcome change.

This year we had fires in every significant trout drainage in the state including; Hat Creek and Fall River, Yosemite, the Upper Sacramento, American, and anything else sloped towards the Pacific and sporting an overly warm dribble from the Sierra.

Naturally ebullient and unwilling to dwell on all the things denied us, I’ve busied myself with the Plenty, letting those prone to sourness swear at inclement conditions and hot weather.

olives1The Unexpected Plenty: defined by a big rig negotiating an onramp poorly and leaving 10000 pounds of Jalapeno Peppers on the edge of the road.

The Hoped for Plenty: that Garlic field whose harvester missed enough furrows as to allow me to squirrel away enough garlic to render myself off-putting to a Zombie Apocalypse, an uprising of Vampires, or most anyone ringing my front door.

… and the Unasked for Plenty; the appearance of enough Olives on the trees ringing the fields to allow me to dabble in toxic chemicals, converting the bitter and astringent Olive into something more docile and table worthy.

Fishing has been relegated to observation of the watershed and the realization that the two greatest despoilers of the environment are actually the root of the creek’s continued survival…

Man, for all his shortsightedness and many faults – occasionally preserves a watershed by intent. While that is infrequent in my unclean waters, occasionally we grow tired of crapping on the small and defenseless, and guilt makes us part with a few farthings for restoration work.

That other great despoiler of watersheds is the Beaver. Considered an unwelcome invasive in both South America and Europe, as it has great appetite for bank burrowing and tree felling, neither act endearing the beaver to anything else sharing the watershed.

As my creek has been dry since July, and does so each year at that time, the only life left in the watershed is contained in pockets of deep water. After the floods of Winter, the beaver rebuild their dams over the Spring, deepening the creek measurably, and these “islands of water” are all that remain for the fish, flora, and in stream fauna. Without beaver and his incessant engineering, I would have no fish.


I still patrol the last few islands every couple of weekends. I carry a rod so as not to be considered a “person of interest” by the occasional jogger or landowner intent on my doings.  I note the mink and beaver that occupy the remaining water and realize that predation doesn’t need my help. In this overly warm, stagnant environment it’s likely each fish hook thrust through jawbone could weaken the few brood stock that are left, and imperil next year’s fishing.

Which will be moot if this drought persists.

Cloudy with a chance of Sunburn

I didn’t think it possible to incur a sunburn in February. The notion that mornings are chill and by midday you’re peeling everything you carefully layered earlier, suggests less of explainable science and more of the looming Zombie Apocalypse.

Winter has a scant 30 days remaining and we’ve seen nothing in the way of water – although the weather pundits are claiming something damp may arrive next week.

Too little too late.

Fishing has been mostly an afterthought of late given how many environmental elements are out of sync. I’ve been out scouting different water each weekend, but nothing is visible, nothing bites, and exercise is the main event, with the promise to return when Nature rights itself.

This weekend was Gunfire Lake and a hunt for leftover tackle.  I amused myself carrying a rod, mostly to reassure the horde of camouflaged militia that I was local talent and not a Taliban sympathizer. My lust for tromping dry lakebed and scooping old fishing tackle being shared by a regiment of the California Militia, complete with badged yellow Humvees, wives that looked really tired of “Meathead” playing soldier, and a dazzling array of AR-15’s carried lovingly in the crook of an arm.

I’d always assumed the constant patter of rifle fire and the whine of ricochet stemmed from dumbasses drinking beer, now I know it to be patriotic dumbasses drinking beer.


The lake itself was reduced to a shallow two mile long depression. The boat launch was high above the waterline and some 300 yards distant. Water clarity was good as the morning was airless, and I threw fast sinking things at tree trunks and donated some tackle that I’ll be back for next month …

Scouting the launch area yielded a Wee Wart, a smattering of rubber worms and their sliding sinkers, 8 golf balls (Callaway), three six inch flasher rigs, a couple hundred yards of lead core, and one Indian acorn pestle which was a delight to find.


Apparently the trolling gear is for Kokanee Salmon, but it was still a surprise to see how much of the found gear it represented. Twenty pound monofilament, flashers, and lead core is a trifle heavy when the quarry is nearer sixteen inches than sixteen pounds.

I’m guessing the volume of timber in the water dictates the overly heavy gear, and donating chrome flashers is likely to hurt, making their preservation a priority.

Fish were visible only when porpoising in deep water. I tossed flies at timber near the bank, noting the absence of any protective algae in the water. The lake itself appears completely sterile of weeds and organic buildup (refer to the topmost picture to see the absence of growth on the submerged timbers). I saw a few Threadfin shad and assumed in the absence of any other life forms this was likely a “minnow” lake, with small fish the main event for all resident life.

I found a single monstrous fish spine and one desiccated turtle. The spine appeared to be carp or pike minnow, much too heavy for Kokanee salmon or bass.


A couple miles of bank yielded more flashers and trolling gear, another fistful of Carolina-rigged worms, a Heddon Torpedo, and a bullet riddled electrical panel which saw its final service as a Taliban sympathizer.

There were no hits anywhere on the paper, which isn’t all that surprising given the volume of poorly directed lead that splashes around us each visit.

Chill and with a hint of Stank

Some would call it the predatory nature of fisherman, sifting through  bank side debris analyzing clues left by Nature, or flung objects from the road above, all mixed with the discards from Mankind’s passion with the out-of-doors.

If fishermen are involved we’re certain to be considered a flinty-eyed predatory lot, able to tell genus and species by a partial track in the mud. The reality is more pedestrian, our examination of the bank merely a defensive mechanism ensuring our footing is sound … we know what the water contains and are reluctant to get any on us.

The ratio of crushed beer cans versus broken beer bottles suggested Carp and Catfish responsible for the empty packs of #4 and #6 bait hooks, amid the mashed creamed corn cans and charred remnants of 12-pack cardboard. Outnumbering all else, however, was “mystery fish” bait; earthworm cartons, partially submerged or fluttering gaily amid the blackberry bramble, and legion in number …

From the bridge above, I’d watched the lawn chair crowd bundled for warmth and intent in their fishing. I was hoping someone would get lucky and I’d be able to positively ID my quarry. Anything capable of luring sober men from the warmth of bed, whose rarified palate warrnts the plastic game bucket that accompanied each angler,  must be quite a fish.

Murk water neither looks nor smells pleasant, and any fish removed from same has to have a table quality approaching Godly to overcome its oily origin.

… three feet of leader and a bobber, hurled into the center of the watercourse to trail weightless in the current. Panfish came to mind, but without visual confirmation I was left scratching my head as to the Main Event.

The upstream landowner had attempted to domesticate the flow of anglers by playing the environmental card, “Habitat Restoration” featured prominently on tree trunks, but all he’d accomplished was ensure the broken toilets and piles of lathe and plaster stayed in the makeshift parking lot, instead of littering the bank enroute to the creek.

Blackberry bushes are far more effective a barrier than appealing to a sportsman’s sense of honor, as the opportunistic horde doesn’t appear interested in making a sordid little creek less so. The broken concrete rip rap, sunken cars, and tangle of railroad trestle ties dominate the structure in mid-current, giving the earth worm cartons something to flow around enroute to the Sacramento proper.

It’s an outdoorsy trait, with us “sports” caring for the environment, but never caring enough to return to the car with what we brought, leaving a trail of shot shells and forgotten leader dispensers like a plasticine slug trail in our wake.


Mornings are cold and brisk, and while I loiter for additional clues and keep an eye on the competition, I’m following the Army Corp of Engineers flood control dikes and the murky water they hold in check, hoping to find some overlooked and unloved spot that eat the finish off the fly line, and hasn’t been swathed in discarded plastic.

Most of the fields are dry and the canals that feed them contain very little water. Only those farmers that sublet their fields to duck hunters or hunt themselves have standing water.


In turn, those same blinds provide us with “white water” which is a mixture of foam accumulation and aeration, giving the illusion that amid the discarded tires and rusting farm implements, something worth eating may prowl opportunistically …


We’ve lost plenty of flies and found much of interest, but we’ve seen no visible fish activity and caught only Mistletoe. I assumed that to be a subtle message from Them As Lives Below, suggesting I kiss something of theirs … less clean.

Above is one of a dozen different flies I’m testing. Nothing worth naming, but the idea of a scented “Rattlin’ Salmon Egg” causing the magazine censors a bit of apoplexy warms me greatly …

The lack of water allowing us to see clearly

Outside of amusement for me, the purpose of all these unloved and untrammelled canals is to move water away from its natural drainage and force it into the dry portions of the Central Valley floor. With California’s lust for water intensive crops like rice and tomatoes, nearly every rivulet draining the coast range has been rerouted and reused many times over.

… which explains its gray-brown opaqueness.

Yet with the past couple of posts and the research we’ve undertaken on fish behavior and senses, there is still a bit more we can learn from our adversary that may maximize our ability to fish this unloved taint.

There are two basic types of waterways on the valley floor, man-made and “man-enhanced.”

“Man-Made” is self explanatory, someone takes a backhoe through the rich loam and flushes water through the scratch that results. “Man-enhanced” being something that started naturally, like a drainage or depression, and was augmented by a back hoe to make a larger waterway capable of greater capacity.

Some are lined with plastic membrane and the rest are not. The plastic prevents absorption of the water as it travels, and assists in slowing the gradual collapse of the banks into the main channel. This being a land without rock, nothing holds its shape for long.

Both types require periodic dredging to remain useful, the difference being the duration between backhoe visitations.


The above is an unlined trench. Note the flat and featureless bottom. The cement structure drains the canal back into the owning waterway, whereas the dry fork leads to the golf course further downstream.

Examining the bank in the above photo we can see that the water level never exceeds 18” – which is the distance up the sides the water has scrubbed the ground clean of foliage. If we were looking into the water from the bank above we’d be unable to tell how deep it was, and therefore might spend time fishing it thinking it deep enough to support fish.

I had reconnoitered this structure before thinking it might also serve as a natural Crayfish trap once the summer flows recede, but the few claws that I found suggested the surrounding shallow water is essentially lifeless.


Another shot further upstream. A featureless flat mud bottom that is slowly filling in with bank erosion and the sediment burden the water carries.


This small ditch is about 12 feet wide and at the moment is about 6 inches deep. It’s about half the size of our golf course trench above, is about the same depth when full, yet is home to fish in the 15” –16” inch range.

… that’s visually confirmed fish, including two corpses in the weed pile removed from the grating below. Naturally they’re fish that you’d as soon drive past enroute to someplace cleaner, but “cleaner” is closed until April, and this is free and will keep you false casts and wind knots year round.

I’m standing where the water is pulled into a wastewater treatment facility, so the source of why fish live here is obviously at the other end. The Sacramento river is the closest natural waterway, and about three miles distant, and if the two connect that would be the source of my fish.

In between waiting on the UPS driver for the odds and ends I’ve ordered to properly exploit the watershed, I’ll focus on what tidbits of knowledge I’ve gleaned …

The water is shallow and the bottom is muddy and flat.

Any cover that holds fish will be organic and likely visible from above, as constant dredging removes anything more substantial.

Flies should be lightly weighted and should vibrate or rattle when pulled through the water …

… and scent is a plus yet not a priority.

My quarry is likely anything wearing feelers, as well as the omnivores like Suckers and Pikeminnow, things that grow big on brown water food groups, decayed goat, Lawnmower and the occasional mayfly.

That’s a Gnarly Viognier, Bro

It’s part of the Californio “Coming of Age” ritual, wherein you chat with Poppa over your responsibilities as a Man, and unbeknownst to you the miracle of your birthright requires you be tanned and blonde, love raw fish, and speak like Jeff Spiccoli. The lecture concludes with the understanding that as I live in one of the Great Wine Regions of the Northern Hemisphere, I would be required to jettison the Childish Toys of my Youth (Schlitz Malt Liquor) for the love of a piquant Chardonnay.

… Duuude.

It wasn’t as bad as all that however, white wine excels at washing down a Twinkie ..

I did have to learn when to use “fruity” versus “oaken,” however. Misuse of one meant some self styled “Marlboro Man” took instant offence, and was also high on the list of instant fistfight if you lived in my corner of San Francisco. I eventually did develop a taste for aged grape juice and have always marveled at how the palate recoils at one age and is pleased at another.

Of late we’ve endured many weekends of unfishable weather, and have traded the “wide open spaces” for a wide open air conditioner. Indoors and cool being foremost given my brief attempt at fishing in 109 degree weather had me lightheaded shortly after leaving the parking area.

Much of the triangle of brown grass bordered by Hwy 505 and Interstate 5 is becoming a hotbed of wineries and olive orchards. Most can’t be seen from the road, but as you whizz by enroute to Hat Creek, Fall River, or the Upper Sac, you’re in proximity to neatly ordered rows of expensive grapes.

Route 3 Vineyards is a couple miles from my house, and as I prefer supporting local products over the rarified Napa vintners, I bought a Wine Club membership so I can perch on their verandah and make all the appropriate learned lip smacking noises …

At one of their gatherings I wandered over to watch a fellow ladle grilled meat into a soft taco, and noticed the pond serving as the vintner’s water supply. “How many cases do I have to buy to get pond privileges,” says I, in between pursing my lips while sipping “fruity” and “oaken”  …


“None,” was their reply. Although whether fish existed was somewhat in doubt. Vintners being more interested in yeast and tannin in liquids, fish being better served as accompaniment to a beverage, versus swimming within its depths.


The above quick foray was done when it was 105. Little Meat is fresh from the water and had the good sense to pant in the shade, the rest of us simply threw enough flies to satisfy our honor, then beat a hasty retreat for free liquor.

One friendly field hand spoke a mixture of Spanish and English, mentioning, “Tortuga”, “Carpe” and “Catfish” living in the pond (turtles, carp and catfish), and while I found plenty of minnow evidence, we didn’t have much chance to explore, the lure of chill glassware and the oppressive heat making us opt for “Orvis” versus “Death Valley.”

I suppose I could attempt “Brownwater Merlot Guided Flyfishing” but the damn ascots will just get in the way.

Where we attempt to divert your attention hoping you won’t notice we haven’t caught anything

Despite three fruitless trips and stinging only a single fish, I’m confident that Shad Fishing Died for Your Angling Sins.

A long winter of tying drab and dull, your “light” reading a mix of dusty tomes featuring metatarsals and pronotums, and you’ve exhausted both social venues and social networking and are conspicuously absent any cocktail invitations.

Your banter is free of celebrity gossip and your brow furrows over the finalists on American Idol, you’re prone to mumble, and coupled with a fetching hint of mothballs from your only sport coat, you can’t sustain eye contact with a nervous hostess as you can’t tear your gaze from her fish tank.

… and after months of isolation with Internet forums and that aging stack of fly tying magazines by the Crapper, you’ve bought their false prophets and notion of the One True Sport.

Trout fishing.

Replete with its aromatic tobacco, dimutitive flies, expensive tackle and long stemmed glassware, practiced by those strong in the ways of credit card debt.

You’re insistent that a large gold bead on your nymph has a parallel in Nature, a pre-emergent pronounced thorax, and while you struggle to pronounce “4mm, slotted, and Gold” in Latin, are just as insistent nymph fishing requires a floatational aid to make it more like Dry Fly fishing, elegant, gentlemanly, eliminating guesswork and a couple centuries of nymph fishing lore in the doing.

“Fling and swing” replaced by an upstream presentation, and should some timorous fellow suggest it reminiscent of the Unclean Sport, bait fishing, it’s an “Indee-kay-tor” versus “bobber” and how dare he insinuate otherwise …

… and now that darkened basements and the shameless exploitation of furbearers is out, your fascination with the “bug-like” thing is no longer quaint or charming, rather you’re linked with pressure cooker enthusiasts and egghead Chechnyan separatists. Our former, “ill at ease” with joggers and the cyclists suddenly an unpopular legacy now that BB guns and our leftover tins of black powder are under a societal microscope.


In contrast, Shad is the festive “Other White Meat” fishery – like Bass and Carp, a landscape where periodicals fear to tred, and its practitioners have firm sweaty handshakes, buy their rods on EBay, fashion their flies of Christmas tinsel, and non-tapered monofilament …

… that’s “mono-fila-ment” not “fluoro-carbon” – only asshats and Momma’s boys fish $22 tippet …

Empty beer cans line our rapids, castoff underwear festoon the brush and drunken college students holler encouragement as they wallow through our tepid water to throw up somewhere downstream. Shad fishermen embrace society and its many foibles rather than flee to the upper elevations and its gentrified antisocial notion of Pristine.

Shad fishing being the Mardi Gras of fly fishing, with brilliant tinsels, florescent, opalescent, and iridescent, mixed with chrome hooks, shiny toilet chain, gleaming gold beads, ALL designed to act like split shot and sink our fly like a leaden sonofabitch.

There’s no extended pinkie in our fishing, no privacy, no hushed bank of spectators intent on watching some fellow melt into hysteria when his BB shot and non-biodegradable bobber loop fetchingly around a distant tree branch. Neither do we complain about updrafts when explaining why our fly is imbedded in our arse cheek, or tree branch behind us.

Instead we hear the big gaudy SOB whistle towards us and duck while giggling mightily, knowing we’ve cheated Death – and how that interloper wading in behind us won’t be so lucky …

A tepid water introduction, compliments of a sharpened treble …

Shad fishing is for people that count fish, that club baby seals, that wax eloquent at the prospect of laying waste to hundreds of His creatures, who would rather torture and maim than kill and eat cleanly.

Our fishery, as brash and sordid as it may sound, doesn’t require us to tiptoe around concerned about we brought with us, what may have hitched a ride from our garage unbidden … we’re reticent to get into our water more afraid of what we’re about to step in …

A Fish so boney and unloved as to have never been eaten, never considered for table fare, and never commercial grown for anything other than fertilizer. Yet despite its peasant nose, wild, sea run, and having the pedigree of sport fish prized the world over.

Beats hell out of a fish spat “wildly” from the end of a hatchery nozzle, that dines wildly on floating plasticine dough or dyed salmon eggs –whose misfortune it was to he “shat” into water at elevation – and therefore conferred “wild” like a second virginity.