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Fly Fishing For Salmon

Joel La Follette - Thursday, June 08, 2017

This week's Blast from the Past grabs a headline from The Daily Morning Astorian from May 5th, 1885. Evidently, our early Oregonian angling fraternity hadn't discovered the wonders of our native Steelhead yet.

Fly Fishing For Salmon

The Coos Bay News says: ''Several salmon have been caught with artificial flies on south Coos river lately." If the salmon of this coast would take the fly like those of the eastern provinces of Canada a great many sportsmen would be among our summer guests.

The story has long been current among New England sportsmen that, during the controversy between this country and England respecting the northwest boundary, a son of Lord Ashburton visited this region fully equipped for testing the game qualities of our salmon. When he failed in his pursuit he sent a dispatch to his father saying; "Cede the blamed country to the Yankees; the salmon won't rise to a fly."

A great many men in the eastern states would estimate the value of the country then in dispute to themselves by the standard alleged to have been employed by young Ashburton. These men now find it difficult to obtain at any price fishing rights in the provinces. If salmon would rise to the fly in our rivers, there would be no difficulty in accommodating all the sportsmen of the country with abundant opportunities for this lordly sport. As a matter of fact, we believe the question m which the young Englishman was so deeply interested has not yet finally settled. 

Salmon sometimes do rise to a fly. The Coos News says a boy caught one a short time since on a home-made fly, which weighed twenty pounds. Salmon fishing for sport may be one of the undeveloped resources of the Pacific Northwest.

Lord Ashburton 1774 - 1848
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