Fishing an Introduction

 

Black and white landscape image of misty cold lake with fisherman in a boat.

From The Canyons are Calling - A series of short stories about the Fraser Canyon Region in British Columbia, Canada. 

Relaxed by the water, waiting, hunting – I feel a tickle on the line. Perking up as my senses become more heightened, my eyes narrow to a focus. 

“Is a fish on the line I wonder?” – 

Then BAM! The line goes tight, the rod bends and I hear the whir as the fish runs out the line. Adrenaline surges through my veins, I feel my chest tighten as my heart races and muscles quiver! Pulling back as I reel, I pause, 

“…did  lose it?”

My heart sinks, I wait. I feel the tension and pulling on the line again, 

“It’s still on! Keep reeling”, I tell myself through gritted teeth. “Careful though, keep it tight but not too tight or you’ll snap the line. Gentle, gentle…Let the fish wear itself out”. I breathe and remind myself patience is a virtue. As the fish gets closer I see the shiny flecks of silver and pink shimmer beneath the water, now I’ve almost won the battle. 

When the fish is close enough I awkwardly scoop it out of the water with a net. I look down feeling a mixture of pride and guilt about the beautiful silver creature I have captured. The fish struggles, wishing to return back to the water and I think,

is this a fish to keep or to release?” 

There is something primal and instinctive about fishing. The endorphins released drives a desire to do it more. I remember this feeling from fishing as a little girl. I felt like the powerful, huntress Artemis – goddess of the hunt, wilderness, and wild animals.  

I now find myself more as an observer, using my camera to capture people or animals in all acts of fishing. A huntress of that elusive perfect photograph. It’s fascinating, especially to see creatures endure all sorts of weather and environmental challenges to do what they do. 

The Fraser River boasts five species of salmon: chinook, coho, sockeye, pink, and chum. Other river dwellers include cutthroat, steelhead trout, and of course the giant and prehistoric white sturgeon. Lakes in the area have their own species of trout like dolly varden, rainbow, lake, bull, brook, and cutthroat as well.  These fish have many similarities but maintain uniqueness in their behavior and characteristics. 

Fishing in BC, in particular the Fraser Canyon, is a massive topic with many diverse players. Not only the types of fish but the people too. I’m aware of three main categories that intersect with tourism; recreational fishing, traditional and subsistence fishing, and of course animals that eat fish for food. Environmental challenges like landslides and forest fires (which impact the terrain and water) also share our fishing climate.

I was introduced to fishing at a young age from the perspective of a recreational angler, but with all of these important areas to cover I’m curious and want to understand more. I’ve started to reach out and connect with knowledgeable people to learn their stories and to photograph them. In the future, I’m hoping to share tales of traditional practices, subsistence fishing, recreational anglers, fisheries professionals, and the businesses that support them. 

Region: 

Fraser Canyon - British Columbia Canada 

Learn More: 

BC Freshwater Fishing License 

Pacific Salmon Commission

Sponsored by:

Lytton Chamber of Commerce

This Fraser Canyon story has also been published here.