First off, I’d like to point out that the location of my fishing trip keeps changing in my posts. Rather than go back and correct it, I figured I’d let my missteps dangle in the breeze for all the world to see. It was 5:30am and I was running on a green banana and acid coffee and I’d slept 4 hours and couldn’t feel my pinkies. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.

But for the history books, I’d like it to go on record that we were on the Cowlitz River, which is a major tributary of the Columbia River. We were in Washington. The fish were winter-run steelhead.

Okay, we can move on now! I feel that all is right with the world and I’ve come clean.

Back to the fish.

Whereas I got a boy, Gordon got a girl.


She was lighter in color than my boy, sort of a pinkish hue because she had only been in the river for a short time. Which means she’d been in the salt water for a long time as she ran up the ocean. This made her lighter in color on the outside with bright pink flesh. Think of it as the color of cured salmon after it’s been in the salt for a while.


My boy on the other hand, was much darker (here is where I also point out that I caught the bigger fish, ehem…), because he had been in the fresh water for much longer. You can tell it’s a boy because his jaw line is much bigger, see? His mouth goes quite a ways.

Also, see all the scars on his scales? That means he made his way out of a commercial fishing net at some point along the run. His flesh was much paler. And he didn’t taste as gamey as the girl. The girl tasted more like “steelhead.”

Speaking of steelhead, they are anadromous (like salmon), meaning they return to their original hatching ground to spawn. They are also iteroparous, meaning they may make several spawning trips between fresh and salt water. Anadromous and Iteroparous okay? Don’t forget that. And say that 10 times fast too.

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