Slide Show

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Return of 'The Fisherman's Prayer'

Rick's king salmons
Lately someone asked me how I catch fish.
Part of my secret, and it isn't much of a secret, is to fish the rainforest rivers out on the West End of the Olympic Peninsula. This is located in the far Northwest corner of the United States in an area that is so remote, any way you go gets you closer to a town. Forks is the nearest town. It was named for its location between confluence of the  Calawah and Bogachiel rivers. They join the Sol Duc to form the Quileute which drains into the Pacific ocean.
Rick's big silver.
To the south there is the Hoh, Queets and Quinault rivers that have retained their Indian names and much of their wilderness.
These rivers provide some of the best fishing for salmon, trout and steelhead in the Pacific Northwest.
I row a drift boat down these rivers, guiding fishermen one or two at a time.
Some days catching a fish is no problem. Just throw your gear out in the river and it's fish on!
Other days the fish just don't want to bite. It tests your faith in your gear when you don't catch anything. You are skunked.
Skunking can lead to depression or even ... golf.
The fact is you have to catch fish for people if you are going to be a fishing guide. Many of these people don't know how to fish. Studies have shown that people who don't fish are often able to lead far more productive lives than those with fishing problems.
Rick's summer run steelhead.
When I met Rick Perry he said he didn't fish.  
It just sort of figured. Here was a productive member of society who had retired from a distinguished career serving in our nations armed forces to enrich the lives of others in the community with his volunteer radio  station.
Life was good.
Then I started reading my newspaper columns on KSQM-FM radio 91.5 in Sequim and online.
I dropped a few fish off in the lobby of the station for bait. Eventually, I roped Rick into fishing trip just to be neighborly. That is, I wanted something.
There's nothing like floating down the Hoh River in the dark to make people more reasonable. They're liable to sign anything.
It was one of those typical August days on the Hoh River. Blue skies, warm temperatures and we weren't catching anything. Nothing but Dolly Varden, (a char) but those don't count.
We were fishing for summer steelhead.
Rick was mad because I kept throwing the Dollies back, said they'd be wall-mounters where he came from.
I told him the Dolly Varden/Bull Trout were endangered species here.
Rick's 27-pounder.
“If they're endangered how come that's all we're catching?” Rick asked. He had me there.
I told him I was a failure. Then badmouthed the government, told him how the soulless automatons of the One World Order biologists kept inventing endangered species as a form of employment security.
I told Rick we were going to catch a “real fish, a steelhead.  That's a tough sell when you're not catching them.
It was okay. Sometimes you have to patient to catch a steelhead and there's no better time to pitch a radio show than when you have the station owner stuck in a drift boat in the middle of the Hoh River between the Razorback and Hell Roaring rapids. It's not like they're going to walk out on you.
I told Rick about my idea of having a evangelical fishing show on the radio with soul-winning and trophy fishing featuring The Fisherman's Prayer. It's based on the Lord's Prayer given to us by Jesus two thousand years ago. Fishing has gotten a lot worse since Jesus. “The Fisherman's Prayer” has been reformulated for today's tough fishing conditions. It works on all species of fresh and saltwater game fish.
By then Rick was laughing so hard I thought he was going to spit up. So I threw out The Fisherman's Prayer.

Our Father above the water.
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy rain will come thy rivers run
On Earth as they do in heaven.
Give us this day our daily fish
and forgive our excess limit.
As we forgive those who set the limit.
Lead us not into rough water.
Deliver us at the end of season.
Yours is the river the ocean and the glory
Forever and ever, amen.

Rick hooked a steelhead immediately. That shut him up.
It wasn't the biggest steelhead but who cares when it's your first one.
Rick kept fishing. In fact he went fishing so much, he almost quit going to the radio station that he had started. He figured the volunteers could handle it, whatever, he was gone fishing.
The fish Rick caught kept getting bigger. That  fall he got a 23-pound coho in the Quileute River and a 30-pound king salmon in the Bogachiel. By the time steelhead season rolled around we were fishing the Sol Duc where Rick caught a 27-pound hatchery steelhead.
These days Rick gets mad if we catch a dolly varden. He wants to catch a “real fish.” I still don't have my radio preacher fishing show but how could I?
Rick's always “gone fishing.” 

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