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The allure of fishing

Anglers’ successes in Curlew Lake are intriguing

I haven’t been fishing in years, but I still enjoy hearing about fishing successes.

Most of my fishing successes were of the small variety – the kind that will fit in a 10-inch skillet with not much tail hanging over the edge. In short, I never caught any lunkers.

And, I’m sure much to the dismay of many acquaintances, I will confess all my fishing was done with a spinning rod and reel, with the hook baited with brightly colored eggs or a wiggly worm dug out of the yard. Yes, I loaded up the hook myself.

Each year, as we’re putting together the Fishrapper magazine, which came out just before general fishing season started, I get the urge to go fishing.

Urge yes, action no.

With all the regulations and prohibitions that have come along in the past 25 years, I’m a bit intimidated at the thought of going out. Would I be able to detect a clipped adipose fin? Do I know enough about fish to tell which one’s a steelhead, which is a salmon or a rainbow or a brookie?

If I accidentally snagged a Dolly Varden, would the fish police come bounding out from behind a tree, handcuffs at the ready?

Given all that, I traded in my fishing pole for a good book and spent a number of enjoyable afternoons sitting on the shore, swatting mosquitoes and reading while my husband fished. Sadly, neither of us has been fishing much in recent years.

All that said, I learned on Monday that Troy Wallin of Enumclaw caught one of the “big money” fish planted by the Curlew Lake Association in Curlew Lake. He went home with $200 and, presumably, the fish.

He would have taken home $300, but he generously donated $100 back to help with tagging the next season’s fish this fall.

That’s truly paying it forward.

April produced 10 tagged fish, two of which have been turned in so far, said association member Bobbi Weller. Another three were caught, but had been cleaned before they were taken to Tiffany’s Resort, 58 Tiffany Road, for verification.

Weller reminds anglers to take their tagged rainbow trout to the resort before cleaning. That way, the prize fish can be weighed, measured and the tag verified.

Bobbi says the state plans to bring 80,000 fish to the lake’s net pens for feeding all summer.

“This is the largest amount ever received in the pens,” she said.

The fish will be released into the lake this fall.

For those who still dip their lines into the water, Bobbi says folks fishing from the shore and docks are having better success than those fishing in deeper water from boats. Most of the fish are beauties up to 22 inches long.

Two “big money” fish, worth $500 each, are waiting to be caught.

Gee, with those enticing numbers, maybe I could be convinced to put down my book and pick up a fishing pole again.

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