river tale

by underswansea


We were back on the river. The Kokanee Salmon are starting to die. They are an interesting hybrid introduced in the early eighties, with the intention to somehow replace the Coho and Sockeye stopped by the hydro electric dams in the early 1900’s.

A landlocked, fresh water salmon, politicians and well meaning environmental biologists thought would be a good idea. The Kokanee continue to get smaller every year. Originally they appeared in large numbers cutting the quantity of native Cutthroat, Ling and Rainbow Trout.

The problem with politicians, developers, lawmakers, environmentalist and just about every other news maker is they want to be seen as doing a good deed. Years later when the deed doesn’t seem so smart, the architects of misfortune have moved on. Pensions, summer homes – they had their day in the sun, now it’s left to the people who have lived in the same place for generations to deal with it.

Willow and I watch the Kokanee. Willow will wade in now and then.

The leaves are falling fast. They still hold the brilliant colour of fall. One hard frost will change that and lead us into what is usually a grey November. We used to take the last fishing trip along the Kootenay on Thanksgiving weekend. A good frost, my father would say, would make the Cutthroat bite. I’d judge the fishing holes by the colour of water and the way the water swirled behind the rocks.

I still do that, but rarely carry a rod anymore.

RCE_1989Willow in the willows.