By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News
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Personally, my first fishing memory is a summer salmon fishing trip on the Elwha River with my namesake uncle, Mike Colton, in the late 1980s.
Uncle Mike was out visiting his hometown of Port Angeles from his adopted home in western North Carolina, and even though it wasn’t a great time to go fish the Elwha, it was a memorable time in the great outdoors.
We didn’t catch anything, but I had my first bear scat pointed out to me and was shown a tree where a bear had sharpened its claws.
My first landed fish was likely a piling perch at the Port Townsend Boat Haven or a large starfish I snagged off Point Hudson.
The starfish was sizeable, which provided some excitement as I set the hook and snagged the poor animal.
However, the lack of fight as a I brought it to the surface should have let me know this catch was nothing special.
Area angler Pete Rosko passed along a first fish story and photo that was just too cute not to share.
Finn Rodgers age 5, was spending quality time at Lake Sutherland recently, with her dad Ryan, a scientist on the staff of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University in Tallahasse, Fla.
Finn, entirely new to fishing, watched as her dad casted for trout during the calm evening hours just before dark.
The elder Rodgers was interrupted by a phone call, and Finn’s curious nature led her to pick up her dad’s fishing rod to try and figure out just what this fuss was all about.
“Five casts later, Finn’s casts resulted in two trout,” Rosko said.
“Nothing better than the child’s joy of a fish caught.”
And for the curious, Finn and her dad were using a 1/4-ounce glow chartreuse Sonic BaitFish lure.
Annoy the kokanee
School’s in session, sunsets are coming sooner each night and football returns in full with the Seahawks game tonight and high school squads joining the fun this weekend.
Another sign of the incoming autumn? A better kokanee bite as water temperatures cool off at Lake Sutherland.
“The kokanee bite has begun at Sutherland and it will only get better until it ends late this month,” Rosko said.
“The real fun will start about mid-September with the cooler water and the kokanee taking on their spawning colors.”
Kokanee are no different than a deer or elk experiencing rut according to Rosko.
“Kokanee also experience the same mating ritual of aggressiveness by attacking lures,” Rosko said.
“Forget trolling if you want non-stop action. Vertical jigging is key to big numbers.”
After finding a school of kokanee on your fish finder, Rosko recommends dropping “your jig down to the mark on the screen and hold on.”
Fluorescent chartreuse and fluorescent orange are good color choices for lures.
The vibrating action from the jigging should send angry kokanee towards your hook.
Archery hunts for deer started around the state on Monday, when hunting seasons also opened for forest grouse, mourning dove, cottontail rabbit and snowshoe hare.
Other seasons set to open this month include archery hunts for elk, muzzleloader hunts for deer, and a turkey hunt in some areas of eastern Washington.
A youth-only hunt for ducks, geese, pheasant and other game birds runs Sept. 20-21 statewide.
To participate, hunters must be 15 years old or younger and be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years old who is not hunting.
“Hunting seasons look very promising this year,” said Dave Ware, statewide game manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“Deer and elk populations definitely benefitted from mild weather last winter, and there should be plenty of local ducks available early in the season, followed by a record number of birds expected from the north later this year.”
Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.