Fish Rap by Roger Phillips: Steelhead are coming Nov. 22, so line up

rphillips@idahostatesman.comNovember 21, 2013 

I'm happy to see this fall tradition continue because it's a spectacle in a fun way. Anglers line the river like an opening day back east some place and the Fish and Game truck backs up to the river.

Fish and Game guys load a few into big nets and release them into the river, and usually within a few minutes, someone's rod is dancing, a fish is splashing and there's merry mayhem.

Now this has about as much to do with "real" steelhead fishing as a turkey shoot at the Boise Gun Club has to do with turkey hunting, but it's still fun.

And for me, that's good enough, and I am glad Fish and Game made the effort this year to bring a small truck load to the river instead of deciding a few fish aren't worth the hassle. There will be about 200 stocked, which is less than half the 500 last year, and in most years there's closer to a thousand.

For a little history, the steelhead stocking has been going on for decades, and 2002 was the last time Fish and Game skipped a year because of low returns.

I like to see the streak continue, so I was hoping enough fish would return to Hells Canyon to make it happen. Call it an early Christmas present.

And if I got to run the world for a day, I would even put a few in some of the local ponds. Can you imagine the thrill someone would have landing a steelhead from a neighborhood pond? It would also be a safer place for kids to try their luck at a pond instead of wading in the Boise River in November.

Just a thought, but I'm not going to get greedy.

Go enjoy the steelhead, and good luck catching one.

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