Erin's dad is from Southern California, and he's used to fishing for tuna, halibut, bass and other fish. He'll be here in late April, and Erin wants him to have a good time pestering the fish. But should we mossy-backed Northwest anglers help Southern California anglers? Should we even talk to them?
I say we should, for these reasons:
Erin says her dad is ready for any kind of fishing -- river or lake -- as long as the fish are biting. I like this, as it's my own philosophy, which is I'll fish for anything at any time -- as long as they're biting.
Erin's dad is a fellow angler, and, while we don't want him to tell every angler in Southern California about our favorite fishing holes, it's always nice to help visitors. I get lots of help from locals when I travel to Montana, Idaho and south of the border.
Besides, we're not about to tell him anything about our very favorite spots.
Finally, I grew up in Southern California. Although I've lived in the Northwest for 20 years now, I can still remember the awe I felt when I realized how much water -- and how much fishing -- the Northwest offers. This place is paradise for us, but it's gold-plated paradise for Southern California anglers.
Our albacore tuna even run bigger than Southern California albies. Of course, they're the same fish that swam by San Diego and Los Angeles earlier in the year, but they've eaten their way up the West Coast by the time they arrive off Westport. They're bigger and fatter and nastier.
Anyway, Erin's dad should probably come prepared to fish trout in our lowland lakes. The season begins on April 29. If he gets here earlier, he can still fish year-round water, such as Offut Lake, which is getting hot right now. Black Lake would be another good choice.
Erin, if your dad likes lures, he should bring Roostertails, little Kastmasters and Mepps spinners. If he's a fly angler, he should bring a full selection of nymphs -- especially damselfly nymphs and little, fuzzy Hare's Ear's to imitate emerging mayflies. He may see a callibaetis mayfly hatch, so he should bring some comparaduns or parachute duns.
If he's a bait angler, he should bring four-pound-test line, stinky Power Bait, small treble hooks and sliding sinkers.
Finally, Erin's dad needs to get a linty fleece pullover, a salty baseball cap, a weathered raincoat -- moss in the creases is a good touch -- and muddy trail hikers. None of this stuff should look like it came out of the Orvis catalog less than a year ago.
Then he'll look like the rest of us. And he'll catch fish.