Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Last week the Colwell Family gathered at the Tolovana Park house for the 35th year. We're fortunate to count only a missing few; my newly wed niece and her husband and my nephew in Hong Kong.

My brothers, Rick and Mark, have fished their lives through the commercial seasons in Alaska and now fly fish the waters of Oregon and Northern California. Having spent a summer on the commercial dory, Leah-Kai, I too have an eye for the small boats that fish the Oregon coast twelve months out of the year.

This year, close in off the shore, the boats raked in sardines and mackerel and headed north to the ports of Astoria, Ilwaco, and Warrenton. Farther out, in a space between 50 and 130 miles off shore, the albacore run. And closer inshore, the fewer salmon still run towards the river mouths chasing the bait fish.

It is good to see the night running lights on the water, the docks and processing houses alight at night because it means the fishers are working and the docks are open.

We ate well the last night. A whole coho, and a dozen mixed mackerel and sardines.