Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hooligan fishing

I have been hooligan (eulachon) fishing a couple of times this week. Hooligan, as they are called in the Pacific northwest are small fish, members of the smelt tribe. The fish I caught were about eight inches.

These fish appear in enormous numbers in late May and early June in some streams, but not others. Most of the run appears to be males, according to what I have read. That was true for me; of the 14 fish I caught, only one was a female.

To fish for hooligan, one stands on the bank or in the water with a dip net and just sweeps until catching the fish. I caught 14 in an hour's work, but when the run is strong 14 fish can come much more quickly. Others were fishing there, too. During the run, there can be dozens of people dipping.

They were tasty little fish. The fourteen we ate were enough for four of us. We'll go back for more!

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