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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 13, 2012 at 1:15 PM

Reel Time trivia winner hails from Seattle

Offutlake1.jpg

Congratulations to Greg Sullivan of Seattle who is this week’s Reel Time Trivia winner.

The trivia question of the week was:

This is a very popular opening day lowland 67-acre lake in Maple Valley, and has a annually derby with a pre-fishing pancake feast, and gets a hefty plant of about 12,000 rainbow trout.

Opening day trout catches can be unpredictable, but does provide excellent catches of 8- to 10-inch rainbows and some bigger carryovers. There is a nice access area and boat ramp, plus at King County Park has ample bank access and there is a playground nearby when the kiddos’ get bored if the fishing is slow.

The correct answer Sullivan gave was the Lake Wilderness.

“My grandfather taught me to fish for trout in Colorado when I was very young,” Sullivan said. “He was born in Nacogdoches County, Texas in 1897. As he told it to me, times were tough, economically. Hunting and fishing weren’t just family recreation, but a way to bring food to the table, as well. His father would send him out each morning in the summer with a hunting rifle or a fishing pole, expecting him to return with a rabbit or a catfish. As he put it, “I wasn’t a very good shot, so I chose to fish more often than not.” He often reminded me that when life was hard and money was tight, fishing would always provide solace, as well as food for the family.”

After moving to Colorado to be near the grandkids in the ’60’s, he spent every moment he could spare in the Rockies, fishing lakes, streams, beaver ponds, anywhere he might find trout. He and my grandmother, along with my parents and siblings, spent countless days – and many nights – quietly stalking the brown, rainbow, and cutthroat prey of those waters. I learned so much by simply fishing near him, by watching and listening for his ‘strike sense’, that moment when he seemed to feel the fish an instant before it took his fly.

Fishing is really in my family’s blood. My parents spent their honeymoon fishing the Rio Grande near its source in southwestern Colorado, and some of my earliest childhood memories are of rowboats and tackle, fish guts and bait. By the time I could drive, I could clean a mess of trout at midnight while holding a flashlight with my mouth.

What keeps me devoted to the sport, however, has little to do with that. It’s the stories told around the campfire of my mom catching big, scary catfish for the first time, of my dad’s father ‘teaching’ him to swim by tossing him overboard while trolling, of the family dog that ate the bait, of the car keys that fell in the hole in the ice, of the many, many times the ‘big one, at least 2 feet long’ got away. Most of all, it’s the thrill as my breath catches when I see my 8-year-old daughter set the hook just as the trout takes her fly. Since moving to Seattle 20 years ago, I’ve cast a line in streams and ponds all over the state. I’m particularly fond of the lakes near Republic, the Sauk River near Darrington, Cranberry and Pass Lakes at Deception Pass, and the backcountry lakes and streams near Monte Cristo.

While I haven’t fished much for salmon or steelhead, I’m hoping to get a few chances this year. Rainbow trout are native to Washington state,but it doesn’t seem right to call myself a ‘Northwest fisherman’ until I’ve landed the fish that truly define our culture. Toward that end, I renewed my license and picked up a catch record card a few days ago. I’m looking forward to new fishing adventures, and the stories that will undoubtedly come from them!

Sullivan wins a nice outdoor book.

This will be an ongoing weekly trivia contest where the winner who answers the question first will receive an outdoor prize that will range from books, Berkley bait, lures and other nifty items from the outdoors gunnysack.

The next trivia question will posted on Monday, April 16. Winners are announced the following Friday.

Here are our rules for The Seattle Times contest.

(Photo courtesy of Greg Sullivan)

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