In October, in Michigan, a fever grips the fishing world. Camps are recklessly made, mostly by thoughtful men, on the banks of a river that literally boils with activity below its surface. These camps are constructed in the same frenzied pitch and hopes that will again be made for whitetail deer on November 15th – deer camp, but these are salmon camps. The Chinooks have arrived in big numbers to spawn.
It's an ancient tradition with these men that, in North America, began on the Pacific Coast with Native Americans who captured, ate, smoked fish for winter use, and pounded dried fish into pemmican, a powdery meal packed into sacks lined with fish skins and used in trade with other Indians. The superabundance of the salmon then were big, happy commerce.
Today's fishermen go to great lengths to hook a Chinook, photograph the grip-n-grin trophy shot and, in the spirit of catch-and-release, let the fish go. Some, if the fish is fresh and silvery, will keep fish for the table where the keeping of fish is permitted. It's all big fun.
A fever that began thousands of years ago is now near its 50th year in Michigan."
Chinook, and Coho salmon were brought to Michigan's Great Lakes to patch a very ugly scar brought to the waters by the decimation of our native lake trout – the victims of overfishing and sea lampreys, with the resulting mega-abundance of forage alewives. Both salmon took to the Lakes and the alewives readily and a fever was born. A fever that began thousands of years ago is now near its 50th year in Michigan. Traditions are born this way.
Per their Pacific programing all of the salmon die by the hundreds under the sweepers, in the eddies, and on the shallow sandy banks. Not one will survive to return to the Lakes. The rivers become dark and cold again, but not for long. In December, with the running of the first winter steelheads, a new fever starts. - WES:::