As a Vermonter, I grew up in the woods and around people who fished and hunted. My family isn't big into either of those activities, but I always had friends who did both. We lived right near the Battenkill River in Southern Vermont, which is some of the best fly-fishing in the Northeast. Although I grew up around fishing, I did not frequently take part in the activity, but I would often hang out with my friends who did. It wasn't until I got to St. Lawrence that I got into fishing. My friends and I have gotten into being outdoors since being in the North Country and fishing was one of the activities that really jumped out to me. Around campus, we enjoy frequenting the Grasse River because it'd so close and easy to get to from here.
Earlier this month marked the annual salmon run up the Salmon River, about a two-hour drive from campus. To get a full day's worth of fishing in, I went with my friend Alex Ball '14 at 7 a.m. on an unusually warm day for early October. After stopping at a local fly shop and getting suited up in its parking lot, the men grew tense and anxious. A short path on a pull off down the road opened up into a long stretch of gravel bank. Maybe two other fishermen were enjoying this stretch and they both had what looked like one fish already taken out of the water beside them. As we waded out and eventually found what looked to be like a reasonable spot to camp out for the next three hours, we heard crashes on the water. These fish were drunk with excitement. A circus of surfacing fish parading through the air seemed as if they would jump into your net. They were just as thrilled to be in the river as we were.
I saw a white stripe flash 20 feet in front of me. This stripe was the distinguished mark of a King Salmon coming upstream to spawn. It really is a remarkable thing how many of them you see, yet not a single one is caught. It is a terrible feeling, spending that amount of time on any one task and essentially ending with a failed attempt, but I did not feel unaccomplished. I drove back to school with a smile on my face for a day out on the river and being around such a unique time of the year. Although this may be some of the best fishing I will find in the North Country all year, I am excited to have been a part of my salmon run on the Salmon River. Without St. Lawrence, I wouldn't have known about this great fishing spot or had the ability to fish it.