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Fishing Stories and Great Pictures

Please email your fishing story.

Pictures and Videos (Below)

Larry Leidger, the Man that Ate No Salmon - Steven Salkow

I first saw this photo in Trey Combs Steelhead Fishing - December, 1976. .
The 1500 pound fish was caught in the Snake River near Ontario, Oregon.


In the mid-80's, my friend Larry Leidger called me wanting to know if I still repaired fishing rods. I said come over. When he showed up, I was surprised to see how stout the fishing rods were. Normally, I work on fly rods, mostly someone whose car door closed on a fly rod tip. These rods were fat as my forefinger!

I came to know Larry as the salmon fisher who did not eat salmon! Of course, I was anxious to pay him back for all the great salmon I had eaten. "What the hell happened to these rods?" - I could not imagine a car door could do this. Larry was hesitant to tell me saying that the story he had to tell was not believable. I said if it is that good a story, I'd fix them for free.

Larry and his dad were fans of sturgeon. They were out in the San Francisco bay near the mothball fleet (Navy's fleet of decommissioned ships). They had hooked a substantial fish and Larry's dad seemed to be finally coaxing the great bulk closer to the boat. While a struggling fish approached, it was clear that it was sounding under the boat, so Larry had poked an oar deep to keep the taught line from being cut as it approached the stern and prop. Larry and his dad were more or less bent over the gunwales of the boat when the 250-pound sturgeon jumped in the air and landed in the boat. The great fish was no sooner there than he started to trash about in an attempt escape. In the melee, Larry's dad was tailed by the fish leaving him needing 40 stitches in his forehead, broke several fishing rods, smashing the boat's windshield and demolishing Larry's brand new $600 LCD Color Fish Finder. Larry shook his head: "I was told sturgeon NEVER jump".

The fisherman

What is the difference between a golfer and a fisherman?

When a golfer lies, he doesn't have to bring anything home to prove it


Do Japanese fishermen put sharks in their tanks to keep fish fresh?

The Japanese have always loved fresh fish. But the water close to Japan has not held many fish for decades. So to feed the Japanese population, fishing boats got bigger and went further than ever.

The further the fishermen went, the longer it took to bring the fish. If the return trip took more time, the fish were not fresh.

To solve this problem, fish companies installed freezers on their boats. They would catch the fish and freeze them at sea. Freezers allowed the boats to go further and stay longer.

However, the Japanese could taste the difference between fresh and frozen fish. And they did not like the taste of frozen fish. The frozen fish brought a lower price. So, fishing companies installed fish tanks. They would catch the fish and stuff them in the tanks, fin to fin.

After a little thrashing around, they were tired, dull, and lost their fresh-fish taste. The fishing industry faced an impending crisis! But today, they get fresh-tasting fish to Japan.

How did they manage? To keep the fish tasting fresh, the Japanese fishing companies still put the fish in the tanks but with a small shark. The fish are challenged and hence are constantly on the move. The challenge they face keeps them alive and fresh!

Have you realized that some of us are also living in a pond but most of the time tired and dull? Basically in our lives, sharks are new challenges to keep us active. If you are steadily conquering challenges, you are happy. Your challenges keep you energized. Don't create success and revel in it in a state of inertia. You have the resources, skills and abilities to make a difference. Put a shark in your tank and see how far you can really go!

Under water video of Noodling a flat head catfish.

Noodling is fishing for catfish using only bare hands, practiced primarily in the southern United States. The noodler places their hand inside a discovered catfish hole. Many other names are used in different regions for the same activity.

WARNING!!! Don't go in deep water when noodling catfish , don't go alone,don't go into water with a strong current and don't go the water if you live in a state with alligators or crocodile poisonous snakes, be aware of snapping turtles,muskrats,beavers,leaches,never tie yourself too a fish because many have died from tying there self too the fish and and beware of loose rocks,watch out for caving holes in the side of banks,it is best too go with someone experienced. GOOD LUCK.noodling is extreme fishing ,crazy but fun Fearless don't need a fishing pole, Gabbling is wrestle catfish. out of a hole. where monster Flathead catfish. lurk during breeding, Hogging Giant Catfish! Catching by hand. Huge flat head catfish - is the amazing video where we wrestle catfish. Okie Noodling, Monster Big Catfish. This is one of the Wildest, Craziest Videos Exciting Cat fishing Action!!! Using only bare HAND'S!!! Huge Flathead Catfish! noodling flat head catfish. out of brush piles. Beaver holes , big rock's in the creek here in kingfisher Okla. Noodling tip: Use both hands in their mouth, their bottom lip, then pull them to you fast, rap your legs around the big flat heads catfish's body then stringer it up on it's bottom lip.

Webmaster note: See guddling and Noodling

Leave Well Enough Alone by Steve Salkow

This is a fish story of sorts. It is a story about a certain Northern California Fly Fishing club with their own private bass lake. The existing fish population in the pond was not too bad having bluegill and small mouth bass but attempts to stock trout were unsuccessful. Turbidity of water was undesirable. The club hired trout experts, which soon called for draining the lake. There were many issues but after a year or two, the pond was operational and stocked with 5,000 fingerling trout. First problem they encountered was the oxygen content was too low. They had to retrofit oxygenators in two places. Meanwhile all the trout had disappeared. During the fall, the club raised some more money. They managed to stock 10,000 McCloud river rainbow trout. Unfortunately, the lake had no turbidity and was clear down to its 50 foot depth. Plentiful Cormorants soon arrived. These bird's bill is long, thin and hooked. Their feet are webed between all four toes. All species are fish-eaters, catching the prey by diving from the surface. They are excellent divers, and under water, they propel themselves with their feet with help from their wings; some cormorant species have been found to dive as deep as 45 meters. It was as if the dinner bell had rang. Within weeks, there were no trout left in the lake.
Photographer Dr. Andrew Lee from Irvine, California

Funny Fish Hook Salesman

A young guy from Missouri moves to Florida and goes to a big "everything under the roof department store" looking for a job.

The manager says " Do you have any sales experience?"

The kid says " Yeah, I was a salesman back home in Missouri."

Well, the boss liked the kid so he gave him the job. "You start tomorrow. I"ll come down after we close and see how you did."

His first day on the job was rough but he got through it.

After the store was locked up, the boss came down. "How many sales did you make today?" he asked.

The kid says "One."

The boss says, "Just one?!! Our sales people average 20 to 30 sales a day! How much was the sale for?

The kid says, " $101,237.64"

The boss says, "$101,237.64? WHAT THE HECK DID YOU SELL?"

Kid says, " First I sold him a small fish hook. Then I sold him a medium fish hook. Then I sold him a larger fish hook. Then I sold him a new fishing rod. Then I asked him where he was going fishing and he said down at the coast, so I told him he was gonna need a boat. So we went down to the boat department and I sold him that twin engine Chris Craft.

Then he said he didn't think his Honda Civic would pull it, so I took him down to the automotive department and sold him that 4x4 Expedition."

The boss said, " A guy came in here to buy a fish hook and you sold him a BOAT AND A TRUCK??"

The kid says, " No, he came in here to buy a box of tampons for his wife and I said, 'Well, your weekend's shot, you might as well go fishing!!!' "

A Stonefly Afternoon on the Klamath River, California - Steven Salkow


That Friday, we were already 6 hour from home and a state away in Medford Oregon. The parking lot was filled with our daughter's soccer team and their cars laden with gear and luggage. Tomorrow was the Medford tournament but we had no game to late that afternoon


On the trip up to Medford, that afternoon, my wife Vicki and I had stopped right on the border at a nice rest stop along side the Klamath River. At the rest stop entrance, a park attendant told me, as I asked; the fishing right near the rest stop was "pretty good". It was no coincidence that we had some fishing gear in the car.

Having secured some indulgence for an hour's respite, I was soon fly-casting the small stream. I set up a recliner for my wife right in the stream where the sound of the rushing waters was not only cooling but peaceful as well. It was a splendid afternoon with a hint of a breeze and powder puff clouds dotting an otherwise intensely blue sky.

I hard barely tied on a small fly and cast it once into a shady glide when a strong little rainbow tail-walked the small waters. My wife peered over her lowered sunglasses with book in her lap while I released the fish. Once a second fish was on, she asked me to let her land this one. The shortest hour in my fishing, history was soon over. While short it may have been, I had lost track of how may fish I had caught. We were on the road again.

We soon join our group at the hotel and discussed everyone's trip up. Vicki told the assistant coach, Cal Chaplin about the fishing spot. Cal later came over and explained how he never had a successful fly-fishing excursion. Since we had no games until the next afternoon, Cal talked me into taking him back to the hot spot on the Klamath the next morning.

Cal, it turned out, was the California poster child for the states most ill-prepared fly angler. Cal had no wading boots, no fishing rod, a high center of gravity, little or no sense of balance, and no fishing license. To exacerbate the situation, his vision was less that perfect even though he did not wear glasses. As we walked along the river, the long grasses were laden with adult stoneflies. I picked one up and tossed it in the stream. A trout smashed it immediately. I had heard that the hours of a stonefly hatch were magical if not down right mystical. I let Cal use my steelhead rod and reel. I had some large golden stone patterns and tied one on. I dropped the line in the water in preparation of handing off the rod to Cal. A large rainbow smashed it were it lay. He hit it so hard, the shock section of the line parted. Holy Trinity that was 20 pound leader!

My former fly fishing instructor, Ken Heinbecker told me, change your leaders every year. The ultraviolet degrades them to the point of uselessness. A lot of lesson would be remembered that day. With a fresh leader of stout dimensions, I handed Cal a new fly. No sooner did the fly start to drift; a hungry trout had sucked it in. Cal did not react in anyway.



"Cal that was a take. When the fly disappears, you need to set the hook!"

So that continued several times with exactly the same dialog. Cal would reposition for no apparent reason, thereby loosing his footing. Were it not for the fact that I was holding him up by the belt, I think he would have falling in. While the fish did not seem to mind at all, Cal was using my gear, which I preferred to keep intact. The trout were overly anxious to get on his fly. After a few more river dances, Cal seem to put it altogether, and was, sequentially, into to some very large rainbows. We lost two more flies. The way these fish hit was very awesome. We had only one large fly left in the fly box, which was a muddler minnow. We tried that one on a five pound leader. Cal caught a couple more fish, but the third broke off, taking our last fly.

By Sunday, three of the other fathers from the team wanted to go fishing but I was out of large flies.

I once gave up fishing. It was the most terrifying weekend of my life.

Too Much of a Good Thing


The San Luis Reservoir is an artificial lake on San Luis Creek in the eastern slopes of the Diablo Range of Merced County, California, approximately 12 mi west of Los Banos on State Route 152, which crosses Pacheco Pass and runs along its north shore. It is the fifth largest reservoir in California.

If you were looking to catch a world record fly-caught landlocked striped bass in California then San Luis Reservoir and basin, the O'Neill Forebay comes to mind. High summer is not usually the most productive time of year for targeting San Luis Reservoir/O'Neill Forebay stripers.

San Luis Reservoir can be a very scary place to boat. When the wind is blowing from the east, at 20 mph it can generate 4-foot wind waves that come rapidly. Many boats under 18 feet have been swamped by such waves and depending where you are on the lake.

It can be damn right hot and camping at the O'Neill Forebay is without shade unless you brought it with you. It is, however, only a hop-skip-and-a jump for the bay area. Occasionally, Bob and I leave after work and go there to camp overnight. Sleeping out under a night sky is not a problem as it always warm.

We had picked up sandwiches which we ate my lantern light while we passed the evening away playing cards and drinking a few beer. The variety of mayflies and caddis that showed up on the camp table was quite awesome. Back then, I was a novice to fly-fishing and was learning aquatic entomology. The denizens of the night include six different mayflies; one I think was a Henderson by size and color. Caddis flies were plentiful. Soon we had to wipe the table with a rag to get rid of them.

The following evening, after a less than stellar day attempting to troll for strippers without much success, the wind calmed on the Forebay. I broke out a fly rod and waded in with just tennies, shorts and a hat. The water was pleasant and casting was easy. Some sort of pale mayfly was beginning to show. "Target" were beginning to show everywhere as rising fish left expanding ripples as they sipped the emmergers. I was witness to my first "real hatch". I was excited at the prospects of some easy pickings. The tempo now started to accelerate. Fish were rising everywhere. The pattern I tied on "matched the hatch" and a lot of good that did me. I could not differentiate my fly from the hundred of nearest neighbors. My arms, neck, fly rod, sun glasses became a perch for Mayflies. I had to brush them off my glasses, as I could no longer see anything. The water was boiling all around me with thousands of feeding fish. Finally, I laughed aloud. It was preposterous that no longer could an angler see the forest for the trees. Welcome to a super hatch -better break out the peanut butter and jam tonight.

Steve Salkow

Trout fishing on Michigan's pristine Au Sable River

Gary Garth, Special for USA TODAY


LOVELLS TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Sunrise under a cloudless sky and from an open second-floor window of the North Branch Outing Club - whose century-old client list includes Henry and Edsel Ford, Horace and John Dodge, Thomas Edison, Charles Nash and Harvey Firestone - the North Branch of the Au Sable River can be heard gurgling through the north woods, quietly lulling guests asleep, gently rousing them awake. ...<MORE >

Fly fishing during the Spring

Fly fishing during the Spring time months can be spectacular. Still, it has it's challenges. With gradual warming temperatures, trout begin to move around. After a long and cold winter, trout are ready to start filling up on larger insects that are not available in the winter months. Here in the southeast, particularly North Carolina/Virginia/Tennessee/and northeast Georgia, early March marks the emergence of the first major hatches of the year. The Epeorus pleuralis, commonly know as the quill gordons and the Paraleptophlebia adoptiva, or the blue quills, are two of the most pronounced spring-time hatches here in NC. I've heard that generically speaking, a trout stream needs to reach 50 degrees for at least 3 or more consecutive days before the quill gordons start to really make a move to the surface. I tend to agree with this. It doesn't have to be blazing hot to trigger a spring time hatch, but warmer water temperatures are needed. If there is a warm spell that lasts for a week or so in February, the quill gordons/blue quills sometimes arrive early. We've seen this numerous times in NC. During a hatch, the insects are swimming from the bottom of the stream, riding with the current, while propelling themselves to the surface. Trout will take these helpless bugs with reckless abandon. When you start seeing quill gordon's on the water, tie on a quill gordon wet, let it sink to the bottom, and slowly inch it up to the surface when it nears your intended fish. This sometimes results in vicious strikes, so hang on.

As Spring rolls on, May brings with it a plethora of insect hatches. Hatches during the month of May include the Ephemerella Subvaria (Hendricksons), the Stenonema Vicarium or March Brown, and the Stenonema Ithaca (Lt. Cahill). Other hatches worth mentioning include the Gray Caddis, Gray Fox, Yellow Midges, Sulphurs, Black Caddis, Green Drakes, Giant Stone Flies (Pteronarcys), and the BWO's (which never seem to rest). If you look at a NC hatch chart, you will notice that May is the outlier in terms of how many insects hatch. Straying from aquatic insects, late Spring (usually June) marks the beginning of terrestrial season. Hoppers, ants, beetles and eventually inchworms make their appearance in western North Carolina.


If there isn't a hatch occurring, the best thing to do is tie on a nymph such as a Pheasant Tail or a March Brown Nymph. The absence of a hatch doesn't necessarily mean that a hungry trout won't tackle a lone dry fly, it just means that you will have more consistency catching fish nymphing. It's a fact that roughly 85-90% (or more) of a trout's diet consists of sub-surface food items (i.e. nymphs, emergers, baitfish, etc).


A few helpful tips for fly fishing in the spring...

  1. Be aware of water levels. This time of year yields more rain, thus more water. Spring time in NC means severe thunderstorms. If you hear thunder or see lightning, stop fishing and wait for it the storm to pass. Often, thunderstorms that occur well upstream will send water downstream.
  2. Fish the seams (where moving water meets slack water.) Trout are often found waiting in seams for passing food. They sit in the calm, slack water, adjacent to the faster water, we're food concentrations are higher.
  3. If the water is stained or muddy, use heavier tippet (2-5x depending on clarity of water
  4. 90% of a trout's diet consists of nymphs, so you are more likely to catch a trout on a nymph vs. a dry in most situations.
  5. Try a new fly that the fish have not likely seen yet.
  6. In high, stained water during and after spring rains, use big #4 Zonkers, Woolly Buggers, and Zoo Cougars.
  7. Most rainbow trout spawn in the early Spring, so try using an egg pattern. Spring in NC can be spectacular to say the least. Fishing is usually excellent with abundant hatches, warm temperatures, and plenty of hungry fish. Take advantage of the optimum weather conditions spring commonly offers.

Written By: Tyler  Legg

Pictures and Videos

Alaska Not without Peril

Are you kidding me!


A disorderly fisherman was in front of a judge.
The judge says, "You've been brought here for drinking."
The fisherman says "Great, let's get started."

Please contact Steve Salkow for more details.