Paul Reddish has been fishing all over the place and has been adding one species after another to his tick list. He pointed out to me one time that he had managed to cross paths successfully with all the salmonid species of North America except for one. That elusive critter was the pink salmon. There is no shame in that since pink salmon elude everyone every other year since they only run upriver to spawn every two years. Curiously, independent populations spawn in even and odd years. In southern parts of their range they spawn mainly in odd years. Odd indeed!

As it happens PR dropped me a line to report back on his recent trip to Vancouver. This was a family trip rather than a fishing trip but, as luck would have it, the salmon were running and so he booked a guide for one day of fishing to see if he could finally land his pink salmon.

He tells me that the rain never stopped and it bucketed down all day long. His guide had indicated before the trip that catching that pink salmon would be a formality and that he might like then to consider then doing a bit of fishing for one of the monstrous white sturgeon of the Fraser River.

Things rarely go entirely according to plan and the salmon fishing turned out to be very demanding but nonetheless our hero persevered and finally managed to get his salmon. Pink salmon are not among the bigger species of Pacific salmon and they spawn at only two years of age.

The fish Paul landed, and then returned to the Harrison river, was a male with a partial hump. When I saw the photograph I thought Monsieur Reddish had been overdosing on some rejuvenating skin product as he looked several decades younger. But it turns out that his prize fish was being held by his fishing guide!

And then, with the fish in the bag metaphorically, while swimming around in the Harrison literally, the two boys were off to the Fraser river where giant sturgeon fatten on a diet, I believe, largely of dead salmon. These are the largest and longest-lived freshwater fish of North America. They can be massive.

In the email I received of “the other fish” there were no words. There was just a single photo attachment which I reproduce below. The full details will have to wait for our next meeting which I hope will not be too far in the future.

The elusive pink salmon.
The “other” fish!