August 24, 2012
Just under a year ago, I was fishing silver salmon with Brian Kratzer of Angler's Guide Service on the Olympic Peninsula, which has quite a few parks — including the Olympic National Park, which shares the peninsula with about six state parks and a number of country parks. Gives you some small indication of just how magnificent the Olympic Peninsula is.
The Take Me Fishing campaign recently released its list of the Top 8 State Parks for Boating and Fishing in America. And without further ado, they voted for:
Blue Spring State Park, Florida
El Dorado State Park, Kansas
Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee
Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma
Itasca State Park, Minnesota
Presque Isle State Park, Pennsylvania
Wellington State Park, New Hampshire
Cave Lake State Park, Nevada
Having been to only a couple of these sites, it's hard to argue. And Take Me Fishing, which is part of the Boating & Fishing Foundation, stated the top votes in this election went to the best parks for "fishing, boating, and water-borne family fun," according to the Outdoor Hub.
But what if the list focused entirely on fishing opportunities? After all, In-Fisherman caters to bachelors, hermits, "fishing widow" makers, and inspired angling couples as well as traditional family men. For instance, my list would have to include Washington's Bogachiel State Park, out of pure predjudice. Caught quite a few steelhead on the Bogachiel during earlier visits years ago with my friend Dan Ross (who now books travel and guides in Costa Rica). And it's on that magnificent peninsula we were just talking about.
We can all certainly make our own lists. In fact, I think I shall. In the near future I'll reveal my own list of the best state parks purely for fishing across the United States.
In the meantime, the salmon run, Midwest style, is upon us. August is when the kings of the Great Lakes begin making upstream journeys. The Kings of August are still silver, still mean, and vastly underfished. Conventional wisdom has it kings run late September through October. Truth is kings run from July through November in the age of global warming. In my many years with In-Fisherman, we've discussed targeting August kings with fly rods, spawn under floats, crankbaits, and spinners. We've detailed and filmed trolling river mouths with plugs.
Time for something different.