FredThomas-2017 - Salmon artwork

Outside: Salmon River Steelhead

This is a featured article in BigSkyJournal.com written by Greg Thomas and illustrated by Fred Thomas from February 2017. I grew up along the Pacific Northwest’s coastal salmon and steelhead streams where it was easy to spot the rookie anglers: These were people who proudly posed for photos with fish that had begun the inevitable freshwater deterioration process, indicated by their dull gray scales, deep red sides, and soft bodies. Those were fish that experienced anglers allowed to swim past. We targeted fish that arrived on incoming tides and carried bright silver scales and bluish backs instead. These were firm fish and great fighters, and they were the best to eat. When I moved to Idaho in the 1990s, it was difficult for me to get excited about the area’s salmon and steelhead runs. If I’d lifted my nose at “darkish” coastal fish just a few miles from saltwater, what made … Continue reading