On the addictive nature of fishing
Dennis D. Dauble ’78 MS
FishHead Press: 2016
Fishing is serious business for anglers, and absurdly funny for everyone, a truth understood fully by author Dauble. His misadventures, fishing treks, and philosophical musings fuel this amusing and thoughtful series of short true-life stories by the retired fish biologist and WSU Tri-Cities instructor.
Whether he’s griping about his buddy Leroy’s vintage—and only marginally functional—outboard motor, traversing the Tucannon or Touchet Rivers in search of steelhead, or trolling for salmon among too many other boats, Dauble does a fine job of hooking a reader’s interest in this most addictive of pastimes. And for him, and many others, it’s certainly an addiction.
“Not to dwell on quirky behavior, but there is little doubt that fishing fulfills a deep emotional need for many of us. Indeed, for some anglers, this need can lead to addiction.…The addict requires little if any excuse to continue past the designated quitting time and will do so until you wrench the rod out of their cold, stiff fingers,” Dauble writes.
He confesses he was trapped himself from the time he caught his first trout. But despite Dauble’s prowess, as evidenced by a Columbia River fishing hole on the Hanford Reach named after him, his taciturn friend “GM” outshines the intrepid author on at least one excursion.
Dauble follows his habit to some far-flung locales, too. In La Paz, Mexico, he hunts dorado on the Sea of Cortez with his friends Ted and Ken. Other journeys include seeking coho in Ketchikan, Alaska, and fighting high-velocity albacore off the Washington coast near Westport. Another, to Sheboygan, Wisconsin, featured a rough charter boat trip on Lake Michigan.
Dauble dedicated this book to his older brother Daran, who accompanied him to Sheboygan. Daran died of cancer in 2012, and one of the most moving stories memorializes a fishing trip of the Dauble brothers on the Columbia, and how the author later fished with Daran’s rod after he passed away.
Dauble is the author of two award-winning books, Fishes of the Columbia Basin and The Barbless Hook, another series of essays on fishing. In this third book, Dauble’s salty humor and insights grab readers just as surely as his Magnum Wiggle Wart and Kwikfish lures attract salmon in deep pools of Northwest rivers.