Sunday, October 18, 2009

The IQ test

The IQ test
Or, we go fishing with Og to prove a point.

The other day I watched with facination one of those little phenomenon that make observational humor possible.
I give you the Midwest zombie salmon fisherman and the great quandary of weight and gravity.
Our Newton challenged gear and bait anglers here don’t seem to grasp some quite essential principals, even after endless trial and error. By the way, for those that are unfamiliar with the term ‘zombie salmon’, it refers to the state of decay of the fish that people are trying to catch. All wide eyes and rotting flesh.

Here is a perfect example:

The other day I noticed a guy with a spinning rod and plano box of bait/lures walk into the middle of a run below me thus low-holing me.
He cast his rig of what looked to be a treble hook and split-shot with salmon roe out into the river and in literally two seconds was hung-up on the bottom. He gave the Wisconsin heave to try to free the snag, but to no avail. He then broke the line and went back to his plano box on shore to re-rig his whatever it was that he was doing. Several minutes later he sloshed back out into the middle of the run and standing in the best holding water, made another cast. Once again, within two seconds he was hung up. Undaunted by his failure, he rigged up again and got snagged again. He repeated this for about an hour until the contents of his plano box had visibly diminished. I had moved down to another run and was back at my car to witness the progression of his fishing.

I have to give him credit. He stuck to his guns despite all logic and indications that he might want to use a bit less weight.

So, just for grins, I thought it might be fun to see if Og is smarter than the average zombie salmon fisherman.
Og is a Neanderthal of my acquaintance who lives in my basement. He is harmless and not too bright.

“Hi Og, how are you today?”
“Og good.”
“Very good, Og. How would you like to go fishing with me?”
“Fish good.”
“Excellent, Og. Here, carry the rods and reels and bait, and we will walk to the river.”
“Og walk good.”

“We’re here at the river now, and Og is going to make the first cast. O.K. Og, now toss the line into the water.”

Og throws the rod across the river and it bounces off a tree.

“No, Og, not the entire rod. Just toss the line like this…”

“Og cast good.”

Og tosses a seventy-foot cast into the heart of the run.

“O.K. Og, now start to retrieve the bait.”

“Oh oh. Og no can retrieve. It stuck.”

“All right Og, let me just break it off. Now, you tie on the hook and bait and attach the split-shot. First though, why were you stuck on bottom?”

“Og no good at gravity thing, but gravity thing make lure thing heavy and it get stuck.”

“Excellent observation, Og Now what are you going to do differently this time?”

“Og use less weight. Only attach one heavy round thing.”

So, we see that Og who is a dead end on the evolutionary tree, and in possession of an IQ barely the square root of his weight managed to figure out the great problem confronting him. Lets go back to our zombie salmon fisherman and see how he is progressing.

He is still there in the same spot. He has not moved. He is into the second large plano box of hardware he is chucking, and yes, his rig is snagged on the bottom yet again.

Sometimes I think I have found the missing link. They emerge from some hidden dimension during the salmon run, only to return back when the salmon are dead.


  1. "Sometimes I think I have found the missing link. They emerge from some hidden dimension during the salmon run, only to return back when the salmon are dead. "

    Around here, since there are no salmon, it's the stocking truck for which they emerge and only return for the deer hunting.

  2. Growing up in Alaska, a friend and I used to snorkel the creeks after the salmon run and pick up not only the snagged and lost gear, but all the stuff that feel out of the rotting carcasses. We kept some but sold most of it back. Year after year...

  3. Scott:
    Good point. They are everywhere. Whether it is the stocking truck, fishing at dams, or zombie salmon, or very unfortunately... the average liquored-up deer hunter.

    Now that brings back memories. One day in fall around ten years ago, I kept finding crank-baits stuck in river debris and bushes. A large fresh salmon run had occurred with a heavy rain and the area below a dam on the river filled with huge salmon. Everyone and their married cousin was chucking lures at them and they were getting destroyed by the salmon. Downstream, the next day, I collected more than 40 rapalas and other plugs and floating crank-baits with twisted hooks and tooth marks. It was sort of like the day after an epic battle. Broken stuff everywhere.


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