A Rogue River Tall Tale
as told by Captain Tim Brueckner
collected by S.E. Schlosser
The gravel bar on our left is called, Dunkelberger gravel bar. The reason I mention it to you, is because it is one of the finest places on the whole Rogue River to fish from the bank. If you have a boat you can fish most anywhere, but if you’re consigned to the bank – and I know a lot of people who prefer it – then this is where you want to go.
Now, you can catch a salmon here, but what it’s really noted for is it’s wonderful winter steelhead fishing. And steelhead fishing is really fun. In fact, it is one of the few fun things to do here, in the winter, when the weather gets real snotty and there’s not much else to do. I’m sorry – snotty – that’s not meant to be offensive. It’s simply a local contraction meaning, “ s’not a nice day to be outside, so stay inside.” But, you get real tired of being inside – might as well live in Michigan.
Anyway, a lot of the locals here have gotten so into their steelhead fishing, that what they’ve done, they have gone ahead and welded their rod holders right to the front bumpers of their big four wheel drive pickups! No, they have! You’ll see ‘em. They drive down to the edge of Dunkelberger, flip their gear out into the water, set their rods in the rod holder, climb back into the pickup, roll up the windows, turn on the heater, and there they set – all day long – chewin’ snoose, smokin’ horrible old cigars, drinkin’ cheap whisky, telling crude jokes, makin’ up lies, chuggin’ beer, havin’ burping contests, lightin’ farts, talkin’ about movin’ to Idaho, and trying to remember to roll down the window before they spit!
Havin’ a big time…catchin’ fish.
I know, every once in a while, when the fishing’s real good, some of them might drag their husbands up here with ‘em. Just so they can catch the extra fish. That’s what I think…
I know my daughter, Jessica, she was fishing up here last winter. She hooked a big, old steelhead. She never got out of the truck! She just put it in reverse, mashed on the gas, and yanked the fish thirty feet up the bank!
Our women are tough.