In case you missed the story yesterday afternoon on NPR, reporter Melissa Block floated the South Fork Santiam River with Oregon governor Ted Kulongoski recently. And while they also talked about his desire to create more green jobs in the Beaver State, it was a chance for the governor to practice what he really loves: fly fishing.
We float past Chinook salmon spawning in the gravel close to shore, their tails flapping out of the water. Ospreys wheel overhead. For Kulongoski, time on the river teaches patience — among other things.
“Sometimes, you have to get out like this to really understand why you do what you do,” he says. “This is what Oregon’s all about. This is who we are as people — on the natural resource side of our lives. … I must admit, I may not be as religious but I’m very spiritual — and I believe if there is a God, this is where he lives. He’s on the river, he’s in the mountains — this is what it’s all about.”
They were hoping to catch steelhead, but in the end, Kulongoski only landed a jack Chinook, which he released.
There’s an amusing tidbit at the end of the article too, about the governor steelheading in front of a crowd on the McKenzie. He loses two, and hears it from the peanut gallery.
The peanut gallery commenting on NPR’s story point out the gov might want to do something about the state’s high unemployment rate rather than going fishing or talking about future green jobs.