Salmon & Susan Musgrave's PheromonesTuesday, June 19, 2018
The English poet Ted Hughes, who came often to British Columbia to fish for steelhead, had a theory (wildly held, it turns out) that salmon are sexually attracted to female anglers. Because the biggest salmon are cock fish (old word for male Atlantic salmon – one I am so glad to have discovered!) they are naturally attracted to a woman’s pheromones, which transmit themselves to the water when she smears them on her bait or lure in the process of handling her fishing tackle. Old Ted told me he frequently went fishing in Ireland with a friend who tied his salmon flies using his girlfriend’s pubic hair.
I’ve yet to find a fisherman friend who has begged me to rub his flies in my knickers (that sounds complicated) in order to give him an edge, but I experimented once by wiping a lure through my hair (public not pubic) when Jim Fulton and I went to the place he called the Meat Hole on the Tiell River. He caught a whopping big Coho on his first cast; I don’t know if it was my pheromones, or the Meat Hole living up to its fecund reputation.
A Taste of Haida Gwai - Food Gathering and Feasting at the Edge of the World