I was raised in a family that loved to fish. Most weekends of my childhood, April through September, we hooked up our trailer and headed out to some obscure little pond or pothole to drop a line in the water and hope we’d catch our dinner.

Over at Evergreen Reservoir, located close to the middle part of the eastern side of the state, the six of us often piled into our 14-foot boat and motored about catching plenty of crappie and perch. Later, we’d eat them as fast as Mom could cook them.

I was five when my dad handed me the pole to reel in my first trout while he rowed around Green Lake in Seattle. I landed my first steelhead, all by myself, on the Stillaguamish River when I was 12. My first salmon was caught in the waters of Puget Sound, not far from Picnic Point.

“Hold the tip of the pole up!” “Don’t horse him!” “Give him a little slack!” “Let him run, he’ll tire himself out!” “Set the brake a little tighter now!” “Don’t lose him!”

Even then, I wondered why all the fish were “hims.”

My love of fishing has never waned, and in 1977, when I first moved to the peninsula, surrounded by opportunities to fish on three sides and the middle, I knew I’d love it here.

I turned 58 last week. What I decided I wanted to do most of all for my birthday was go sturgeon fishing. Schedules being what they are, the trip is planned for day after tomorrow, with Mike Cassinelli out of Beacon Charters.

Now, I’m absolutely sure Mike does whatever he can do give his passengers the thrill of landing a sturgeon. And I do hope I land a keeper. But as all true fisherpeople know, when you spend the day on the water, “it’s not about catching fish.”

Here’s hoping for a fabulously fun day on the Columbia!