Returning from our canyon waterfall excursion, we decided to take the scenic route (Historic Columbia Gorge Highway: 30) as far as we could, and diverge from I-84 whenever an alternate route promised something more interesting than even more scenic views. This route led us initially to the Bridge of the Gods, and quick rethinking upon discovering that it was a toll bridge. This put us smack in the middle of Cascade Locks. Once upon a time, there were, in fact, locks there. Now there’s a historical park.
The point is, the first parking lot in Cascade Locks lured me in with large hand-painted signs advertising “Fresh Fish”. Having promised to cook dinner that night (as a thank-you to Jen for hosting us), this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The men selling the fish waved us up enthusiastically, and as I got out of the car wasted no time in offering a selection of smoked salmon, smoked salmon, and fresh salmon. They opened their cooler to display a shiny silver fish as long as my leg, as well as a selection of fillets, none of which weighed less than a pound. I asked when they were caught: “you can tell by the color. Caught this morning with a hook and line.” It seemed very important that I understand that these fish were caught with a hook and line. This fact was reiterated several times.
They stated their price at a tentative $9/lb and for about 1.6 lbs I paid $15 cash. This did not seem exorbitant for fresh-that-morning hook-and-line-caught salmon and it was, ultimately, very delicious. I had to vehemently ignore the eager fishermen-cum-salesmen, however, when they started showing me jars of smoked salmon. They seemed to be pretty into their smoking talents but I am hardly the connoisseur for that judgment.