TYEE TALES – Mark Gage


This isn’t really a fish story, rather a short memoir of time spent growing up in a fishing family.

Our Dad instilled in all of his kids a keen interest in the ocean environment we still pursue in our thirties. Our Dad has always been serious about his fishing, and as a result we spent the better part of our childhood either trolling up and down the wall north of Brown’s Bay, or intently watching the rod tip while fishing the SE corner of the Pool. I still remember when I was about five years old hiding under my Dad’s rowboat seat while fishing the SE corner to escape a particularly intense hailstorm, and wondering if other kids spent their summer holding their pee for hours in a rowboat. We also learned to listen for a break in the rhythm of the oar movement because that meant Dad could be leaning over our shoulder to make sure we had our thumb tightly on the reel. I think I was twelve when our Dad achieved his goal of rowing the last family member to a registered Tyee, and shortly after the “Tyee 7” license plates were mounted on the family car.

About the same time I became employed by the Club as a weighmaster for the summers of ’81 and ’82, and got to live in the clubhouse for a couple of months. I learned a couple of things that summer; firstly, there are a lot of old timers around whose number of fish stories impossibly exceeds the number of fishing days available in a life, and secondly, there are a lot of 29 and three quarter pound fish that grow sand on their sides when they get near the weigh scale…

Since then we’ve seen a number of Springer spaniels come and go from the bow of the rowboat, and watched in wonder at Dad’s amassing what must be the world’s largest “Lucky Louie” collection.

We are all proud to be a member of the Tyee Club, and are particularly proud of our Dad’s involvement and dedication to the Club and various conservation organizations over the years. To all of those who work hard at maintaining the Tyee Club and its traditions, thanks for your effort!!


Mike’s youngest son,
Mark Gage.