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fishing tools

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca) wood is almost always used to construct a gaff or spear. The long pole chosen must be fired first to make it strong so as it won't break. Then metal is made into a hook shape to be attached to the end of the pole, secured in place by sinew or rope.

Up'ske7 (Gaff hook) fishing tool for river fishing of salmon
Wewtsk Wewtsk
(three prong spear) used to catch salmon
The wewtsk (three prong spear) is made in the same way as the gaff. The same type of wood is used and fired as well. The length of the pole for both the spear and gaff is by preference to the user. The prongs on a spear long ago were made of antler or horn. Nowadays it is constructed of metal such as a pitchfork. The spear is used in a straight down motion to hit the salmon through its back and two prongs on either side to grab the sides of the salmon. Then the spear is pulled back up and out of the water. The spear is used where the water may be swift and bubbles are forming. This pushes the salmon to the top of the water where a brief few seconds is all the person has to get the salmon on the spear. Click here to view the video (3mb). Windows Media Player is needed to view, downloadable at www.microsoft.com
Meni'p (harpoon) Meni'p
(harpoon) used to catch salmon from the river
The second technique is called the Meni'p (harpoon). The pole of the meni'p is longer but also made of speqpqe'llp (Saskatoon bush) wood. The pole is fired and made strong as well. The prongs have to be aged, a certain length, and size to work to the best of their ability. Sinew and pitch were used in historic times to fasten the prongs to the pole. Antler pieces are attached to the end of the prongs these are called the meni'ps Nowadays either antler or metal may be used for the meni'ps. Again the pole size is pertinent to the user. There is sinew braided and made strong to fasten the meni'ps to the prongs. Click here to view the video (6.1mb). Windows Media Player is needed to view, downloadable at www.microsoft.com
Up'ske7 (Gaff hook) Up'ske7 (Gaff hook)
fishing tool for river fishing of salmon
Up'ske7 (Gaff hook) is a main fishing technique used by our ancestors as well as generations today. There are many different styles of a gaff. With this technique of fishing it is said that you can pick and choose which fish you wish to catch. The gaffing technique is usually used where the water of the river is calmer. The gaff is held in the rivers edge. When a salmon comes along over the hook the user pulls the pole back out of the water and the hook should pierce the side of the fish and would be pulled out of the river attached to the hook. Click here to view the video (2.1mb). Windows Media Player is needed to view, downloadable at www.microsoft.com
Click here to download the full length fishing tools video. (164.5mb) Windows Media Player is needed to view, downloadable at www.microsoft.com
Fishing Information provided by Councilor Terry Deneault