The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Clark, January 16, 1806
Clark, January 16, 1806
Saturday 16th January 1806
This evening we finished cureing the meat. no occurrence worthey of relation took place to day. we have a plenty of Elk beef for the present and a little Salt, our houses dry and Comfortable, haveing made up our minds to Stay untill the 1st of April every one appears contented with his Situation, and his fair. it is true we Could travel even now on our return as far as the timbered Country reaches, or to the falls of the river, but further it would be madness for us to attempt to proceed untill april, as the indians inform us that the Snows lyes knee deep in the Columbian Plains dureing the winter, and in those planes we could not git as much wood as would Cook our provisions untill the drift wood comes down in the Spring and lodges on the Shore &c. and even were we happily over those plains and in the woodey countrey at the foot of the rockey mountains, we could not possibly pass that emence bearier of mountains on which the Snow lyes in winter to the debth in maney placs of 20 feet; in Short the Indians tell us they impassable untill about the 1s of June, at which time even then is an abundance of snow but a Scanty Subsistance may be had for the horses- we Should not foward our homeward journey any by reaching the Rocky mountains earlier than the 1st of June which we can effect by Setting out from hence by the 1st of April
The Clatsops, Chinnooks &c. in fishing employ the Common Streight net, the Scooping or dipping net with a long handle, the gig, and the hook and line. the Common nets are of different lengths and debths usually employd in takeing the Salmon, Carr and trout in the inlets among the marshey grounds and the mouths of deep Creeks,- the Skiming or scooping nets to take Smaller fish in the Spring and Summer Season; the gig and hook are employed indiscreminately at all Seasons in takeing Such fish as they Can precure by these means. their nets and fishing lines are made of the Silk Grass or white Cedar bark; and their hooks are generally of European manufactory, tho before the whites visited them they made their Hooks of bone and other Substances formed in the following manner A C and B C are two Small pieces of bone about the Size of a Strong twine, these are flattened & beaveled off to their extremites at C, where they are firmley attached together and Covered with rozin C A is reduced to a Sharp point at A where it is also bent in a little; C B is attached to the line, at the upper extremity B. the whole forming two Sides of an accute angled triangle. the line has a loop at D which it is anexed to a longer line and taken off at pleasure. Those Hooks are yet common among the nativs on the upper parts of the Columbia river for to Catch fish in Deep places.