Captain Meriwether Lewis's pre-expedition
The small amount of angling gear in Captain Meriwether
Lewis's pre-expedition supply list suggests that he did not
foresee fishing as crucial to the Corps survival but rather
perhaps as an emergency backup system, a means of varying
the Corps diet or the opportunity for a pleasant diversion.
At a cost of $25.37, Lewis acquired 125 hooks, several dozen
assorted fish lines, a Sportsman Flask, and an 8 stave reel.
He also bought hooks and lines as gifts for Indians.
On the lower Missouri Goodrich pulled in huge
catfish, some of them weighing more than 100 lbs.
He had served in the army in Ohio with a former Army captain and
William Clark. These two men would work together as partners for
President Jefferson. The two were to share joint command as they
mapped, and studied a new route to the Pacific.
Great Falls Goodrich began to pull in two and three
pound trout of a new species. Lewis wrote in his journal, a
small dash of red on each side of the first ventral fins the
flesh is of a rose red." Today we know it as the West Slope
Lewis next recorded Goodrich's fishing at
on the forks of the Beaverhead. By this point, game
was scarce. The trout Goodrich caught were more than welcome
additions to the rations.
Silas Goodrich may have remained in the army after the
Expedition. The only known post-expedition record is Clark's
note that he was dead by the year 1825.
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