Monday, December 12, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
One more fish graced my presence before the day was done.As I drove away,winding my way up and out of the canyon, I had a grin on my face that I could not wipe off. It was so good to be on The River once again.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
It's that time of year where the deck gets shuffled. The hot days of summer are behind us and there is snow in the hills. As the days get cooler and the nights start to get downright cold, the internal trigger on the anadromous fish is pulled. Dour fish that have been sitting in the deepest runs they can find to escape the summer heat,slowly start to move. Big bucks start to ease out of their lairs and began their upstream migration, following the overpowering instinct to find a mate and spawn. The early fall rains have begun, water temperatures are cooler and fish began to move at all times of the day.During the summer, their upstream movement was masked by the low light conditions of morning and evening. Now, fish can clearly be seen moving through tail outs and narrow slots at almost anytime of day.These once placid fish move aggressively to the fly once again.
I am quite sure that many rivers in the Northwest have/ have had run timings and different strains of fish in the same system, genetically unique to the tributary they were raised. I would love to hear stories of fish on your rivers that fall into this category.
These fish still exist in small numbers and are seen every year by an even smaller group of anglers.
The fun part of this time of year is you never know what you might catch. A fish that has been in the river for awhile but is rested and willing to tussle, or a fish that is new on the block and ready to show you some kite string in a hurry.
The deck is shuffled, fish are moving and there are some wild cards out there.
Friday, September 30, 2011
From a distance you can see it, hidden in the trees. As I wind up the long driveway, the sight of woodsmoke curling out of the chimney and hanging in the still cold air is both inviting and comforting. Turning in to park in my old familiar spot, tires crunch gravel and then quiet as they roll over the bed of needles that has accumulated over the decades. I open the door of the truck and am greeted by the familiar smell of the river, and wet fir and cedar trees.I stand for a moment,engulfed in the sweet smell of well seasoned wood in the old iron stove. My nostrils flair as they detect the hint of something delicious cooking in the crock pot. Voices from inside escape through the walls, uncontainable in the small space. I hear familiar voices, happy voices....I am home! I climb the stairs to the front door and open it to a cacophony of greetings from my dearest friends.
The second I cross the thresh hold of the entry way, I feel instantly free. I just left the weight of the world, work, etc on the front porch when I came in. Old friendships long separated are rekindled here.New friendships are made. The deep and unchanged friendships of my closest friends grow ever stronger with every passing day.I instantly get an update on everything that has happened on the river since I have been there last. What's fishing,what isn't. Memorable encounters with fish are retold with an excitement that gets to your core. We are kindred spirits involved in a life long pursuit of a fish that defies description. The Shack is the gathering place, bunkhouse, war room, the dining hall, marriage counselor,psychiatrist couch,matchmaker,the saloon, poker hall, hospital,concert hall,movie theater, fly shop, and fly tying room. It is more than a place to get in out of the rain. It has become a part of the whole experience. It is a humble place, nothing fancy here, in fact the rods,reels,assorted tackle and fly tying material are probably worth more than the building itself in actual dollars. We wouldn't trade that old shack in for anything, to do so would take a piece of us with it.
As the fall weather starts to move in, start heading for your Shack. They can be found on steelhead rivers throughout the NW. They are places of warmth and refuge for us wandering souls.Remember,as we all travel on this endless pursuit for the uncatchable fish,and that unreachable lie,it's the times spent in The Shack building relationships that are often most memorable.
Monday, September 12, 2011
But then October starts to loom and time is split between the yard, The River, and the talus slopes or tall grass of the back forty. The dogs tighten up, shots get further, and we all begrudgingly lose a few pounds.
September & October slip away too fast, but I've grown to appreciate early Fall for what it leaves me and not what I miss out on...
- Posted when I should be working...
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The experience of salmon fishing is not immediate. However there is a reward for your investment.
Time to learn the water;
The riparian rights, the pools, the locals, the landowners. Where the fish are likely to hold...
What has happened to the pool during ice out?
Spring pools, high water pools, low water pools, breathtaking fall runs.
Where to take a novice, where to test an advanced angler’s skills.
Time to learn the flies;
The styles, the hooks, the beliefs, the prejudices...
The idea that the pattern itself means very little is instilled, yet I still find my confidence in select few.
Of course these change from season to season. I accuse salmon of being illogical. What is to be said of myself?
Time to learn the WAY
Proper rotation on a productive pool.
Being dazzled by a beautiful, straight cast from experienced hands.
Reflections of the challenge.
Time to learn the legend;
The mighty Miramichi river. Great men have stood here before me. Great men follow me through these pools. Have they been on a similar journey as I have?